There’s a trade-off that many entrepreneurs and business owners have discovered in regards to starting their business online. It’s never been easier to start up an e-commerce store, and it seems like it has never been more competitive to grow your online store to the level you want it to be at. While there are more competitors than ever, there is also an abundance of customers who may very well be looking for what you’re trying to sell. The key then is to push your business out of its comfort zone and into the world for those people to see.
Here are five ways that you can grow your e-commerce store quickly to pave the way for your business’ future success.
1. Prioritize PR.
In any business, PR is one of the most versatile and useful tools to help your business grow over the short or long term. Taking the time to invest in getting positive stories and coverage of your company into online news sites, TV interviews and articles that you normally wouldn’t target is a surefire way to develop a new consumer base.
Many companies pursue their PR in-house and are perfectly fine with that, but often you’ll find that PR companies are typically the easiest route to take. Not only will you not have to do the hard work of getting your story out there, but you also won’t need to network with publications, as many PR firms already have contacts. Regardless of which option you choose, PR is a powerful way to get your company and products out into new markets to help develop more sales and create a larger consumer base.
2. Connect with influencers.
Influencers have become a popular way of advertising products in recent years, specifically on highly trafficked platforms like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. What makes these social media stars an incredibly valuable resource is their connection with their audience. Often their audience is made up of devoted fans who trust the opinion of the person they follow and, therefore, are more likely to buy a sponsored or recommended product from them so long as the influencer says that they had a positive experience with it.
Influencers with larger followings will likely charge for the promotion of your product but will have a large fan base to advertise to. On the other hand, many smaller influencers, called micro-influencers, will be glad to promote your product for just getting the product itself. And while their audiences might be small, they are more likely to be dedicated and responsive to the recommendation of the product.
3. Collaborate with other companies.
Many up-and-coming entrepreneurs vastly underestimate the power of collaborating with other businesses. It might be because their spirit makes them want to pave their way on their own, but the power of collaboration is undeniable. There are likely several companies that, while producing a different set of products than you, share similar ideas or even customers. So taking the time to work with another company on a product that both parties are proud of is a win-win situation. It’s a two-way tunnel that allows your fans to get exposure to the other company and vice versa. And oftentimes, collaborations end up being the most innovative projects either company works on during that year.
4. Find your niche.
Sometimes companies will jump the gun and start advertising to everyone they can because they think that will ensure sales. Sure, that might work in the short term, but the long-term results might not be as good. This is because you’ve got to take the time to find out exactly what kinds of people, groups and communities you are trying to reach.
Sometimes your initial predictions of who will buy your product might be wrong, and you’ll instead need to actively seek out your niche and discover it for yourself. And while it sounds tedious, oftentimes when you connect with your niche, it’s an instant boom of sales and the creation of long-term fans that will be the foundation of your business for years to come.
5. Strengthen your social media strategies.
Many companies don’t end up utilizing their social media to the fullest extent that they could. Smaller businesses might not think that the effort is worthwhile as they don’t have a strong following yet. However, constantly being active on social media is what helps your business develop a stronger following over time. An easy way to create social media growth is to push engagement with your followers. Have people tag their friends on posts for giveaways or hold competitions where people have to share something on their stories and broadcast to their followers what your business is up to. Then, you’re off to the races!
While the barriers of entry to starting an e-commerce store are low, after launching, many online store owners find that they’ve hit a wall after burning through paid advertising dollars with not much return on investment. Using the five ways above will allow you to get your online shop noticed in no time at all without breaking the bank in the meantime.
“Originally written by Adrian Falk for Forbes“