It’s no secret that online shopping is the norm nowadays. A poll from Morning Brew-Harris found that 50% of millennials (those aged 26 to 44) consistently do most of their shopping online and the number only grows everyday especially . With online stores such as Amazon, EBay, and Etsy being so extremely prevalent in today’s marketplace it only benefits your business to develop a plan to differentiate oneself amongst competitors and bring in a brand new wave of customers. An e-commerce strategy is simply a gameplan for your business to tackle the challenges of approaching the daunting enormity of the internet, but fortune favors the brave. The question is how exactly do you go about making one?

A simple way to define “e-commerce strategy” is that it is a plan for a business to solidify itself by attracting customers and increasing conversion. Common aspects of an e-commerce strategy include utilizing SEO, influencer marketing, and social media. The most essential component within that list is SEO or search engine optimization as it is perhaps the most far-reaching technique for an e-commerce business’ marketing. Search engine optimization is essentially putting the best foot forward on search engines by using utilities such as Google Business Profile to customize information and announce to the world that your business is up and running. Google is extremely prevalent in today’s society so it’s important to maintain a good store front on the search engine to bring in customers. 

Influencer marketing and social media go hand-in-hand as their involvement in your e-commerce strategy utilizes the plethora of creators and platforms on the web to promote your product and business. A survey run by Sprout Social found that 32% of customers learn of new businesses from word-of-mouth while 40% of customers find interesting products and services on their social media feeds. This phenomena is known as organic social media as it involves promotion being found “naturally” through advertisements on social media. Influencer marketing is similar, but it involves a creator (usually with a large following) promoting your product through paid sponsorships. It’s been estimated that 35% of online customers found new products through this method so it’s definitely worth checking out. While there may be downsides to asking people outside of your company to promote your product, influencers can be a helpful tool in expanding your market and promoting your business

It’s important to note that these components only scratch the surface of online marketing, the most important benefit of the internet in regards to marketing is its versatility, so your online business should embrace that fact. To create an effective e-commerce strategy you have to first focus on the fundamentals of any marketing strategy and then simply apply it to the realm of your online business. Focusing on a set goal with key actions to supplement that goal will make any desired improvement a reality. E-commerce marketing should also focus on another key factor: innovation. Business value can increase with conversion, but also with more innovative changes that alter how your business operates in the marketplace. These changes can include the implementation of more fulfillment centers to expand the reach and effectiveness of your distribution channels or even dropshipping to better optimize your inventory. The focus of all implementation should be versatility and innovation as this sets up your business for success. 

Included is an e-commerce strategy template from Canadian Management Center which can help you begin idealizing your business’ path forward.