A Compelling Guideline on E-commerce Business Growth
The COVID-19 outbreak has proved that the ability to buy products and services online is crucial for the entire world.
12:03 29 May 2020
The pandemic will obviously cause the growth of e-commerce value and popularity. In this article, you will learn how to enhance your online store growth. Below are some steps that can help you reach your goals faster.
Step 1 - Analyze new markets globally.
Are you going to expand? If you want to enter new markets, start with market research and feasibility analysis. Once the studies are done, you will know which country is best suited to sell your products or services.
How to conduct market research?
You can order the research from a professional analytics company or carry it out by yourself. Here are some tips that may help you:
Conduct Porter’s analysis to understand your industry. This study considers the following things:
- how high the competition in your industry is;
- how difficult it will be to enter a particular market;
- discover the alternatives to your products or services;
- explore buyer power;
- study supplier power.
After you analyzed the results of Porter’s research, proceed to the next step - understanding your competition via a SWOT analysis. The latter includes your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Next, explore your buyer persona and present your findings.
At the end of the analysis, you should have a clear understanding of what region or country your business has the potential to enter. You will also know how your products and services should be adapted to the new market.
Step 2 - Start with one market.
Don’t try to embrace several countries at once. Begin to scale up your business by entering one region. With such an approach, you can test your possibilities and understand how successful your endeavors are.
Your primary tasks will include website adaptation and localization. However, don’t spend your entire budget for this activity. Any custom software development company can help you by consulting on what meaningful changes should be made.
The next step is deciding on what international shipping options you can offer to your customers. Study tariffs and schedules provided by the global logistics and shipping providers, and create accounts with the chosen companies.
Step 3 - Start with global marketplaces.
According to Webretailer, as of 2019, buyers made 50% of e-commerce purchases via online marketplaces. This number will grow because more e-commerce businesses are harnessing the potential of these platforms to promote their products and services.
Usually, international marketplaces like eBay or Amazon have over 300 mln. buyers all over the world. Test to sell your products there to check your global presence potential. Half of the work is already done for you. You shouldn’t care about logistics and fulfillment.
Step 4 - Create a localization strategy.
Think about how you will present your products and services in other countries. Consider a different culture, buying persona, their demographics, habits, etc. You should study everything about the target country.
Localization includes using individual subdomains or even a different website for every region you plan to enter. Localize your e-store’s language and currencies, as well. How to enhance your localization efforts? Below are some helpful tips:
- Hire local agencies offering localization services
- Create a strong and memorable brand
- Provide unique service or products
Local localization companies can provide more qualitative localization as no one knows the local culture and marketing specifics as people who live in your target country. Your brand should also be adapted to the local market and be easy to memorize.
Step 5 - Ensure your e-commerce store mobile presence.
According to RescueTime research, people spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes daily on their mobiles. Some spend even more - about 20% of users browse their phones 4-5 hours a day. Surely, such a big screen time is shocking. At the same time, it is an opportunity for almost every business to reach their target audience more effectively.
There are several ways to improve your mobile presence: build cross-platform or native mobile apps or optimize your website for mobile devices. The design also should be adapted to those people that visit your site most frequently. So, all the above studies about your customer behavior patterns will help you create a responsive design.
Step 6 - Develop your social media network.
Social media allows you to grow your audience internationally. The networks are growing rapidly - this is an excellent way to regularly tell people about your products and services, notify them about news, special offers, and bonuses, etc.
User-generated content (UGC) also adds value to the table. This type of marketing may bring you more prospects and leads as real feedback and reviews attract people. When you read on Facebook that your friend loves this washing machine, you will likely consider her opinion when choosing a washing machine for yourself.
Bear in mind the local specifics when you create content for your social medial channels. Posts must be engaging and attractive to buyers from your target markets.
Step 7 - Expand your distributors’ network.
Collaborate with local distributors to scale up your business globally. First off, analyze your existing network to find out whether some of your distributors have larger infrastructures. It will be nice if some have market coverage in your target country.
According to Shopify, e-commerce sales are forecasted to double by 2023. The rapid growth of online shopping is the effect of multiple factors: the fast development of international marketplaces, digital technologies, and distribution networks. If you want to keep up with the times, take care of better user experience, mobile presence, localization, and other things that affect your business.