To be first in e-commerce you have to develop an e-commerce strategy. Businesses around the world in all kinds of fields have seen their resilience greatly tested during the pandemic. It was either adapt or go broke.
Studies have shown that the companies that thrived during the pandemic were those that partnered with digital giants and restructured for online accessibility. If your business hasn’t done so yet, now is the time to catch up before it’s too late. In this article, we will discuss how to develop an e-commerce strategy. Strategic team planning for pricing and sales teams!
How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy
E-commerce businesses are becoming an essential extension of any business. The recent increase in businesses operating online due to the coronavirus pandemic has created a new normal. People have become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping for products and services . Businesses that don’t adapt to this new normal will be left behind.
Our quick guide will give you a comprehensive overview of what you need to consider before setting up an online platform. Adapting to the digital future is key to enabling growth and longevity for your business. And it’s not as difficult as you might think, but it will take dedication and hard work. And develop an e-commerce strategy.
The first thing you need to understand is that building your e-commerce strategy will involve detailed planning. Learning individual tactics is important, but without an overall plan it will be easy to feel overwhelmed.
How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy – Build an Action Plan
Many businesses will rush to build their e-commerce sites without a proper roadmap. With talented team members, you might be able to get away with it for a while, but eventually you’ll get lost. Comprehensive action plans will prevent this from happening and allow you to have direction for up to a year later. Your action plan should consider as many functions as possible, while being specific. It is important to define task delegations and prioritize actions for key deliverables.
Define the objectives and main deliverables of the e-commerce strategy
Companies that take action without goals will not be able to measure progress and continually improve. Teams will end up feeling lost without goal points and especially without a list of key deliverables to base the work on. Planning will also become chaotic if these things are not clear.
The first thing you want to share is what do we want to accomplish and when? This can include what you think a successful launch will look like, as well as your goals for the year. Start broad, then get specific and granular. And develop an e-commerce strategy.
Some examples of important goals include increasing traffic to your website, increasing new and repeat customers, and increasing your revenue . Granular goals, i.e. your main deliverables, can include launching a specific number of product campaigns. Another would be to reach a certain number of new customers per month or increase product lines.
Building your brand image is often a difficult task. It will be easy to get lost or become inconsistent. That’s why it’s important to find your target market.
Defining your target market influences how you conduct your marketing efforts and positioning. Your brand image will also follow. If you already have an established brand and are transitioning online, you can send out a survey to refine your demographic profile. New brands or businesses can decide who they want to target and build their structures around that.
Create your teams
A mistake that many companies make is underestimating the work required to create an e-commerce platform. It can be tempting to cut costs and delegate work to skilled employees you already have. However, it is a good way to build a below average presence.
The next step when you have defined your goals is to create teams that will lead the different departments of your e-commerce store. These may include management, operations and development, logistics and marketing. They can focus on these tasks independently, relieving management or other employees of additional work for which they are not specifically qualified.
Understanding your competition as an e-commerce strategy
When discussing how to develop an e-commerce strategy, you need to understand the market you are in. Without proper understanding, you will head blindly into unfamiliar territory. You can remedy this by researching your competitors. Take note of their strengths and weaknesses and find a niche in the market that you can fill.
It’s also worth checking out how competitors are optimizing their sites and user experience. Especially since their brand may be more established than yours. Search engine optimization or SEO tools can help you analyze your competitors. This can help you determine where the traffic is coming from.
Build your internal capabilities
Part of how to develop an e-commerce strategy is to build internal capabilities that can support your platform.
Unfortunately, you can’t just build a website and leave it at that. You will need a competent team working closely with you and the rest of your departments. This team can both create and maintain your website. They will also take care of any errors you need to fix and any site updates you need to make.
Logistics and management
Your strategy should include a logistics and management department. They can oversee and refine processes. This includes when an order is placed, packed, shipped and delivered. You will also need a good inventory management strategy.
How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy – Digital Marketing
One of the fundamental aspects of your e-commerce strategy is digital marketing . Sometimes it’s not enough to let the product speak for itself. People just won’t know about you if you’re not visible. Your digital marketing strategy will be responsible for making people aware that you exist. Here are some of the most important ideas you will need to consider:
Search engine optimization basically does what its name says. This optimizes your website for search engines so that you are easily found. When someone types in something related to your product or service, you’ll want to rank high on that list.
There are many ways to work on your SEO. If you had to narrow it down, SEO tools are one of the most important. It is an investment, but they are invaluable and will lead to better understanding. They allow you to break down what you need to improve .
You may think that content creation doesn’t apply to your business. However, there are many forms of content you can use to connect with your audience. When done well, your content fits in seamlessly with your business offerings and won’t be seen as blatant advertising. This can take many forms such as:
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Product Guides
You might be suspicious of the last point, but believe us, influencers get paid big for a reason. They have become the bridge to an audience jaded by paid ads. Influencers have massive followers for specific niches. Tapping into their audience can be a great way to attract new customers to your website.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be just annoying unwanted ads. Some very successful approaches include creative and thoughtful campaigns that resonate with your audience. This can take the form of strategically designed personalized newsletters.
Social media has quickly become one of the most powerful ways to both share content and sell products or services. Statista reports that more than 30% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 35 purchased items on social media.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest quickly realized this and updated their formats to include shops and quick links to online stores. These platforms have essentially become extensions of websites. This should be a key consideration in your e-commerce strategy.
Optimize your pricing teams for your e-commerce strategy
One thing you might overlook is building a competent pricing department. Companies often think they can rely on accounting or sales. However, pricing is much more complex than that and will require much more specialized employees.
Pricing teams are essential for any business, but especially for those transitioning into unfamiliar online territory. These teams have specific knowledge about pricing in different markets and are key to moving your business forward. Pricing can make or break your business, as markets fluctuate very quickly with new technologies. Consider hiring a professional pricing firm to maximize your pricing capabilities.
How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy – Bottomline
Figuring out how to develop an e-commerce strategy can seem daunting. However, with the right planning and the right teams, this is not necessary. Build strong internal capabilities. Hire knowledgeable pricing teams to drive your business forward.
These days, it’s easy to maximize the wide range of digital platforms available to reach more people. Do this by creating thoughtful content and digital marketing campaigns. Soon you will have built yourself a thriving e-commerce platform and presence.