Running an eCommerce business can mean creating work that you love and getting paid well to do it. Of course, it doesn’t always seem like that when you’re just getting started. There’s a ton to learn, and often this learning comes with a cost—either a financial cost or an emotional one. With that in mind, the following aims to help you learn some of the tougher lessons without the cost by exploring seven tips on how you can optimize your eCommerce business. The goal here is to grow your business without sacrificing what it is you love about your work and process.
Learn How To Pitch
Elevator pitches are one of the most dreaded aspects of owning a business, but it’s something that you’re simply going to have to get over. You need to be able to succinctly tell people about your business in a way that’s engaging and quick. Take the time to write out a one or two-sentence summary of your work. It should cover who you are, what you help people do, how you help them do it, and how this benefits them. If you can’t do this yourself, hire a copywriter to write it for you. Memorize it. Practise saying it in front of the mirror. This way, whenever your work comes up in conversation or in online engagements, you can easily and fluidly present your work. Turn the elevator pitch into a blurb and use it in your bio on social media platforms and on the home page of your website so people who land there immediately get your vibe.
Understand You Will Never Be Good At Pitching Yourself
But you just said… Yes, you need to know how to present yourself and your work to people. There’s no getting around this. There’s also no getting around the brutal marketing truth that other people are always going to be better at pitching you than you are yourself. This mindset shift will allow you to alter your marketing efforts. You want to give your super fans (the people who utterly adore your product or service) everything they need to shout about you on all their social media pages and in all their in-person interactions.
The brilliant part of this tip is that not only are people better at pitching others than themselves, but consumers are more likely to trust someone who has no financial skin in the game than someone who does. People outside your company raving about your company is worth far more than you and your staff broadcasting your work.
Let People Pay You However They Want To Pay You
This point isn’t stressed enough in any online articles about running an eCommerce business, but it is absolutely vital. If someone wants to give you their money, but you don’t accept it, this is a waste of your time, their time, and a percentage of your marketing efforts. This means you should seek to expand how you accept payments to include not just credit cards but PayPal accounts, Venmo accounts, Wise accounts, and even Bitcoin. There’s no need to be turning down money.
Examine Your Deepest Wounds
Brutal heading, right? That doesn’t mean it’s not effective. This is a hard one, and it’s okay if it takes you some time, but it’s incredibly powerful. Take a moment to think about what your deepest wound is. That’s the key to understanding your target audience. Why? Because your work is a direct result of your life experiences. It came into your life and helped you with your pain. It can also help other people with the same kind of pain. Looking at all your content marketing through this lens can help you create truly authentic content that connects with people on an emotional level and helps real people with real problems.
Get Your Website Polished
Seriously. Selling online inevitably leads someone to your website (or your store’s page on a particular eCommerce site). Take the time to make it look nice. You also want it to be functional (that means making it easy for people to find the things they’re looking for). Ensure that your site is mobile friendly; BigCommerce web designers point out that 65% of online shopping is done on a mobile phone. Keep everything updated. And for goodness sake, make sure that you have the proper security certificates to keep your page secure.
Learn To Write Conversationally (Or Hire Someone Who Can)
Your content, your website copy, and your product descriptions can be made infinitely stronger when you learn about conversational writing. In school, kids are taught to write academically—to sound professional and polished and, let’s face it, a little robotic. While that can help you get A’s and earn respect in academic journals, it’s not going to help you make sales. It might even stop you from it. Humans want to buy products from humans. They want to feel like you have a personality. If this is really difficult for you, consider sitting down in a cafe and writing down what people around you are saying, word for word. Watch movies or television shows with characters that have the same accent as you and write down what they’re saying, word for word. Very quickly, you’ll learn that human speech has a beautiful, messy flow to it.
Show Your Face (If You Want)
This is a hard one for a lot of people, but it ties into the above point about conversational writing. People want to buy from people; they want to support people. Corporations, conglomerates, and robots aren’t what consumers are looking for. Show yourself. Share your story. Let people peek behind the scenes. Study after study has found that advertisements with people in them fare better than those that don’t have human faces. This is because, on a deep, primal level, most people are actually looking for connection in everything they do. Humans are pack animals; we want to feel togetherness.
Skip Over The Urgent Trends
This is a small point, but it can save you a ton of money and effort. If there’s something happening online or in the world that you need to act on immediately if you want to benefit from, you need to understand that this is almost certainly a blip trend. If it feels that urgent, this is a sign that it’s going to fade just as quickly as it rose, and this means any positive impacts it has on your business are going to be shortlived—likely so shortlived that they’re not worth the stressful week you had trying to jump on the trend in the first place.
The above information should have given you a few lesser-known yet highly effective methods for optimizing your eCommerce business. It’s also a good idea to understand reasonable timelines. The vast majority of online businesses don’t really hit their stride until the third or fifth year. Those businesses that seem flawlessly successful are often seven years old or older.