A great example of a local merchant who started from the bottom in online merchandising is Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, which has transformed into the biggest e-commerce website in the world today. Jeff started Amazon in 1994 with a vision of growing the company into a global retail powerhouse just like it went ahead to become two decades later.
Bezos began with only a few, simple products like computer software and hardware. Jeff has since grown from a small merchandiser in Seattle into the biggest online retailer in the world, hosting separate Amazon websites in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch and Standard Chinese.
By the end of 2015, Amazon had employed over 220,000 employees globally and the growth continues every month. So how did Jeff transform himself from that local unknown merchandiser into this international ecommerce giant? The answer lies in the following tips, which are crucial to creating an international marketer of Jeff’s caliber.
Building Site Traffic
The first and the most important strategy that a local merchandiser needs to apply is generating consistent traffic to the online store. In the case of ecommerce industry, building huge traffic to your website is a key point to success in the business. Traffic can be generated and multiplied by applying several internet marketing strategies such as social media marketing, which is arguably the most powerful online marketing tool at our disposal today. It is by building a consistent flow of human traffic that you get to lure them into converting customers once you apply the rest of the tips as described below.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful tools of internet marketing, used by merchandisers of all walks of life to build up their web traffic and push product sales. Affiliate marketing involves a strategy where you sell products via your website for a commission. This is the exact strategy that Jeff applied in Amazon and it’s the main reason why the company has such a huge number of employees today.
Related Article: Is Your Business Ready to Go International?
With affiliate marketing, even the newest local merchandiser sitting in the most remote part of the world can join the heavyweight league by marketing many products through their websites and earn commissions. Affiliate marketing has proved to be an effective ecommerce tool because website owners are now carving a niche to develop websites that deal entirely with certain product information and reviews; in the process, they get to sell the said products through their websites. For example, a blog that deals with pet information may include affiliate links to pet products such as pet food and supplements, thereby giving the readers an opportunity to satisfy their demand for not just the valuable information, but also that of the products.
In today’s very dynamic world of internet business, optimizing your web content and products to suit mobile users and become more searchable is one trick being employed by your competitors, if you may not already know it yourself. Over 70% of internet users are known to access all the information they need through the comfort of their mobile devices. This means that for merchandisers seeking to penetrate the international marketing platform, embracing these tools is vital to their success.
Developers have put in extra effort to satisfy the demand for mobile friendly websites and applications by employing platforms such as Magento, PrestaShop, nopCommerce and OpenCart. These tools customize e-Commerce platforms that are not only mobile friendly, but also ensure the customer completes transactions without the need to move the process into a different device, such as a PC.
Optimization for search engines is yet another key ingredient to success in online merchandising, because this strategy helps you to get your products and services appear on search results of the most common keyword searches.
Observe Your Competitors
One of the most unobvious tricks that your competitors use without your knowledge is observation of their biggest competitors. This trick may not be popular to every local merchandiser because no one will go out and advertise that they are actually observing the competition keenly to strategize on their next move. It’s usually more of a secret weapon applied by many successful marketers globally.
Observing your competition helps you to identify loopholes which may otherwise be ignored in your own strategy when dealing with this volatile market. Since your competitors serve the same kind of clients that you target, observing their changes in strategies may alert you when to make certain moves and react to changes in your domain. It’s no wonder someone once said that competition is healthy!
Promoting products with an extra flair not only aids in generating more traffic to your products but it doubles the chances of converting your visitors into loyal customers. Some merchandisers have even gone further to create their own promotions of the products they are selling as affiliates, not because they want to make less commission but simply because they want to lure their visitors and keep them even after the first transaction.
Communication is a key element of any successful business. Effective communication between you and your customers is very critical in not only creating a long-term relationship, but also making it easier for them to make decisions on the products and services they need to purchase from you. Great communication in international marketing involves giving factual and honest information to your customers regarding the products and services on offer. It also involves prompt feedback on customer inquiries and keeping your word on the delivery schedules or any anticipated delays. This creates a strong force of loyal customers who will even lead more customers to your store through referrals.
Satisfy the Demand
Once all the above tricks have been effectively applied, there is no doubt that you will have a stream of active customers seeking your services. It is at this point that you must satisfy their demand at all costs, and never fall into the trap of keeping them waiting as you figure out how to increase your production. Satisfying demand will certainly involve creating a strong relationship with your suppliers and ensuring that all deliveries are made on time, to keep your customers happy and simply satisfied.
Your competitors are always trying to stay a step ahead of you by mostly applying these tricks and strategies described above. It is the same strategies that actually pushed Amazon from the local Seattle merchant to the global giant it as today. The e-Commerce industry is growing at a promising rate and the tools available today have made it more possible for the smallest merchandisers in the world to eat from the same plate with the big fish of the marketing industry.
Author: Amy Watson is working as eCommerce online product design printing software consultant, by providing better development idea to make online store innovative and unique to increase ROI. She provides success strategies to transform small online store market segments into mid cap or large online stores.