Thinking of getting an online shop to sell your goods direct to eager buyers across the country?
Have you devised a marketing plan to promote your online e-store by identifying and contacting prospective customers?
And is that plan for a one-off mega push or a sustained campaign over several weeks?
An online store is at its heart a sales brochure, albeit a very clever one that has instant buying options built in.
So, you need to promote it like a good old fashioned full colour ‘hold it in your hand’ printed sales brochure, to ensure your online e-shop is the success you and your business want it to be.
Sales brochure marketing for e-stores
Any promotional materials take a lot of hard work and preparation to get to the production stage. You need to create enticing images, write selling copy that encourages sales, and wrap it in a design that’s eye-catching and attractive. Only when it’s all been checked and double-checked at several proof stages would you dream of saying to your printer “Go ahead and print it”.
Two weeks later, cartons of lovely, glossy brochures with that distinctive “just printed’ smell arrive and fill up your office, the back storeroom and any other spare inch of dry, clean floorspace available.
And that’s where the hard work really begins.
- For months you would have been working on detailed plans on how to get your brochures into the hands of prospective customers.
- You would have built mailing lists, identified outlets, worked out the optimum day of arrival for maximum sales, printed thousands of labels or engaged a mailing house, arranged special deliveries to stockists, etc.
- The majority of the boxes would be gone in three days as a result, apart from the stack for next month’s marketing push, and another for that forthcoming exhibition or trade show.
Most of all, you would have pre-launched the heck out of your new brochure to build a sense of massive anticipation at its arrival for you, your current customers and the world at large.
Building up YOUR SHOP
The same should apply to your online shop. Just getting it built is not enough. You need to promote it before it goes live and every single day after, in some way or other.
Let’s face it, you do not expect your graphic designer or your printer to help you actually market a printed brochure; their job ended when the cardboard boxes arrived. The same is often true of an e-store; once it’s built and live, most website designers will say “Thank you very much” and send a final invoice.
At Akira Studio, we are more proactive than that.
- We talk all our prospective e-store owners through the whole process of selling online.
- We build our e-stores with lots of ‘behind the scenes’ techie stuff to enable it to be found and indexed properly by the search engines.
- We ensure it works well on mobile devices, and that your e-store hosting is robust to cope with the expected volume of sales.
- We can even research keywords used in searches, and write unique sales copy and meta tags based on these for you, to help boost search engines rankings and drive sales.
Your store, your customers
Then, it’s over to you. There are only two kinds of online shop customers:
1. Those customers who know about your website.
2. Those who don’t.
You need to reach out to those who don’t - and that’s pure marketing.
So, gather every marketing tool you’ve got, and use it:
- Brand everything you can with the e-store web address, including your email footers
- Offer online discounts to existing customers on your email list
- Show your amazing stuff in action on social media - and always include a link to the shop
- Advertise your e-store in the real world using flyers, cards, etc
In other words, whatever you usually do to sell stuff offline, do the same to sell online.
And keep doing it.
For more details on creating your own online store, give us a call. Or follow this blog for monthly blogs on how your business can make the most of being online.