The business lockdown that resulted from the recent pandemic has shifted the focus of many brick and mortar retailers to the online marketplace. Branching out into eCommerce offers numerous benefits that can help you expand your business. However, the already crowded online marketplace is more over-populated than ever. In order to succeed, you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd and remain competitive. You may feel like the products you’re offering are unique but remember, you’ll be going up against online retailers like Amazon, where you can buy almost anything or websites like Etsy that specializes in unique products. That doesn’t mean success in the online marketplace is impossible. There are things you can do to help set you apart from the competition.
Create a Niche
You may be selling products similar to what other online retailers are offering. This is where you need to get creative. You may be selling shoes but so are companies like Zappos. They carry just about every brand and type of shoe made, making them tough to beat. One way to succeed in online retail is to have a specialty. Instead of simply marketing your business as an online shoe store, target a specific audience. Maybe you specialize in women’s high heels or men’s work shoes. Once you identify your specialty, you can use it to increase your search engine ranking as well. Potential customers will often type in the specific kind of shoe they are looking for when they search.
Because the online marketplace is so crowded, it’s important to keep your eye on the competition. It’s especially important to know what they’re charging for items you both carry. If possible, make your prices lower than theirs. Online shopping has made it so much easier for customers to compare pricing that having the best price could give you a competitive edge. While this will reduce your profit margin, it can increase your customer base and your sales volume. If you don’t feel you can offer a lower price, at least offer a comparable one. Then look for other ways to lure customers away from your competitors.
No matter how good your products are, consumers won’t know that until they’ve tried them. If everyday lower prices aren’t an option, consider an introductory discount for first-time shoppers. You can also offer discounts for referring a friend or offer free shipping. Free shipping can be a big draw when trying to attract new customers. An article by Rejoiner cited an AlixPartners survey which showed that shipping cost was the number 2 reason for consumers to abandon their online shopping cart. Out of the group that participated in the survey, 95% said that shipping costs impact their online ordering decisions. Hassle-free returns are also a great way to attract new customers. Some companies are offering free returns while others are allowing you to return them to their local brick and mortar store.
Excellent Customer Service
Online or in-person, excellent customer service can go a long way. If a customer has an issue with a purchase, go above and beyond to make it right. Add free samples, surprise bonuses, and discount coupons to your shipments. Do everything you can to make sure every customer is completely satisfied with their purchase. This will help to build strong brand loyalty, resulting in repeat business. Satisfied customers can often become your best advocates, telling friends how pleasant their own experience was with your company.
While these actions will all contribute to building your online presence, you will have to up your marketing game as well. Unless you have some website or digital marketing experience, it’s best to hire a professional agency to handle it for you. If you get it wrong, your online efforts could do more harm than good.
Funding Online Marketplace Success
Succeeding in the online marketplace can be challenging but not impossible. Like any other business venture, It is an investment of time, effort, and of course, money. At CapFlow Funding Group, we understand that this kind of investment can be difficult when experiencing a downturn in business, no matter what the reason.
We offer invoice factoring and merchant cash advances and are dedicated to providing the short-term working capital you need to establish your presence in the online marketplace and remain competitive. We will work with you to find the best funding solution for your business.
CapFlow Funding Group specializes in factoring and merchant cash advances., We also work with trusted partners to provide other alternative financing options that may be better suited to our clients’ business needs. We service many different industries with a variety of funding needs. Contact us today and find out how invoice factoring can help grow your small business.