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The very last step in building your e-Commerce shop is to attract clients and convince them to buy from you. In fact, the similarities between physical and online shops are more than you can think of, since the main goals are the same - to make more sales, attract more loyal customers and meet the customers needs and expectations. e-Commerce stores can often apply a wide range of methods and techniques related to the promotion of the shop. These methods might include the following:
- Build relationships with local business partners and markets: be sure to present your products by visiting local bazaars and retailers. The more people know about your brand, the more sales you will make.
- Advertise your business in the traditional way: try to participate in fairs and exhibitions, use flyers, posters and billboards, as well as paid media ads.
- Present your business to all relatives and friends: it will be enough for most of them to disseminate information about your e-store.
- Be active on the social media: whether you like it or not, people are constantly using social media to communicate with each other and this is the place where you can look for new customers. But be aware that the mere presence of your business on social networks is not enough. You have to be active, post content on a daily basis, ask questions and communicate with your followers.
- Do promotions: this is one of the oldest and most effective ways to attract customers. An effective promotion that allows each new customer to use your product or service for free or at a discount for a certain period always opens up the possibility of expanding your market share.
- Make giveaways - the truth is that all people enjoy free things. It is also true that everyone is afraid of wrong expenses. Therefore, when the option for such a cost does not exist, we are all ready to try something new. Therefore, you can distribute samples of your product or make your service free for a certain period. This will allow your potential customers to be convinced of the quality of what you offer, and soon they might become your real clients.
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If you are on your way to do this last task, it means that you are almost ready with your e-Commerce business plan! Do not underestimate it, as it might turn out to be the case that you end up with the best looking online shop, but there are no clients to appreciate it.
So far, you've already fulfilled the technical and legal aspects, and the last thing that you need to do is to create the so-called marketing strategy that will allow you attract customers to your store and start selling.
You will be able to find detailed instructions on how to create the best marketing strategy to attract new customers in the next "Process" section.
In order to be able to execute your task properly, the first thing that you will need to do is to go through the "Resources" section and have a look at the additional readings and videos that will guide you through the process of attracting and gaining customers.
Then, having in mind all the tips and knowledge gained so far, you will have the task to create your marketing strategy, i.e. what you will need to do is to think about all activities, both online and offline, that you can do in the next 3 months in order to promote your business to potential clients. For this purpose, grab an empty sheet (or again, you can use the SWOT Analysis template that you've already filled in the first task) and start by writing each task that you will need to execute in a timely manner.
An example of a plan for attracting customers may be the following:
- Plan to organize a family/friends gathering in order to present your end product. Ask them to share it with their relatives and friends so that they can spread the word.
- Research for upcoming exhibitions/fairs in your region in the next months and make a list with those that you have interest to attend in order to promote your business to different stakeholders.
- Create materials that advertise your shop, such as posters, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Create a plan for publishing ads in local or regional newspapers, media, etc. If you have the necessary budget, you may be able to create a paid media ads as well.
- Create a schedule of posts that you will publish in your social media in the next 3 months. Make sure to post regularly - it is required to be active on the social platforms.
- Plan to launch different discounts of your products/services to celebrate the beginning of your store - people love discounts. This might include free giveaways, so people can test your products and service.
You are free to think of any other activity that will bring customers to your store. Do not limit yourself and make your plan as detailed as possible. Having it all done, the last thing you will have to do is to implement your plan.
As you can see, you do not need millions to attract clients to your online store. The most important thing is to be creative and know which channels to use. Be patient and persistent - success in e-Commerce will not happen overnight. But with the right techniques in the long run you will achieve and even exceed the preliminary set goals. Just don't give up and remember that your customers will be satisfied if they can get what they want, when and where they want it - and you e-Commerce business is simply opening new doors to give it to them.
- 1.10) I can develop (alone or with others) an inspiring vision for the future that involves others.
- 2.19) I can persuade others by providing evidence for my arguments.
- 2.21) I can use various methods, including social media, to communicate value-creating ideas effectively.
- 3.18) I can use the relationships I have to get the support I need to turn ideas into action, including emotional support.
- 3.21) I can reflect on my interaction with others (including peers and mentors) and learn from it.