How e-commerce startups can penetrate a saturated market?
15 July 2016
By applying the following tricks, you can turn even a saturated market into an opportunity for your business.
There were already upto 25 million online stores worldwide until 2014 and this number has only grown in the past couple of years. This means, e-commerce is quite a competitive and saturated segment wherein there are many competitors, even before you enter the market.
See saturation as a huge demand
Do not look at a saturated market as a blind alley. In fact, a saturated market indicates a huge demand - which means opportunities. You just need to identify those opportunities and work out your business plan. For instance, if a toy business does well in one of the areas, it means there is a huge demand for toys there. So, if you launch something unique and better, no matter how many toy shops already exist, even then you can gain a good market share.
Capitalise on the trends
The e-commerce industry is going through several reforms at present. By capitalising on the ongoing trends, new players can easily find their feet in the business. The most recent ongoing trend in the e-commerce arena as of now is m-commerce (mobile commerce). More and more shoppers are using mobile devices to access online stores. By focusing on mobile shoppers, the start-ups can secure a place for themselves even in a competitive market.
Stand out in a crowd
Customers are always on the look-out for options. They would not mind one more online store for them to shop from. But to win their hearts and minds, you have to offer them something different from others. You can’t survive with run-of-the-mills products. You need to clearly define your unique selling proposition. If you don’t have any, create one. Figure out what sets you apart - quicker delivery, higher discounts, extensive product categories, easy returns, better quality, etc.? Whatever it is, highlight that in your communications to get customers’ attention.
Add value to the existing products/services
How do you make a place for yourself in a saturated market? The answer is by adding value to the existing products or services offered by your established competitors. For that, you have to step into customers’ shoes, find their pain points related to your offerings and you will definitely come up with ways to enhance their experience. Whether through discount offers or coupon codes, fresh e-commerce start-ups can come up with solutions like these too.
Focus on SEO
Remember, customers will come to your website only after finding you in search results. Therefore, besides all of the above, focusing on search engine optimisation of your online store is a must. Find out the keywords users popularly use to do search in your industry and optimise your website’s content using those keywords. Do not forget to do onsite optimisation of your online store. These steps will help your online store to get better ranking in search results. You can further strengthen your SEO campaign through social media and digital marketing.
Choose the right e-commerce provider
Ensure that the e-commerce platform you are choosing for your online store is mobile-ready, SEO-friendly, customisable, offers social media marketing solutions along with other marketing tools and customer support system. With all these features in place, Magikbazaar is very close to the one you can call the right e-commerce provider.
Marketing mistakes that online start-ups make
16 May 2016
Here are the few no-nos when preparing a marketing plan for your soon-to-be-launched online store.
You may have a great business idea, a spot-on execution plan and an eclectic product line, but one wrong marketing move can ruin it all. Check out ‘what not to do’ when marketing your soon-to-be-launched online store.
Not marketing the pre-launch of the venture
Mostly entrepreneurs wait to perfect their setup and get it just right, before planning their marketing strategies. But till then, they have lost a valuable opportunity to gain foothold in the early stage. It’s not wrong to perfect your business before launch, but shelling a part of the budget to get your name out there before launch, would lay the right platform for your business.
Presence on every social media platform
In the start, entrepreneurs get overboard and launch their pages on various social media platforms but as time goes by, it becomes difficult for them to regularly update them. Hence, it is advisable to choose a few suitable platforms for your business and keep them up-to-date with new arrivals, popular collections and offers regularly.
Not investing in research
Before you take the plunge, you need to know your industry, know what competitors are doing and most importantly, know what your TG wants. Conduct a survey, analyse your findings and understand where you stand with your offerings. Through thorough research, even freshers can develop an understanding of ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ in the business. Only when you are convinced that your business ticks all the boxes, go for it.
Underestimate the importance of content
Another mistake that newbies commit is that they undervalue content. But when it comes to marketing, content is the hero whether you aim to send across the hard-hitting messages or build solid SEO. With the help of a professional writer, you can optimize your posts with keywords, blast it across various social channels and maximize your reach. That’s not all. Having a regular, relevant blog post about your company, industry and the market can also help your business a great deal.
Not hiring the right people for the job
When it comes to marketing, two and two need not be four. Therefore, this job should be assigned to experts who come with years of experience. But sadly, a lot of entrepreneurs take marketing calls on their own or hire interns to help them with social media marketing. It’s high time they realise that these platforms are not just the mouthpiece for their brand but a way to establish a personal connection with their audience. But now you can dodge these mistakes by consulting a full-service e-commerce platform like Magikbazaar for all the marketing, research and execution assistance required to build a successful online store.
Social media tactics to boost your e-commerce business
01 April 2016
Just by applying a few smart social media tactics, you can promote your e-commerce business among a much wider audience.
