When I started my digital marketing firm about seven years back, our focus was on SEO and going after read online, buy offline (ROBO) buyers. Over the years, we delved into e-commerce, including Amazon marketing, as there has been a clear shift in many consumers’ buying habits.
Due to recent events, e-commerce has become almost a necessity. People are quarantined at home and spending more time shopping online. To maintain a competitive advantage this year and beyond, you may need to create and grow your digital presence.
Getting Started In E-Commerce
When it comes to e-commerce, there are many tools and platforms to help you get started. If you don’t have a strong tech background, I recommend starting out on Amazon or eBay. Shopify is another great platform for those just delving into e-commerce. They all offer training and resources for sellers, as well as strong selling tools.
If you don’t want to carry your own inventory, consider looking into dropshipping, which is where you manage the front-end store and a logistics company handles the back-end logistics. This can allow you to easily expand your product offerings and can provide you with greater flexibility from a logistical standpoint. You can use dropshipping for everyday items as well as high-ticket items (e.g., refrigerators, espresso machines and jewelry), though dropshipping for higher-priced items can offer a better profit margin.
Focus On Evergreen Products
Focus on products that are always in demand regardless of the season, such as some health and wellness items, beauty products and sports and hobby equipment. Since consumers are buying more everyday items online right now, you have an opportunity to find the right niche and possibly sell such items as a third-party seller on Amazon and other key platforms as well as on your own website.
Remember The Importance Of Online Marketing
Once you’ve laid all the groundwork and finished setting up your online store, success relies on powerful e-commerce marketing — the art of creating sales by increasing awareness about an online store’s product offering and brand. You can do this via social media, pay-per-click Google ads or even a strong SEO program using the content you may already be creating, such as blog posts.
You also could consider starting a podcast in your niche and spreading the word via social media. This will allow you to provide valuable content for possibly interested parties, which can help you build your online reputation.
Having a hard time attracting an audience for your podcast and social media channels? Try boosting your content on Facebook and other social platforms to help create instant awareness.
Times Are Changing
Social distancing and increased online shopping are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. Although resources may be scarce and it may not seem like the right time to expand your business online, it’s often easier and less cost-prohibitive than you think. The key is to get started so you can take control of your own future in these extremely challenging times.