Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.234.114.202

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Give advice for small e-commerce sites to suceed

     
8:05 pm on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3436
votes: 317


Often it is much easier to work on big sites because you have more resources to attack a problem. Unfortunately that is not an option for some people who are trying to chase their dream of launching a new business. My friend recently asked me for help and I figured some of you might be facing the same challenges and others might have more suggestions that a small e-commerce site can benefit from.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

Maximize all data fields
When creating a product page you want to include as many relevant data fields as possible and you want to populate those data fields with as much information as possible. Users are less likely to buy your product if they can't figure out if the product is a good match for them. Your chances of Google traffic are very small if you don't even mention the long tail keywords and synonyms on your page. This will help your usability and SEO. Of course you can take it to a crazy extreme and hurt yourself so let's keep it relevant, focused and well organized.

Build up evergreen content
As much as you improve your product pages, they are still just products and not likely to attract traffic on their own. To help attract traffic and links create valuable evergreen content on your site. My friend is selling running skirts & kilts so I suggested posting some articles about how to run safely in the summer heat and winter cold and similar helpful topics. Ideally you want to seek out questions that haven't already been answered 100 times or answer it 100% better than anything else previously like with a video demonstration.

Collaborate, Collaborate, and Collaborate
I also encouraged my friend to build a network of online supporters. Some supporters are blogs for runners. When she launches a new product, she can provide those bloggers a free running skirt to test out and also give a discount code to their readers. This helps her gain real product feedback which is huge for a new company and it also lays the groundwork for a grassroots marketing campaign not to mention possibly a few backlinks. She could do something similar with websites that participate in affiliate programs. I also encourage her to engage with amateur runners who are on twitter & facebook. This helps to further build up on the grassroots level. By publicly reaching out & engaging people on blogs, twitter and other social channels it leads to people in the press noticing and that leads to press coverage.

My friend would like Google traffic but that is not her primary goal. Her primary goal is being successful. The more successful she becomes the more Google sends her traffic without her actively trying to rank.

What suggestions would you give to a small e-commerce website with limited resources?
1:41 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 5, 2006
posts:3450
votes: 60



My friend would like Google traffic but that is not her primary goal. Her primary goal is being successful. The more successful she becomes the more Google sends her traffic without her actively trying to rank.

That is the key to the whole thing in my view.
4:42 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 16, 2010
posts:3828
votes: 31


@ goodroi:


"What suggestions would you give to a small e-commerce website with limited resources?"


While I respect your opinion greatly, I would have to disagree with your suggestions.

The #1 piece of advice I would give is the same that Maile Ohye gives:

Have a killer unique value proposition.


Spend as much time and money required doing market research as you need to figure out what you should be selling and to whom you should be selling.

You want your UVP to be so good that you can make a hefty profit using Adwords to advertise your site and its products. Use the adwords data to fine-tune your UVP.

If you can't make a hefty profit while using adwords, then I would reconsider the products I was trying to sell or demographic that I was trying to reach.

Only after all that is done would I start to focus on SEO.

Hope this helps.
5:00 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:8868
votes: 727


Best products and finest website in the world means nothing if it can't compete on price, shipping, and customer experience (after the sale). No word of mouth, no future growth.

Being better than anyone else doing the same thing, or you best have a UNIQUE and TRADEMARKED product that no one else sells (or can sell without getting it from you) AND enough market interest to turn over product with no worry of market saturation.

And what Planet13 said, too.
5:23 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 1, 2013
posts:1338
votes: 22


I'm gonna answer this along business lines.

Price, Service, Quality


Pick two of the three to focus on. You'll find the answer to which two rooted in your understanding of your target audience/market. Trying to excel at all three, is generally a recipe for financial ruin.

Next, per Planet13, boil your value proposition down to exactly what your audience is looking for in the above two areas of focus you've chosen.

Per goodroi, build pertinent information into your pages. This information should support the value proposition and the available options.

Once you've gained someone's attention with a value proposition or via your reputation, you don't want to distract them from that. Choices should simply lead from

"This is a great deal"

to

"and they have it in my size and favorite color."

About Evergreen content, social networking, etc. All that is really about about getting people close enough to engage with your value proposition. Many succeed at attracting visitors and then fail miserably to convert them into customers. Both steps are important but one converted visitor is more beneficial than 20 that don't convert.

Bottom line: Get good at converting the visitors you do get before worrying about how many you get. I'll take a high conversion rate any day over high volumes of low-converting traffic (the later can be a financial drain in itself).