Coaches Corner

Strategies to Drive Shoppers to Your Online Store

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Ecommerce sites face countless challenges and numerous rivals. However, crafty business owners can learn from the experts to get ahead and get tractions. Keep in mind these tips for driving users to your ecommerce ecommerce site.

Pick a niche – and dominate it. How do you compete with a company as big and successful as Amazon? The answer is that you don't. It would require countless millions of dollars to even begin to challenge Amazon, so the key is to find one tiny corner of a very specific industry and master it. "For new entrepreneurs, embracing a niche is the best path to success in the short term," says Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom.

Eric Siu of Single Grain agrees, pointing out that every massive business got its start in an extremely specialized area before expanding. "Look at the Apples of the world," he says. "Focus on one thing first, be really good at it and continue to expand to other areas as you grow."

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Make your offer clear. Explain why customers should shop with you. Marketing consultant Brian Honigman says if you sell white t-shirts, ask yourself why yours are of more value to a customer than someone else’s and communicate that value. If you cannot offer a unique, one-of-a-kind product, you have to deliver that product or offer it in a fresh way. Then suss out how you can convey that value. Says Siu, "You need to be doing something unique so people will talk about it and it'll be press worthy."

Honigman recommends new ecommerce sites look to for ideas on how to communicate your unique value to customers. An online wholesale store, Boxed differentiates itself from the competition by building its entire brand around lower prices and larger quantities of goods. Their brand is clear and present across all platforms, from mobile devices to social media services like Instagram. "They have a clear message that's consistent across every channel where they're active," Honigman says.

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Content is still king. As with any other online business, having a sound content strategy will remarkably improve your site's reachability and SEO. Don’t just reuse the copy that the manufacturer provides, for instance, our experts suggest. Not only is this boring, but it could trigger duplicate content penalties with Google and will harm your site's visibility.

The solution is simple: get creative. "Start with unique content on each page," DeMers says. "Adopt a content strategy, execute it well and augment it with social media marketing to build and differentiate your brand." Publishing content that reinforces your brand, on and off your site, will prove beneficial to SEO in the long run, driving organic traffic to your site.

Seek out your audience. Honigman suggests you discover where future customers will exist online and to go to them. This strategy requires research and listening close to conversations on Twitter, blogs and other online platforms but the legwork will be worth it in end. Through this process, you’ll learn in real time what your potential customer is looking for, how you can meet their needs and on which platforms you should be active.

Once you know whether sites such as Facebook or Pinterest are a fit for your customer, you can reach out with your unique brand message and start educating your audience.