This article is for moms-&-pops kinda ecommerce stores who want to use internet marketing for additional sales revenue or to grow their current ecommerce sales, and strictly not for those who are running behind funding, market share, or aspire to compete with Flipkart.
In race of thinking big we often overlook the power of thinking small. Indian organized retailing figure is still standing around 20-25% projections for near future, while the rest of the 75-80% comprises unorganized Indian retail shops & store owners.
This unorganized figure includes the small family operated retail chains and moms-&-pops kinda small stores that are serving the local market from years.
The advancement of ecommerce & technologies brought discomfort, and survival threat to these small unorganized retailers & shop owners, however by using the evolving technologies, and the new business tools these small businesses can surely ensure their long term sustainability just like prior to Internet.
The change is always uncomfortable at first, but it brings in freshness, and ‘more’.
So proudly I’ll advocate that instead of cursing the ecommerce & technologies, small shop owners & retailers, must use it to their advancement, and match them with the pace of time.
If you are reading this article, I am considering either you already have an ecommerce website or you can arrange one for your business, else you can ask us to design your ecommerce store on the side note.
So we are going to talk only about how to do the digital marketing for ecommerce store which has either recently opened the doors or is struggling to get first 500 customers.
So the world’s shortest digital marketing strategy for a new ecommerce store is all about ‘YOU’, and all around ‘YOU’. In fact it has no other focus points that can distract you strategically.
And I am not going to give you any new magic formula, but I am just going to calm down your mind in this phase of uncertainty, and shift your focus on something that you yourself have been teaching the world from decades.
That’s correct I am just going to remind you what I have learned from you all small mom-&-pop stores.
So let’s start with how ‘YOU’ can help ‘YOURSELF’.
1. Sell Your Personality
Moms-&-pops kinda small stores were never known by their registered shop names, but by the faces of the store owners, so why do you think it won’t work in new digital era?
With Facebook you changed the way you make friends, but still you make Friends.
With Whatsapp you changed the way you talk to your friends, and haven’t stopped talking.
Earlier you used to use pamphlets to inform people about discounts in your store, now you can use Gmail, or any other email service.
So what has changed? Why you are afraid of the technology?
People used to buy from you earlier, and they’ll still love to buy from ‘YOU’. And the big mistake you can do going online is going without your own face & personality.
So I would advise to show your face & behind the scenes to visitors of your website, to followers of your Facebook page, and to customers connected over your Whatsapp.
Put your headshot on the display picture of your Facebook or Instagram page, and even on your Whatsapp business page.
While sending any newsletter, send your own picture in the email as well. Figure out a decent placement for it; like in header of the newsletter or, with your email signature.
Put people in orders & processing, but market yourself.
Write your own social media posts, share your beliefs, your thoughts, the quotes you love, your dog pictures or whatever. Just experiment and see what people like and repeat whatever works.
Be present in the videos that you share on social media or YouTube for any announcements. Share light moments so that people can see who you are as a person. I am big fan of raw videos in such case, instead of a very polished, edited and VFXed video. You may want to look as real as possible, and nothing cosmetic.
People love buying from people.
2. Sell Shamelessly
Ask for order. Ask to come back. Ask for referrals. Ask to spread the words about your store. Ask for email. Ask for phone number. Ask for feedback. It is as simple as that.
You won’t ask. They won’t give.
So the best advice to get orders is to ask everywhere & anywhere.
Within a social media post. Within a whatsapp announcement. Within your newsletter. Whatever you send out, remember to ask. In marketing jargon we call it CTA ie. Call to Action; but you don’t need to understand the technical jargon, just keep asking. Promote heavily.
But the only rule here is, don’t bore your customers; and you can understand what I mean by a simple example. Imagine one of your friends that you don’t like because he only talks about himself, his stuffs, his likes, his dislikes… talk talk talk. He just talk, and never listen.
Don’t do this with your customers.
3. Make Friends
Tell me if you hate making friends? Even if you are one of the introverts like me.
No one loves not making friends. So personal preferences could be different but everyone loves making friends, and so does your customers.
In fact the crux of this part of the entire article is that you should try to find friends in your customers. (caution: don’t try to find customers in your friends, they’ll run away. Hahaha..)
Because by establishing light relationships with your regular customers, you will spark a chain of brand advocates AKA loyal customers. In fact I don’t want to explain you this in deep because the more unconsciously you will keep making friends out of your customers, the bigger your chain reaction will be. The conscious attempts get infected actually.
All I can hint you is that I still go to the same barber I used to go in school time, whenever I am in my home town. Because we talk about families, things happening around in local, he has seen me from childhood, and we share a kind of relationship more than a barber-&-customer relationship.
So conclusively, I am firm believer that a good strategy needs to be simple. Simple enough to understand, to keep in focus, and to execute; and I hope this simple shift in the way you see ecommerce & technology can help you foster your business. Wish you a great business year ahead.
If in case if you need a private discussion on implementing things better for your store, connect with us via contact page.