With literally thousands of eCommerce sellers out there, how do you persuade the right customers to walk through the virtual doors of your online store?
Who are Your Customers?
If you are a seller of no particular niche this is going to be a bit more difficult than if you really have your ideal customer identified. If you want to have the attention of your customers, you first need to identify who they are. Who is the perfect customer to purchase your products? Think of it this way, would a butcher go after marketing to vegetarians? Absolutely not! He knows he wants people who appreciate a good steak. This same scenario goes with selling online.
Do You Stand Out From the Crowd?
The first thing you want is an image and branding that says what you are all about. Remember you get literally just a second or two to make your first impression. If you are selling elegant fine jewelry you probably don’t want cartoon cutesy characters in your logo. Likewise if you are a seller of toys and plush, using something more fun and whimsical would speak the language of your clientele. Have a brand that includes a logo, coloring and listing template that reflects the image you want to convey to potential customers.
What Makes You… You?
Next you need to know what makes you different from all the other sellers in your category. In the marketing industry this is referred to as your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. This is what you want people to know about you that makes you the place to go for _______ (fill in the blank).
Why are you different than all the other sellers out there that sell what you sell? Coming up with your USP will give you clarity in all of your marketing. It will have you sending a clear message that buyers will remember and want to come back and shop from you again as they form a connection.
Let’s take Starbucks as an example. A little coffee shop in Washington became one of the most recognized brands in America and turned Folgers drinkers into coffee connoisseurs! How did they do that? If I was to ask you what they stand for and what are they known for, I bet you would answer something along the lines of, “they stand for and are known for premium coffee and coffee beverages.” Notice they don’t stand for premium coffee at 99 cents. They never tried to compete on price. Notice they don’t stand for premium coffee and gourmet breakfast sandwiches. Now some of you are saying, “well wait a minute they sell breakfast sandwiches.” Bingo! You can have a unique selling proposition which brings in your customers and then offer them a variety of products to appeal to their senses. Which brings me to my next point.
How Far Should You Stray from Your Niche?
To really maximize your marketing and sales potential, your products should have some connectivity to your ideal target customer. This doesn’t mean you can only offer one product line to be considered niched, it does mean you should sell things within the same targeted demographic of customer so that when they walk in your doors they will be attracted to just about everything you have on your virtual shelves.
Let’s go back to the Starbucks example. When their customers come in for that premium coffee they are attracted to the gourmet breakfast sandwiches, healthy granola bars, fresh fruit and yummy healthy smoothies. They also know their customers love the cups! In fact, the collecting of Starbucks mugs has become a phenomenon that eBay sellers know all too well. Do they offer any other mugs besides their own brand? Of course not! They know what their customers want and what they are most likely to buy. If you love to sell a variety of items, give those items something in common such as being from a certain time period, or a certain decor style or something like wedding-related products. See where I’m going?
Connecting your branding, your products and your message will give you a real edge when you market your business. When your customers recognize you, love your products and know what you stand for they are more likely to become loyal return customers and you will have them “all ears” each time you load your store with more great items!
Danni Ackerman is the founder of The Danni App where she’s all about fun and profits. She is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store, Storage Lockers for Fun and Profit and her latest book Buying at Auction Houses for Fun and Profit. She is the organizer of the Las Vegas Online Sellers Meetup Group and the More Fun Bigger Profits Conference. Known as Udderly Good Stuff online, she’s been on eBay since 1998 and has grown up in the world of antiques and collectibles and reselling “stuff.” She hosts her own weekly show called Danni App TV, regularly appears on eBay Radio and is a speaker at eBay and eCommerce events all over the country. She is the mother of 4 including two youngsters she calls her shipping supervisors, and makes a lifestyle out of juggling business and family. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @theDanniApp.
This post is brought to you by Outright, the small business accounting solution that makes managing your business finances simple, understandable and even fun! Sign up today and see your business finances in a whole new way.
Small Biz Club is the premier destination for small business owners and entrepreneurs. To succeed in business, you have to constantly learn about new things, evaluate what you’re doing, and look for ways to improve—that’s what we’re here to help you do.