Once you have set up your online store, you can use the following social media tactics to boost traffic at your online store and also, to reach out to a wider audience across the globe.
Use high-conversion keywords in your social media posts
Do keyword research to know the terms consumers are using to search the content related to your industry, business, products/ services. Just optimise your posts by using these keywords into your write-ups. Also, try adding a visual element to your posts, whenever possible, to catch the eye of even the busy scanning readers.
Post share-worthy content, instead of sales pitch
Instead of directly making a sales pitch, post interactive content that will compel your followers to hit the like button, comment on or share with their own friends and followers. From customers’ stories to news and helpful tips, anything that educates, informs, entertains and puts customer needs above your own interests, will help you connect with them.
Share reviews from your loyal customers
People are more convinced by a review coming from another customer – an objective third-party and more so, they trust online reviews more than personal recommendations. Make an effort to keep a tab of positive reviews on your site or social media pages and share it on your timeline. It will surely have a direct bearing on your brand image.
Strategically add social sharing buttons
Place widgets like ‘pinit’ or ‘share’ buttons in Pinterest and Facebook respectively, wherever possible. You can add it to your product pages or other prominent areas on your site’s design. This will help in attracting the customers who are further along in the buying-cycle. Most importantly, enable customers to share their reviews about your products, sales offers or even recent purchases with their friends and followers.
Use visual content, more than text
Image-based posts are any day more engaging than the text-heavy ones. Studies also reveal that using images is a smart tactic for optimising social media posts. Making your product images shareable on networking sites that favour image-driven marketing (Instagram and Pinterest) can get you more views.
Interact with the followers on your page
You just need to be a little proactive and monitor each post sent by your followers on a daily basis. Address all their concerns, respond to their comments and also, thank them for sharing your content and participating in discussions, regularly. It’s a great way to show you truly care about them. Furthermore, you can also connect with influencers, join groups and conduct hot live chats.
Keep your page alive with frequent posts
Based on your market, frequency can vary but consistency is the key to show your audience that you are interested in sharing valuable content and are just a post away from them. You can also make this process simpler and time-saving by using marketing automation tool and scheduling posts in advance. From latest industry updates to useful blogs, you can keep sharing a variety of content with hashtags and ‘tweet this’ functionality. To make this process faster and easier, you can also use tools such as ClicktoTweet that converts codes for you.
Go in for paid advertising plans
You can take your social media marketing to an all-new level with Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads and Promoted Tweets that can be linked back to your product pages for conversion. A highly targeted paid option can significantly boost website traffic.
By strategically applying these social media marketing tactics, you can improve brand awareness, drive more traffic to your web store, increase customer engagement and loyalty, boost sales and eventually, grow your business.
Start your online business on a limited budget
9 February 2016
Limited budget? No problem. You can still start your online business.
With the emergence of e-commerce, there are more e-commerce platforms than retailers, literally. Compare their packages to understand which one justifies your money and go in for the one that best suits your business. There are also various platforms that allow you to run your online store for free. If these platforms meet all the basic requirements for your business, get started with them. It’s okay to start small and then, eventually grow big.
Once the store is ready, the next challenge in front of you is to ensure that you gain steady income from your online store. For that, you need to create awareness about your online presence and products among your target audience. To begin with, explore all the free online sources and various digital marketing channels. In today’s day and age, social networking platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc., offer a great opportunity to connect with millions of potential buyers, make sales and create a loyal customer base. Facebook is a highly recognised interactive platform for doing business free of cost. Here, you can upload products’ images, organise activities like contests for your followers and most importantly, view the feedback posted by your customers and interact with them in real-time. Similarly, you can use Twitter for promoting your offerings. The growth in the number of your followers is indicative of the growing popularity of your online store and offerings.
Shooting e-mailers is another cost-effective way of promoting your online stores and products. You can send informative e-mailers to your personal and professional contacts. Introducing an attractive discount offer or a combo deal will never fail to hit the bull’s eye.
When the whole idea is to save money, it is advisable you do the above activities yourself. But in case you are not well-versed with digital platforms or too busy to do it yourself, you can always opt for marketing packages offered by e-commerce firms like Magikbazaar, at a very small fee.
Despite a number of marketing channels available to you, never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. It has been and will continue to be one of the most powerful tools for any business. So, encourage your near and dear ones to buy from your store as well as do spread the word among others.
With so many low-cost/free options at your disposal, a great business idea should not succumb to budget constraint.
