As a business, you likely are looking to get your products online. Great! However, it’s important to recognize that nearly every business is selling online.
Standing out amongst competitors — both big and small — can be challenging. While your product line may be amazing, unless the right consumers see it, you won’t be able to sell it.
Whether you are dabbling in the online marketplace or already selling items, there are a few factors to keep in mind. First, selling your products 24/7 around the globe can come with a lot of demand. You may want to consider starting small, such as limiting products to a certain geographic area before expanding. Also, keep in mind that inventory may be lacking due to global shortages and supply and demand issues. This can make it tricky to keep shelves stocked and web pages updated with the correct inventory.
Before you give up altogether on your online selling plan, keep reading. This article will further explore how you can make your online marketplace successful. It will explain what you need to prioritize to create the best customer experience and most optimal revenue stream for your company.
1. Prioritize Customer Service
Happy customers are returning customers. In today’s crowded online marketplace, a mishap can mean the difference between a returning customer and an irritated one. And, of course, with social media, there are plenty of ways for an irritated customer to negatively review your brand. No business leader wants that.
The first key to optimizing your online marketplace is to prioritize your customer service. From the moment a customer lands on your webpage, you want to be there for help. This means creating sections on your website about your brand, FAQs, and perhaps a chat bot to answer questions directly.
It also means suggesting other products they may like, and making the checkout process seamless. You want your online experience to be as if the person is walking into your company’s storefront. Once a customer has made a purchase, your job isn’t done. In fact, in many ways, it’s just getting started as you need to get the ordered products into their hands quickly and efficiently.
If that’s not the part of customer service you want to emphasize, you could have someone else ensure those steps go well. With a complete e-commerce solution, your business can be managed via automated workflows, encompassing all aspects of your company’s e-commerce workflows. This includes everything from inventory to warehouse management to fulfillment to shipping. This solution allows you to have insight into how orders are processed and allows you to focus on the customer.
2. Make Your Products Easy to Find
Let’s say your company sells plant-based protein powders. You have a niche target, an audience that is likely picky about their nutrition selections. In order to grab the attention of this target, you need to ensure your products are easy to find. Today, that means honing in on your SEO strategy.
When someone is looking to buy something, they likely go to Google first. They are searching for a particular item and want to see which sites appear first. As a brand, you want to work on optimizing your SEO strategy so you are at the top of the page on related keyword searches. For instance, you would want to rank for “plant-based protein” as well as “vegan protein powder” and “vegetarian protein powder.” Ranking in the top of related keywords means your target audiences will be able to find you easier, leading to more sales and revenue.
In order to own a SEO strategy, take a look at your competitors and see what keywords they are currently owning to spotlight your specific niche. You can also use tools such as Google Trends or Google Ad Keyword Planner to discover what consumers are searching for and what is currently trending in the online marketplace. Once you have a good sense of how other brands are marketing their goods, you can work on developing and refining your SEO strategy.
3. Spend Time on Your Product Pages
Once you’ve grabbed a consumer’s attention, the goal is for them to locate products and checkout. As an online retailer, some of your most important web pages are your product pages. These are the pages that display your product line. Spending time and attention on these pages will benefit your brand in the long run. It provides users with a clear sense of the products you offer, how they appear, and what they cost.
To develop product pages, you want to clearly show the item from various angles. This means taking photos of the same item in various positions. You also want to include descriptions with keywords that are SEO worthy. Also, customer reviews are gold mines. Make sure you have reviews from recent shoppers at the bottom of your page; most shoppers tend to trust other customers.
Of course, as your brand expands, you will need to add more product pages. Instead of tacking on more products, think about how you want them to appear on your site. If it’s a big brand launch, you may want to have them displayed on your homepage. You may also decide to create a “New” or “Just Launched” button, so users know what products are new-to-market.
Building an online marketplace is a big task. It’s more than just developing a website and hitting the create button. It takes time to generate leads, work to get new customers, and retain existing ones. However, with these tips in mind, you and your business can optimize how your marketplace is represented in the cluttered online landscape.