E-Commerce Strategy for Small and Middle Retailers
Small businesses often underestimate the importance of the internet in promoting a company in the marketplace. Meanwhile, a variety of methods and small (compared to print media and television) budgets for advertising can, with a competent approach, give a good result. With an effective social media marketing strategy, you can effectively compete against larger companies while winning the battle for the customer. And our article will help you develop a quality strategy and make the right decision.
Knowledge That Is Better than Gold
In today's world, information is the most valuable resource. Because a business owner who implements effective innovations on time can become successful and significantly increase the number of customers. But it is important to be able to find the most effective solutions. In a world of dynamic change, success is the best indicator. Therefore, it is important to listen to advice only from real experts who have proven everything with results.
We spoke with Victoire Lhopitallier from Wishibam. Wishibam is a successful company that helps create new online platforms and promotes them. What's more, the company has also worked with local authorities to create marketplaces that connect all retailers in a single city. Thanks to this approach, the employees of the company were able to gain important knowledge about what exactly a small business needs and what solutions are the most effective. One of the examples is Stock Easy, a stock and inventory management system available on the smartphones. Victoire has provided some valuable advice that social media entrepreneurs may find helpful.
Advertising on Social Networks
Well-structured social media ads can be very effective because they are already targeted to a clear target audience. First, a page of a company or product is created on a social network, then it is promoted, users “like” it, and then the company's advertising is automatically shown to those who have shown their interest and their friends. It is possible to customize advertising more precisely - by age, gender, region, etc.
The cost of advertising campaigns on social networks is significantly lower than many other methods of online advertising. But the company needs to promptly update the information on the page in the social network - communicate with users, answer questions. To do this, you will have to allocate a separate employee or turn to professionals for help.
Also, it is important to remember that you need to make a high-quality company profile on social networks. In this case, it is important to know all the nuances of setting and profile capabilities. In this case, its implementation will be as efficient as possible. There are professional companies to help you set up your link-in-bio correctly, as well as get access to all the possibilities. For example, the UniLink service can make a promotion on social networks productive and of high quality.
At this stage, it is important to determine the advertising budget and build a sales funnel to get the most from the resources and data that are available at the initial stage. It is best to start an advertising campaign with those tools that target a hot or warm audience who is familiar with the products and is ready to buy. It will cost less to attract these buyers than those who need to be carried out from the beginning of the sales funnel using more tools.
Promotion on maps
When searching for a service on the Internet, for sure, every user noticed that, in addition to advertisements, at the beginning of the search and organic results, results with a map and companies marked on it are displayed.
It is important for business owners that the search engine gives their company in the top 5 for a key query. As a rule, these are organizations whose demand for goods and services is tied to geographic location. And people usually look for services by location (near home or work), by urgency (24-hour pharmacies, dentistry), or spontaneously (in the area where they are located to have a snack or spend leisure time).
Who needs to use geotags on maps for promotion?
• catering establishments (canteens, cafes, coffee houses, restaurants);
• entertainment (cinema, theaters, museums, exhibition centers, baths, rest houses, clubs);
• service sector (sports, cosmetology, beauty);
• medical organizations (dentistry, veterinary clinics, polyclinics);
• pharmacies and opticians;
• car services (tire fitting, car washes, service stations);
• notaries and lawyers;
On the maps, the user should get all the information about the organization: website, current phone number, working hours, photos of the establishment, average bill, and reviews. The main thing when placing a point on the map is to upload the best photos in good quality and not leave any feedback unanswered, especially negative.
Promotion on aggregator websites
Sometimes owners underestimate Internet directories and aggregator sites. According to Similarweb, they have traffic to help potential customers find your business. The main rule of such sites is regular updating and updating of information.
As a rule, such resources are segmented: beauty, medicine, auto, fitness, tourism, and provide an opportunity to leave feedback on the work of your organization.
On all sites, you can post information using the button "add place", "add organization". If there is no such button, then you can write to technical support a request to add a card for your organization.
Each guide has its own rules. Some directories limit the ability to upload photos, prices, promotions, information about specialists, doctors and offer additional options for a fee. And on some reference books, information can be placed free of charge.
Instruction for Promotion
If you do not have a website yet (or it is under development), you should do SEO during the development phase:
• analyze the sites of competitors;
• collect the semantic core;
• develop (modify, correct) the structure of the site;
• carry out on-page site optimization;
• control the implementation of technical specifications by developers.
• SEO will lay the foundation by which you can ensure a steady flow of customers.
Now run paid ads:
• identify tools for working with hot audiences;
• make a media plan;
• track intermediate results;
• expand your sales funnel when you peak at the current stage.
Since SEO takes time to develop, PPC will be able to ensure that customers are available immediately after the site is released and the goods are imported. Once you've built your audience, start working on increasing sales with loyal customers through email marketing. Email marketing is one of the most rewarding tools in internet marketing and will allow you to work at the bottom of the sales funnel for repeat purchases.
Retail is becoming technologically advanced everywhere. This is about implementing artificial intelligence systems to study shoppers and create personalized consumer offerings. This approach helps to increase revenue and maintain margins in an all-out price race when many retailers are betting on promotions. Also, it is worth considering online marketplaces that seek to offer the best price to their customers, since buyers just come to marketplaces for this reason - to get a great deal. If a retailer has established constant interaction with its audience, has developed loyalty programs, if a company develops new services, responding to customer requests, then it expands its opportunities to increase revenue and profits.
All of the above methods of promotion do not require a lot of money but require the investment of other resources - time, effort, energy, patience, and knowledge. Try different options. See which one works best for you and brings the most clients. And the most important thing is to promote and sell not your company, but your products and work results.