Customers prefer shopping on the go
10 March 2015
More and more customers are now connecting with online stores via mobile devices
The ecommerce industry has woken up to the importance of mobile platforms. Especially in a country where out of 160 million internet users, 86 million login through mobile. These figures are expected to grow in the coming years. Because the number of smart phone users in India are estimated to grow from 170 million now to 200 million in 2016 and 651 million in 2019. That’s why retailers are pulling out all the stops to create mobile-friendly stores. Biting the bait, even the customers have given a big thumbs-up to this revolutionary move. Industry giants claim to have been receiving 30 per cent to 50 per cent traffic through mobile devices. On the back of these growing numbers, experts feel that m-commerce will be a game changer in 2015. It will dominate the e-tail segment with upto 70% contribution to the total revenue.
Take a look at the reasons why m-commerce is here to stay.
Hard-pressed for time
The new age customer is hard-pressed for time. They are always on the move and look for ways to save time. Hence, the concept of shopping on the go clicks with them. With a mobile store, they don’t have to schedule shopping in their day plan. From gifts, stationery to electronics, they can buy everything through a mobile app.
India has one of the youngest demographies. Be it men or women, they nurture high aspirations. They like to try different things. They are on constant look out for new things. Trends are always on their mind. Hence, giving a shot to something as new as a mobile shop wasn’t a big deal for them. They have happily embraced the idea of accessing their favourite brands on their mobile screens.
Surplus to spend
Smart phone users have surplus disposable income. They can spend a lot on their favourite things. Minute they feel the urge to splurge; they logon to a mobile app and go on a shopping spree. With money at hand and shop at fingertips, customers go overboard. They end up shopping a few more items than on their list.
Dependence on mobile devices
Mobile phone users cannot do without their phone. They can’t think of life without it. They carry it everywhere and check updates almost every hour. So, being here means living with your customers, enjoying high visibility. In case the user is a shopaholic, they would be tempted to make purchases whenever they see the app’s icon on their phone screen.
Access to smart phones
Smart phones are now available across price range of Rs 3,000 to Rs 3 lakh. Hence, more and more people can now own smart phones. A laptop or a desktop is an expensive affair as against a smart phone worth Rs 3,000 or more. Which is why, the number of smart phone users has grown at a geometric rate. This way, m-commerce creates a market for affordable as well as high-end brands.
High speed internet connection
As we have moved on from 2G to 3G and now 4G, the number of mobile internet users has increased. With high-speed internet connectivity, smart phones today double up as a portable bank, music system and now, a shopping destination too.
The mobile platform is thus, one of the most effective platforms to connect with the customers. Ecommerce solutions like Magikbazaar can help you create mobile-friendly apps for your stores and catch the wave.
5 reasons why retailers need to go online
03 March 2015
Leveraging the power of internet, retailers can build an online store and boost their overall sales.
Indian retailers still prefer the traditional model of doing business. For them, even today a consumer has to walk into their store, try out their products and then, buy it. But the hyper-connected consumers of today think otherwise. They like to buy things online at the click of a button. From pin to plasma TV, hand-set to home appliance, they purchase everything online. According to the Google Annual Online Shopping Growth Trends report, India had 8 million online shoppers in 2012 which rose to 35 million in 2014 and by 2016, it is expected to grow upto 100 million. To keep up with the changing dynamics of the business, it is important for the traditional retailers to incorporate the advantages of the online medium into their business. However, due to lack of awareness and expertise, the physical store owners have kept from this medium.
Below are the five reasons that will convince them to start their online stores, right now.
Creating an online store with the help of ecommerce solutions, they can invite the whole world to their virtual doorstep. They would be able to reach out to more customers than they could ever through ads in local papers, radio stations or television channels. They can build a customer base even where they do not have a brick-and-mortar presence. Customers from the next door to a faraway country can search and shop their products online.
Level Playing Field
Internet medium creates a level playing field for all kinds of businesses. Whether they own a big, medium or small business, they all have access to the customers all over the world. Anyone who offers quality products or services can be the king here. The size of their business does not have a bearing on the sales figure.
Customers do not have to wait for the stores to open. Whether it is day or night, weekday or weekend, festival season or holiday, their store is accessible to the customers round the clock. This translates into being there for your customers whenever they need you. The best part is, the store owners don’t have to pay overtime to their staff to enjoy doing business 24x7.
The ecommerce solutions come with an amazing range of features that help retailers keep a track of customers’ buying behaviour. They would know what works for their customers and what does not. Analysing which, they would be able to plan their business better.
There is no need to set up a swanky store or hire employees to man it. Nobody cares whether you operate your online store from home or garage. This way, you save the rent and the maintenance charges of a brick-and-mortar store. Even digital marketing that has a wider reach is cost-effective as opposed to traditional marketing which usually includes printing and mailing costs. The money hence saved can be used up to create offers like discounts, sales or rewards and attract more customers.
Retailers can enjoy all this and a lot more when planning an online venture with ecommerce solutions like Magikbazaar.com. Along with the ease of creating an online store, these ecommerce solutions come with smart features that help build a customer-friendly online store at a fraction of the cost of setting up a physical store. So get started today.