5 ways to promote your online store without spending a penny
The pandemic played a very important role in boosting the digital adoption as a major chunk of retail stores tried to replicate their in-person sales in digital storefronts—some for the first time. Online selling is no longer a luxury, it’s the need of the hour. Episerver research from 2020 shows that 19% of customers shop online at least once a week. Now when the consumers have already made a drift to online shopping, the retailers couldn’t step back. Many new brands try to sell via marketplaces as that particular channel is much more popular. But nowadays, Amazon, Flipkart and other such marketplaces have imposed seller restrictions where they downplay the brand’s identity and maintain their homogeneous image. Due to this, the brands have started resorting to non-marketplace selling where they create their own brand image. Though this channel is more lucrative but creating a virtual store isn’t the end, instead it is the beginning of an entirely different journey.
Though online selling seems promising and profitable, an online store is likely not going to make a killing: you’ve got hard work ahead to attract and retain customers, encourage them to buy more, and shop regularly. This increase in sales couldn’t be witnessed overnight as it requires a continuous effort and a tactical approach. The better way is to choose a limited number of ways to promote your online store. Focus your efforts on those channels, and measure your results to see what’s working and what isn’t. But the question is where do you start from?
- Utilize your email list: You might be having a couple of email addresses already and you should focus on collecting as many as possible. Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools in the ecommerce toolbox, so make sure that you keep collecting email addresses on your site. Some brands use pop-up boxes to prompt users to enter their email addresses in return for a small promotion, like 15% off their first purchase, or free shipping. This might show results overnight but would surely keep the audience hooked up with your brand.
- SEO Optimization: Trying to optimize the website can lead you down a deep, deep rabbit hole. So before starting with this, you need to know your target audience well and how they talk about your products. In simple terms, you should keep in mind that your website should use the language which your customers would use while searching for your products. Along with this, you should pay attention to the headline, meta tags, image optimization, etc. which would increase the speed of your website.
- Advertise on Social Media: “Right from the beginning, it’s important to go live with your social media marketing efforts,” says Blogging.org’s Zac Johnson. “This includes building a following and also making sure you have a presence on all platforms.” Delivering relevant content of your genre that engages common masses is the best way to attract the attention of the followers. In terms of e-commerce, facebook and instagram are very popular platforms for direct selling as well.
- Strategic Partnerships: Network with the major players of your genre and take their help to create a buzz of your store. Contact blogs to see if they’d be happy to review your products or website in a post. By having your website featured in a post on a popular site, you can drive thousands of targeted visitors to your ecommerce site. Also, you can reach out to the influencers and start engaging with them by following their accounts, liking their posts, and provide them a value proposition of your solution. This strategy might help increase the followers overnight.
- Blogging: Content marketing has a limitless potential in any field. Majority of the people wish to read a variety of case studies and update themselves about the industry. By producing free, valuable content, you create trust in your brand and keep people informed. To get started, think of all the starting-point queries people have about your products and industry. Use your blog to answer these questions as individual articles. For example, if you have a fashion brand, users might be interested in knowing the latest trends and their use cases.
Hopefully, you now have a handful of ideas to start with, that too without spending a penny. These could be the go to strategies for any brand to start with their initial sales and you could keep adding more to it as you move forward. But marketing the brand always asks for consistency and creativity. Whether it’s in the morning while you have a cup of coffee or during the “slow period” at your brick-and-mortar location, getting into a routine will help make marketing your store more manageable and effective for you.