01 Aug 5 Steps to Creating a Successful ECommerce Business
With the pandemic still upon us, now is the time to reposition your business. Going online or enhancing your existing online ecommerce presence, might just be mission critical to your business’s survival – or successful retail launch.
These 5 steps will not only help you get sales fast, but if you are already online, they will significantly increase profitability in your online shop.
STEP 1 – Create Awareness
Just starting out or want to attract more customers to your established business? Start at Step 1, it’s the foundation step because everything grows from having more customers.
In this step, you create and implement marketing activities targeted to people who do NOT yet know your business exists. These people are known as cold prospects. They haven’t heard of you yet and don’t know what problems you can solve for them. To target them, your marketing must be somewhat disruptive and focused primarily on building awareness – but it’s NOT yet about making a sale.
Some ways to create awareness include:
– regular posting on social media
– optimising your new ecommerce website (SEO)
– Setting up your Google My Business page
– Getting publicity for your business
An offline example could be simply an A-Frame outside your shop, disrupting passers-by, in the hope that they will at least acknowledge that your shop is there, as they walk past next time.
REMEMBER, the key here is to create awareness and NOT make a sale.
If you want some thought starters here, CLICK HERE to send me an email and I will forward you a copy of my personal list of over 50 online and offline awareness creating ideas.
STEP 2 – Consideration
This step either makes or breaks you in the eyes of whom we now call warm leads. Warm leads are people who now know that you and your business exist but are still not ready to buy from you…just yet!
Warm leads will want to research first online, or they may want to find out more information before they buy.
The goal here in Step 2 is to make a connection, allowing the warm lead to consider what you have to offer.
The big mistake most people make here is they go straight into sales mode and try and sell. Again, like Step 1, you are NOT trying to sell here, instead you are trying to build trust and build a relationship first.
Examples of actions that you might want your warm lead to do first include:
– Go to and read the Q&A/FAQ page on your website (this page is an underrated but great marketing tool so ensure it’s comprehensive).
– Give you a call (have your phone number on display so customers can easily get in touch).
– encourage warm leads to leave comments and questions on your blog and social media.
Remember again, Step 2 is all about making a connection and providing information to help the warm lead become a potential buyer. It is not a sales step, so again do NOT try and sell here.
If you want some thought starters for Step 2, CLICK HERE to send me an email and I will forward you a copy of my personal list of over 20 consideration actions that you might want to use on your warm leads.
STEP 3 – Conversion
Now you can start SELLING…finally!
Step 3 is all about methods that you could deploy to help get the conversion (sale) across the line.
Following on from Step 2, many of the techniques are the same but now your tone changes to help nail the sale.
Examples could include:
– your personal service levels,
– free samples,
– live demos,
– your Q&A on your website,
– postage deals to reduce extra costs,
– sales team incentives,
So, what can you do to make the sale or assist in the sale?
Side note: You would be amazed how so many business owners stuff this step up by not being customer focused or being flexible in their prices, for example. Even their overall personality (or that of their staff!) tends to drive the customer away, rather than close a sale. Don’t let that be you, listen to what your customers are asking and why they’re asking for it, see if you can fill that need somehow.
STEP 4 – Increase Average Sale Value
Let’s face it…we have all been on the other end of this one! Up sizing, up selling, bundling, cross selling are all techniques that are designed purely to increase the average sale. Other examples include advertising deals (buy 3 pay for 2 example), bulk discounts, reviews, recommendations etc
By being online, these techniques are so easy to install and use in your Ecommerce store and are also very easily measurable and changeable.
The best example of this step is Amazon. They are the masters of the up sell and the cross sell. You can be too!
BTW: Step 4 and Step 5 are more sales orientated rather than marketing orientated, but you would be shocked to know that many businesses and marketing gurus FORGET this step and the next. By executing well on Step 4 and Step 5, you’ll not only make your business vastly more profitable, but you’ll join just the 5% of ecommerce businesses who do!
STEP 5 – Increase the Number of Repeat Customers
To me, this is the holy grail!
If you can increase your repeat business/customers even by a small amount, you will save yourself an absolute fortune in advertising and sales costs.
The relevant saying here is;
‘It costs 7 times as much to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one’
This is so true. In fact, I think that in today’s terms it’s more like 9 times now, because of the increased competition in today’s world.
Examples of methods to increase your repeat customer rate include:
– loyalty programs,
– repeat discounts,
– overdeliver on service,
– make connections,
– encourage reviews,
– have an email list (this is mission critical!) and finally,
– make yourself easy to work with!
Also, note that by building a great customer repeat rate, it not only saves you money in marketing costs, but it also helps you create a loyal following of happy customers. By having happy customers out there spreading the word every day, your business becomes scalable and profitable in a very short period.
So, my final words: if you already have an ecommerce store now, I strongly suggest you calculate your return customer rate – how many customers come back to you again and again – hopefully it will be a good shock, but if not, make it your absolute mission to improve it and do it NOW!
Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at:
Specialist Business Advisor
0409 610 637