To create a successful business, a well-defined plan is required. Take a look at our Ecommerce Strategy infographic which guides through the process of building and maintaining an ecommerce store. From the initial research and data collection to website audits, each step is outlined for an effective online strategy.
Research & Data Collection
Identify competitors and define the audience. Analyze data collected from the Brick & Mortar store location(s) if available. Compile an ecommerce requirements document detailing your research findings.
Define your value proposition. What is your company’s competitive advantage? Where can you focus your efforts to maximize your competitive edge? Defining your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats early in the process will ensure you will capitalize on them later.
- Sell many popular designer brands
- Ability to undercut competitors in price
- Loyal shoppers at Brick & Mortar storefront
- Web architecture creates high converting website
- Unknown in the industry outside local shoppers
- Employees are all new to ecommerce
- Carry fewer designers than authoritative competitors
- Budget constraints
- Grow business internationally through ecommerce
- Greater exposure to thousands of potential consumers
- Sales through marketing channels such as: affiliate, facebook, pinterest, twitter, etc.
- Authoritative competitors ranking for relevant keywords
- SEO algorithms constantly evolving so need to devote time to stay current
- Larger companies with substantial budgets
Design & Development
Devote significant time to designing the taxonomy of the website. Create wireframes before you create a design. Perform a thorough Quality Assurance review of the planned website and correct any issues.
Evaluate and prioritize marketing channels. For example, if you have a brand new website looking for quick traffic, consider Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). Other marketing initiatives include: email marketing, SEO, affiliate marketing, etc.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Various Marketing Strategies
- Brand exposure on thousands of affiliate websites
- Targeting consumers already in “buy mode”
- Reduces margin
- Too much focus on coupons/promotions may cannibalize brand
- Immediate & relevant traffic
- A/B testing can determine most effective ads
- Exposure is based on competitive bid pricing
- Without proper research, cost may exceed return
- High conversion and ROI
- Effective Cost Per Click usually lower than other marketing channels
- Takes time to build authority and achieve rank
- Algorithms change: risk of losing placement
- Often high conversion since shoppers are already familiar with brand
- Good for retention and increasing Customer Lifetime Value
- Might not be effective if your email list is very small
- Requires work to properly segment a database
Continuously research current technologies and strategies to maintain your website. Utilize services like Google Webmaster Tools to crawl website errors so you can fix bugs. Also take advantage of tools like Page Speed Insights to monitor your website’s load time, and respond to the suggestions to optimize site speed.
You should never take time off from developing and improving your website. If you’re not currently in design, it’s still imperative to measure the success of your website and marketing strategies. Take advantage of free tools such as Google Analytics to track visits, keywords and conversion. Analyze and optimize frequently!