ONLINE SHOP MARKETING
FEATURES OF THE INDUSTRY
Many people consider or dream of starting their own business. Some individuals have a passion for a specific craft, possess the necessary knowledge and skills, and are ready to create their own product or service (such as unique clothing, jewelry, furniture, cakes, anything of their own production). Others have a strong desire to engage in business, buy and sell, seek clients, communicate and negotiate, deriving satisfaction from the process and profit. Both groups, whether creating a product or engaging in business activities, require knowledge of effective marketing and product promotion in the market.
Typically, many new entrepreneurs think along these lines: "It's simple now! I'll open an online store, gradually figure out everything, learn what I need, clients will come - the first, second, fifth, tenth! We'll break through! We'll become successful!" Unfortunately, after some time, the business closes, and the novice entrepreneur incurs losses, having lost their own or borrowed funds, consumed by rent and operating expenses, without even seeing a hint of profit.
There can be many reasons for such a state of affairs, but the main reason is often the inadequate approach to marketing and product promotion. Registering as an individual entrepreneur or a limited liability company, ordering a website from developers, signing contracts with suppliers, or setting up a small production are all insufficient for commercial success. Without a customer base and a constant influx of clients, it is impossible to develop a business in today's conditions - competition is fierce in almost all industries and niches.
A responsible entrepreneur should realize from the beginning of planning that opening an online store and filling it with products is only 5-10% of the path to business success. The remaining 90% is the investment in marketing and product promotion.
To understand the marketing of an online store, one must first grasp the general characteristics of e-commerce, which define the entire ecosystem of promoting goods and services on the internet. Here are the main ones:
- False impression of countless potential customers. The perception of the internet as a global network where anything and anyone can be found, full openness, and accessibility of knowledge, the ocean of information and users - all create a false impression that simply launching a website will immediately attract a mass of potential customers, and the business will surely be successful. Unfortunately, this does not reflect reality. The internet is filled with so many websites and information that the appearance of yet another site without conscientious and prolonged promotion goes unnoticed by any potential customer. The algorithms of search engines like Google are built in such a way that a new site with unproven usefulness has no chance of attracting visitors.
- Fierce competition for visitors. The previous point leads to intense competition for the attention of potential users and buyers through advertising and other promotion methods. In simplified terms, the promotion system works as follows: a site is launched, information on the site is shown to potential customers through advertising, search engines like Google automatically register the user's reaction to the site, and only in the case of a positive reaction according to multiple criteria, search engines gradually and very slowly start offering the site to other users in organic search. Every visitor attracted to the site is invaluable, as their actions are evaluated by search engines to determine the site's fate in the search system.
- Competition for advertising space. Furthermore, as we see, websites compete not only for visitors but also for advertising impressions. The majority of internet users will not go beyond the first page of organic search, the first few advertising announcements, or try to skip through video ads. In other words, the number of genuinely effective advertising spaces is limited, and advertisers compete monetarily for ad placement.
- Online store as a full-fledged business. Many beginners perceive an online store as a light version of a business. Of course, an online store is not a factory or plant, but such a light approach is still incorrect. An online store should be regarded as a full-fledged business in terms of its organization, involving key factors. Firstly, it requires strategic planning, including market analysis, target audience, and competitors. Secondly, an effective organizational structure and appropriate roles are necessary - management, accounting, procurement, warehouse, logistics, sales, marketing, etc. The third aspect involves managing business processes. In general, an online store requires a systematic and comprehensive approach to all business aspects to achieve success and stable growth.
- Technologies and trends. The development of technologies and consideration of current trends are crucial for the success of e-commerce. Implementing advanced solutions and practices in IT, marketing, and sales, as well as using analytics to understand customer behavior, help businesses more precisely direct their strategies and emerge as winners in competitive battles. Moreover, a new revolution in technology is approaching, where a large number of tasks will be solved using artificial intelligence, which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the field of e-commerce.
Certainly, one could write multiple articles about e-commerce and provide a list of several dozen market features. However, in our opinion, the points mentioned above are the most essential for understanding the processes of marketing an online store. Therefore, let's move on to the consideration of marketing elements, which is the goal of this article.
SOME GENERAL STRATEGIES AND APPROACHESS
Depending on the industry, the marketing strategy of an online store can vary significantly. Furthermore, the budget size and initial capital of the business also play a crucial role. Nevertheless, considering current trends, we can provide a list of key marketing approaches and tools that are essential for success:
- Traditional Advertising. This includes TV, radio, and print media. While TV advertising may be cost-prohibitive for most internet stores, local radio or publications can still be effective for promoting local online stores.
- Search Advertising. Google advertising is highly effective, as it targets potential customers actively searching for what they need. It requires skills to manage effectively and avoid wasting the budget on irrelevant clicks.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization for the online store is crucial to increase organic search visibility. Experienced SEO specialists are needed for internal site optimization and building quality external links.
- Content Marketing. Creating interesting and useful content, such as articles, videos, or infographics, helps attract attention and enhance the store's authority. This content can be shared on the website, social media, and email newsletters.
- External Marketplaces. Presence on key marketplaces can be a powerful tool for promotion. However, competition on such platforms often revolves around pricing.
- Social Media. Active engagement on social media is essential for attracting and retaining an audience. For some businesses, social media can be a powerful promotion channel.
- Email and Messengers. Email and messenger campaigns are active tools for stimulating repeat purchases and maintaining loyalty among existing customers.
- Loyalty Programs. Almost every store utilizes some form of loyalty program, offering discounts and bonuses to customers. While standing out with such a program may be challenging, having one is necessary to stay competitive.
- Offline Marketing. Despite being online businesses, internet stores require a comprehensive marketing approach. Offline branding elements like brand platform, positioning, corporate style, employee uniforms, office appearance, and showroom presence are crucial for overall success. Ignoring these elements can be detrimental to the company's success.
It should be noted that within one article, we cannot show all the pitfalls or demonstrate all the marketing methods and tools specific to online shop marketing. In other words, these are just a few examples of quite general marketing approaches that can be applied to online business. From a practical point of view, everything is much more complicated - the choice of a specific marketing strategy and tools depends on the target audience, competitive environment, and unique advantages of the company, etc. At the same time, it is desirable to understand that online shop marketing may encounter a number of specific problems that are unique to each individual case and require an individual approach to their solution.
Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services
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