So, it’s 2014 and we bet it’s going to be a very important year for you (actually, every year is. We just like to jazz it up). As an ecommerce store owner or a business owner, we are sure you made up some resolutions. Like everyone else, though, your business-centric resolutions are critical for your business growth. So, no matter what you do, stick to those resolutions. Entrepreneurs have it tough, most of the time. You’d need a great deal of confidence, chutzpah, guts, and determination to help you sail through.
Here are a few ways to meet your retailing future with confidence:
Fix what needs fixing
Go back to your website and do a detailed study and bring everything on your plate – from the web design elements to graphics; from logos to product images; from copy to links; from navigation to site loading time; from backlinks to the widgets you use on your ecommerce store. Everything gets under the radar. Dedicate an hour or two each day and do what one thing that either eliminates or at least solves the problem. Your goals are simple:
- Your site should load quickly. Greg Wise of HubSpot points out that online shoppers leave your site in less than 3 seconds. They expect your pages to load in 2 seconds or less.
- Your ecommerce site has to be responsive. There are no workarounds to this. Either you make it responsive or your customers will squint, swear, and leave. Don Dodds – managing partner and Chief Strategist of M16 Marketing who wrote for Huffington Post – states that responsive sites are fluid. Your site can cater to people who are ever on the move. Your ecommerce store loads quickly and makes it easy for your mobile, and roving customers.
Rework your Social Media Strategy
Whether you are selling or not, marketing or not, have an online store or not, you just got to be on social media. No hesitation. No second thoughts. Absolutely, no excuses will work anymore. In fact, it’s so important that companies now have dedicated budgets and personnel for social media alone. You can go at social media your way, but the point is that you have to be there. Depending on business niche, get active on your social media accounts. To save your time, read our shortest social media guide you’ll ever need.
There’s “social” in social media. If you just had to pick a single word from this post, pick “social” and go have conversations.
Bank on content
Content marketing will only get bigger in 2014 and beyond. More content will be created and shared. If there’s so much of content around, you’ll have to stand out. You’ll need to make heads turn. The easy way (not easy, really) is to add voice, character, style, and guts to your content. If you can weave in stories for your products, it’d work even better. Lauren Drell of Contently shares her ideas on how stories help sell products better.
Awesomeness, good, great, and magic bullet apart, publish content regularly. It’s the boring and resource-intense part of content marketing but it’s the engine, really.
Make some decisions
If you are selling on eBay and if it’s not working for you, try Amazon. If you think that you need branding (and these marketplaces cannot give you enough to create a brand for your business), launch your own ecommerce store on independent platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce. Hire if you need to. Invest in new tools. Explore with new ways of marketing. Do something you haven’t done before.
Forget the old. Embrace the new
Things change really quickly on the Internet. For instance, Facebook seems to be losing it slowly and isn’t able to be what it could have been for small businesses. Nate Elliot of Forrester declares that Facebook is a failed product while Matt Owen of econsultancy has a point to make : which goes something like
“Don’t blame the tool, blame yourself”
The point, however, is this: things change and from your own efforts month after month, you’ll realize that some social networks or other traffic sources don’t work as well as others do. Pick what works and discard the rest.
What are you going to do this year? Tell us everything about your business-related new year resolutions?