E-Commerce Strategies

Finding the best e-commerce strategies is important to maximising your bottom line. Let's look at increasing conversions and increasing traffic. It's simple logic to making money money online!

Let’s face it, pretty much anyone would be willing to take our money in return for a shopping cart, or order management system or another system, right?

Our job is to find out the 'gems' within e-Commerce, people and companies that will really work with you to produce the most suitable platform for doing online business for you – and of course everyone’s different.

Now as a business, you should definitely consider writing a business plan – why? It forces you to map out your e-commerce strategies, your goals, how you’re going to achieve those goals and what steps you need to take to get there. It also gives you a reference point to measure your success (and failures!) as you try and acheive your goals.

** e-Commerce Strategies Top Tip: Find someone with a problem and solve it. Don't just put up a site and "market it". Find someone whose hosepipe keeps breaking, promote a suitable product and sell it.

Target your audience! Are they a student? Yes - so what are they studying, where are they studying, how are they studying? What do they value, what do they spend money on. Target your audience, and OWN your niche!

Read my voted Top Ten Internet Businesses

How to Start an Internet Business

>>> See the BusinessLink advice on building business plans

The key to successful website marketing is knowing how to properly optimize and promote effectively. Check out these Marketing Solutions for proven results.

The biggest problem facing most e-Commerce strategies is traffic. You build a site ready to take orders and then expect customers to find you. WRONG.

Put it into perspective offline – you’ve built a shop where no-one is or goes. Take this example…

You’ve got the most amazing product range, say a super-comfy sofa-bed. It has state of the art ergonomics and dozens of cool, attractive features – the sofa-bed has been centre stage at every single major trade show and exhibition worldwide.

What’s more, you’ve talked to the manufacturer and got by far the lowest pricing available, which in turn allows you to be far more flexible with your own margins and be so much more competitive.

You have literally hundreds of promotions going with it including free holidays, free cars and a lifetimes supply of chocolate with each sale.

… but you never make a sale.

Your shop is in the middle of the desert where no one is. There is no stream of customers, no source of revenue and no business.

In the offline world, how do you ensure that you get customers? Location, location, location! Nab the best spots in the high-street and drive customers into your shop.

Online, this means prime spots at Google and other search engines. Getting there can be achieved via two avenues: free rankings, and paid-rankings.

Paying for Google Adwords is pretty much the quickest route to drive traffic to your site. Depending on your return on investment, it can be a sensible route to go down. You’ll probably lose some money as you figure out what works best for your website, but once you find a formula that benefits your bottom line your away!

But remember, your traffic stops the moment you stop paying out. Buying traffic should ideally be supplementary, not the core to your traffic income. The sustainable e-commerce strategies will be drawing lots of free, targeted traffic at the search engines.

Ranking well at the search engines is subject to literally millions of different criteria, be it on your site or off. This has lead to a rise in specialists in ranking well – search engine optimizers. But be careful…

True SEO is a myth!

If you’ve discovered someone who claims they can guarantee to get you to the top of Google, treat them with extreme caution. Google (and others) algorithims – the formula they use to rank websites – change sometimes hourly. You honestly expect a firm, that is outside of Google, to keep you on top all the time?

> They’re always working in retrospect – they’re reacting to changes at Google. They’re always on the backfoot

> They don’t know what’s happening on the inside of Google anyway – unless they had someone on the inside, but such would raise legal questions and would best be avoided

> To charge you for something outside their control is ridiculous – like a weatherman guaranteeing it to be sunny, at exactly 20 degrees Celsius all summer (or as long as your writing him or her weekly cheques!)

Stay clear of ‘SEO-guarentees’. Instead, watch out for our guides and recommended sources for tips and techniques to optimize.

Ideally, you want to be able to understand search engines enough to make your own judgements on search engine optimization – and not just leave it to “techy” people to pocket your money.

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