Sorting Through The eCommerce Channels
With all the channels available market your products it can be overwhelming deciding where to sell your products online. There are a significant number of digital channels such as social media, email, SEO, paid search etc. There are also third party websites like Amazon or Shopify. With all these options and everything else sellers need to worry about it can be difficult prioritizing where to begin selling your products. Here are the three channels that offer both immediate results and set the foundation for long term success.
1. Social Media Marketing
As we discussed in our most recent blog, how startups can launch their product successfully, social media advertising is the perfect way test how the market feels about your product. Social media marketing allows you to target the exact person you had in mind when creating this product. With proper targeting you can get your product in front of them and see how they respond. It is this the fastest way to get in front of your ideal customers to sell your products. It will also uncover valuable insights on how your product is received by the market.
Even if you’ve done extensive research prior to launch chances are some of the audiences won’t purchase your product as much as you anticipated. Additionally, you will likely uncover new audiences for your product that were not initially considered. This is why social media marketing is an absolute must for eCommerce, especially when launching a new product.
2. SEO for eCommerce
SEO (organic search) is consistently the most valuable traffic to an eCommerce website. This is because the traffic is free, the website visitor has intent, and Google or other search engines deem your website to be a good fit for the search. SEO is a long-term strategy that grows over time and leads to strong sales.
It is imperative to start SEO as soon as your website is live. Not only will this build the foundation for all other marketing efforts but it will support any offline interactions you have with potential customers or partners. As an example, when people learn of your new company or product they are likely to Google the company or product name. If you do not have strong SEO in place, especially if your website is new, it is unlikely you will rank for your company or product name. When people cannot find it on a simple Google search it hurts your company’s credibility and can results in lost sales or partnerships.
Unless you are an expert in SEO, it is recommended to hire an agency to handle this for you. The size of your website and the complexities of it will determine the cost the agency charges. At The Missing Link, we have packages starting as low as $1,000 a month. Contact us today to learn more.
3. 3rd Party Websites
Assuming you have enough margin to spare it is imperative that you sell your product on third party websites such as Amazon. These websites generate incredible amounts of traffic and drive some immediate sales. Unfortunately, it does take a lot of work to get your products up on these sites and seen by customers. You not only have to list each individual product, or create product feeds, you have to optimize those products so they show up in search results.
Even though you will be in a large market place, it is challenging to get customers to sort through the competition and view your product. This is why we recommend advertising on Amazon. If you have in-house expertise in this area you should launch campaigns right away. If not we encourage you to work with an agency partner that can set all this up for you. Pricing on these services can really run the gamut. For a free assessment on your situation contact us today.
One of the biggest barriers companies face in joining these 3rd party websites is the fees. Fees charged by a third party website will vary based on your product category with a typical fee being 15% of the product price. Although this is a hit to your margins sales on these sites will provide a quick revenue stream. You can use that revenue to invest in other marketing channels and drive customers directly to your website.
Fulfillment by Amazon
In addition to standing out from the crowd with Amazon, you may have to offer some perks you normally wouldn’t such as free expedited shipping. Amazon Prime guarantees two-day shipping and most Prime members will not purchase an item that does not offer this feature. This can be costly for a business to offer. There is a convenient solution to this challenge, though, Fulfillment by Amazon.
Fulfillment by Amazon means Amazon will handle the shipping, returns and customer service of your products. This will save valuable time to focus on other areas of your business. In addition to saving you time this also makes your items eligible for Amazon Prime. Of course, this is not a free service from Amazon. There are additional fees on top of that roughly 15% fee you’re already paying. The fee you pay for the fulfillment by Amazon depends on the size and weight of what you are shipping out. Here is the pricing breakdown for reference.
Selling products online is hard work and there are only so many hours in the day. With a focus on social media, SEO, and third party eCommerce websites you will be in a good position to gain traction quickly. If you don’t have expertise in these areas, it is important to find the right partner to manage this for you. Without it, you will likely waste a lot of time and money. To see how we can help you achieve your goals in eCommerce contact us today.