Competing effectively online, like competing in anything, is about growth. It’s about starting small and working up to more significant challenges as the resources, the skills, and the training takes hold.
That’s one of the reasons Magento developers like the platform they use. Because while it is eminently capable of powering a small business (Magento consider anything below a million pounds per year turnover as a small business), the technology is there to expand the site to handle orders totaling, at mid-range, over a million a year – and at the enterprise level, even running several sites through the same portal to consolidate earnings across product ranges or store subdivisions.
Magento’s big sales pitch is that it features a range of revenue-boosting functions, which actively help e-commerce shop owners from attaining the next level and outsmarting their competitors. These features include inbuilt search engine optimization, custom coupon delivery, and tools designed to suggest products to customers based on their current and past selections. As in the most famous online upseller of all, Amazon, whose “customers who bought x also bought y” feature, has been raking in the bucks for quite some time.
The real key to an active online home is the ability to customize everything about the site, so it falls in line with brand appearance and values.
I’ve blogged frequently about branding in many different areas over the last few weeks because it’s something I feel strongly about. The critical top all business success is ultimately about how your customers now and your potential customers, too, see you, your products, and your services. And in an online world, that means branding is all about how people respond to the web pages you are associated with.
In eCommerce terms, being competitive and responsive (and being well responded to by your customers) is all about ease and trust. Both have a roughly level pegging in the affections of customers. If you can’t find what you want with ease, you won’t stick around long enough to buy it, for example – so having a super-secure pay portal but a tortuous route to buying pages is no good. And by the same token, if you make it easy to buy stuff but have a dodgy-looking pay portal, then no one is going to hit the all-important buy button.
I am assuming that you have made your site both easy to navigate and safe to buy from, what is going to set you apart from all the other sites doing the same thing?
You are listening to your customers. The oldest rule of branding is this – once you’ve attracted customers through your brand personality, you need to use their input to modify your products and services further. Because here you are engaging precisely with your target audience, and the target audience is telling you how you can get them to spend more money with you.
To promote customer suggestions. Use social media to engage in conversation with your key demographic. Help people to buy more of what you sell by creating innovative offers and competitions. The only way is up!