The promise of making it big online is being fulfilled by a handful of big-name companies like eBay and Amazon. These “category killers” have learned how to dominate the Web medium in their chosen business areas.
Aside from these and other wildly-successful household name online brands, many other companies selling online are still trying to find that perfect marketing mix. It has been over 10 years since the bursting of the dot com bubble, at which time many promising companies completely fell out of favor with the public – and with buyers. The vast majority of these companies have long-since gone out of business.
Of course, since the bursting of that bubble, hundreds of companies each year launch to try to do battle to turn a profit through online sales. And, almost as many each year are giving up or resigning themselves to only a trickle of the income they were hoping for.
The silver lining to this bleak situation is that there remain hundreds of individuals, small businesses, and midsize companies today which fly under the radar of mass media and corporate lore – and yet that are making a killing online. What these companies have mastered is how to conduct the best online marketing for their Web store. And, they are laughing all the way to the bank.
If you are looking for the best online marketing for a Web store, here are answers to 5 frequently-asked-questions about strategic online marketing for a Web store:
1. How does a Web store differ from an e-commerce website?
A Web store (or webstore) refers to the entire website dedicated to selling a certain set of products and services online. Meanwhile, e-commerce is a nearly synonymous term, but it refers more specifically to the transactional elements of the site – such as the shopping cart and payment gateway – that allow for items to actually be selected and paid for (and shipped, when applicable).
2. What is the best way to strategically market a Web store?
The key to an effective online strategy for a Web store is to take an integrated approach to your online efforts. To simplify things a bit, let’s assume that your products and services have already been market-tested in a brick-and-mortar or phone sales-type situation (and by no means is that necessarily a safe assumption in all cases). In that case, the primary strategic decisions you will need to make have to do with how to create an effective, powerful alignment between these elements of the sales process:
* proper on-site placement and display of your products
* the marketing messages you use to position the products to target the right buyers
* creating a direct, simple path between the initial landing page and the checkout or payment page
* providing a means of tracking visitor activity
3. What is a conversion action and what is the conversion rate of a site?
A conversion action is any action a site visitor may take which is desirable to you, the site owner. Usually on an e-commerce site, this is defined as a purchase. You will want to assign an average monetary value to each conversion action for tracking purposes. For example, if you sell multiple products, go back to your most recent 3-6 months of online sales data find the average online sales price.
The conversion rate is a simple formula, defined as: # of conversion divided by # of unique site visitors. Obviously, your constant goal will be to improve your conversion rate.
4. How can I improve my site’s conversion rate?
While the answer to this question can never be one-size-fits-all, it is definitely one of the most important questions you should be asking yourself – maybe THE most important. While there is no single formula for improving conversion rates, the good news is that there are dozens of tricks for doing so. They usually involve adjusting any of the strategic elements of the sales process (see above) and other factors. The key to improving conversion rates is to follow a rigorous campaign of: a. try something new;. b. test it; c. adjust accordingly;. d. repeat. Better conversion rates are won by degree, usually not by huge single leaps.
5. How can I get more visitors to my site?
You need to focus on building backlinks to your site through paid and non-paid methods. Also, by finding ways to improve your search engine rankings, you will be eligible to get “free” traffic just by virtue of being findable when people search for relevant keywords.
Consider the answers to these 5 FAQs as you optimize your Web store with better online marketing.