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6 Tips to Help Small and Medium eCommerce Stores Compete

As an online store owner, you care about your site, the traffic you receive and of course sales. You want it to perform at the best possible level, attract more customers and generate more revenue. However, many small and medium eCommerce stores tend to lack the same name recognition and advertising budget needed to compete with the giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Sound familiar?

The key question you must ask yourself is, “How do I, as a business owner, differentiate myself from the “big boys” while also gaining access to the same tools they use so I can compete?” The answer is simple. In this article I will share some tips you should be utilizing to compete with the big boys.

1. Big Data

It may seem that only large enterprises (like Amazon) who can afford to hire teams of data scientists that have confronted the overwhelming task of analyzing the large volumes of data have access to Big Data. However, there are tools available to small and medium eCommerce stores that employ Big Data solutions to help boost sales, increase efficiency and improve reporting quality. To keep it simple, start by understanding your store’s demographic data, with, and then work to understand all your data, like demographic, product and customer, in real-time.

2. Email Campaigns and Segmentation

Keeping in touch with your customers through email campaigns and newsletters is a great way to market your latest products and deals. It is also a great way to keep your customers coming back for more. The key to sending a successful email is segmentation. This tactic is used by all the big guys because it is a crucial element in helping customer engagement and increasing conversions. The next time you send an email, try segmenting your email list based on your store’s data, like purchase history, gender, age, and more, and sending each segment a uniquely personalized message. I guarantee this will increase your conversion rates.

3. Social Media

This is a no-brainer. One of your biggest challenges is getting the attention of your customers and getting them engaged. Putting in the time to build a social community will give you customers that will ride the wave of your brand, make repeat purchases, share your content with their followers, and tell their friends how awesome you are. Where it gets tricky is having the ability to monitor multiple streams and actually track revenue generated from social media. But don’t worry, Hootsuite’s Magento Social by Springbot App solves this problem.

4. Triggered Emails

Automated emails can make a big difference in your email marketing results. Triggered messages are emails sent out automatically based on important events that are relevant to your customer or subscriber’s actions.  Using a welcome email, abandon cart email, anniversary email, or even a birthday email can make your customer’s feel valued. Want more information on triggered emails? Read Six Reasons You Need Triggered Emails for your Online Store.

5. Marketing Automation

Access to accurate real-time data, like demographic information and revenue attribution by marketing channel, allows you to understand what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your marketing. The most important thing that you can do to increase conversions and return on investment (ROI) is to automate your marketing based on this data, track the results, and continue to get smarter and smarter about your marketing. There are a few tools on the market built specifically for the eCommerce industry, but I am partial to Springbot’s eCommerce marketing platform since it does all of this and much more.

6. Blog, Blog, Blog

One of the key ingredients that all of the “big boys” use to drive traffic to their site is a blog. This is because it builds immediate authority and credibility while helping to increase organic search.  It’s obvious that this is a way to generate traffic to your site, but it’s also a really great way for you to show your customers your own uniqueness and authority on your industry. Talk about new ideas, upcoming products, trade shows, and most importantly things that are top of mind to your unique audience. To take it a step further, use trackable links when promoting your blog posts so you can determine which ones resonate most with your customers. Read Five Tips to Utilizing Trackable Links to Increase Revenue so you can implement them and learn what works and what doesn’t for your blog.


About the Author

Miles Tinsley is Springbot’s resident eCommerce marketing expert who loves helping the little guy compete. He blogs, sells, and gives out advice left and right. Read more about Miles or drop him a line and he will be happy to talk with you. And don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @MilesDTinsley.