ecommerce tips Archives - Elemerce

The #1 Way to Crash Your E-Commerce Business Before 2023

We’re now living in the 20’s! But they won’t be so “roaring” for your business if you’re still stuck in the old, traditional way of marketing. If you’re still wasting time and money on billboards, print ads, and cold calling, this is your wakeup call.

Look around you! The world isn’t “going digital”. It already IS digital. Virtually every process, communication, activity, and transaction relies heavily on computers. The average American now officially spends more time each day on mobile apps than they do on TV. Thus, businesses are quickly making the necessary adjustments to become a competitor in the digital marketplace — as should you!

However, getting your business online is only a fraction of the solution. If you want your business to truly thrive in the years to come, you must adopt a completely new way of marketing. To be more specific, you must implement a calculated, ever-adapting digital marketing strategy. This strategy can include anything from SEO, to PPC, to social media campaigns, to email marketing. And we suggest that this strategy must include:

  • A clean, functioning website
  • An influence in the digital marketplace
  • Quality content marketing

But the purpose of this article isn’t to tell you what digital marketing strategies you should adopt. Nor is it an attempt to explain how to put together a proper digital marketing plan. The purpose of this article is to convince you of why the very survival of your business hinges on your ability to market in the digital world. To do so, we are going to speak in terms of advantages. Here is a short list of the greatest advantages going digital will give your business:

Greater Reach = More Sales

There is no TV commercial, no highway billboard, no magazine ad that could ever compete with the millions of views digital ads can get on the World Wide Web in the matter of MINUTES. You can only hope people are watching the right tv channel, or driving down the right road, or reading the right magazine in order to see your advertisement. But with a digital advertisement, you can be confident that your target audience will be looking at their screens… every day. Speaking of your target audience… that brings us to the next advantage.

Precision = Higher ROI

Perhaps the greatest feat of the marketing universe is the use of complex algorithms to pinpoint the target audience with a precision and accuracy only a computer could pull off. Other algorithms are built into platforms to learn everything about everybody. Their age, their race, their relationship status, their favorite color, their taste in music, their personality, and most importantly, their buying patterns. In digital marketing, you gain access to these algorithms and data. And with this power, you can identify and choose exactly who sees your advertisements (and who’s engaging with them). Consequently, your ROI can be exponentially higher than it would ever be through traditional ways of advertising.

Personalization = Increased Trust and Loyalty

Imagine trying to create a personalized billboard for everyone on the road. That would be quite the undertaking. But with digital marketing, this way of advertising is all too easy. That’s because there are features built into marketing platforms that will automatically personalize your emails, messages, etc to address the individual recipient. This type of personalized advertising increases trust and loyalty from your customers, as they feel that your business truly knows and cares about them.

Enhanced Measurability = Enhanced Malleability

With computerized tracking and reporting, you can clearly see who is reacting positively to your content. As stated earlier, there are algorithms in place to identify exactly who your customers are. You can also see which advertisements worked, as well as which ones didn’t work.You can experiment through trial and error to see which words, which images, which colors gain the most attention. You have unlimited access to data that will help you make the tweaks and adjustments necessary to optimizing engagement and traffic to your website. With traditional print or tv advertisements, it’s much harder to measure the success of your advertisements.

Ease of Automation = Effortless Timeliness

The amount of time, energy, and resources spent on creating and distributing a marketing campaign is easily cut into a hundredth. With print advertisements you need suppliers, you need printers, you need ink, you need trucks, you need ladders, etc. With digital advertising, all you need is a keyboard and a mouse. Additionally, the work put into scheduling and delivering advertisements becomes effortless. Marketing platforms have the ability to automatically publish your content on time and in order, for whatever period of time you tell it to.

An Abundance of Options = Unlimited Possibilities

Lastly, perhaps the most glaring advantage of digital marketing is the plethora of modes and mediums available at your disposal. With the creative power of digital graphics, videos, social media, blogs, emails, websites, mobile apps, podcasts, and so much more… your imagination truly becomes the only limit to what you can produce and how you present it.

Planning and executing an effective digital marketing strategy isn’t simple. But it is necessary if your business is to survive the coming decade. As the digital marketplace becomes increasingly crowded, it becomes increasingly difficult to get ahead of the competition. This is your wake up call to act now.

For a free evaluation and consultation contact us here.

 

Why Merchants Are Investing in Multichannel Selling (While Still Working With Amazon)

As the leading online marketplace, Amazon has become a must-have for most businesses, including small and midsize businesses (SMBs). However, the growth of ecommerce across multiple marketplaces and social media has many merchants asking themselves:

  • Is the success of my business overly reliant on Amazon metrics like customer reviews and search rankings?
  • Am I being forced to compete on price because of Amazon product comparisons?
  • Am I missing out on exposure and sales by being in just one online marketplace?

What are the benefits of being in multiple online marketplaces?

To hedge the bet on Amazon, savvy SMBs are looking into multichannel selling in four key arenas:

  1. Other online marketplaces
  2. Their own branded ecommerce store
  3. Social Media
  4. Google Shopping

As the American — and world — economy has begun to recover while balancing concerns over public health, ecommerce keeps people feeling safe while also buying the products they love. Purchasing online has become much more normalized over the past year and a half, and as more Americans start to spend again, ecommerce is recovering twice as fast as brick and mortar.

So, if Amazon is the go-to option for those who buy online, why not double down?

According to a recent report by multichannel selling software Sellbrite, merchants listed on 3 or more marketplaces make an average of 156% more sales than merchants listed on only one.

4 Online marketplaces and how they differentiate from Amazon

The first step most merchants take into a multichannel selling strategy is to launch sales on additional marketplaces. Below are four of the top ecommerce marketplaces for sellers looking to supplement their Amazon channel:

  • eBay — With its Fast & Free program, eBay competes directly with Amazon. Merchants love that eBay doesn’t compete with sellers the way Amazon does by showing side-by-side comparisons with their own Amazon brand items. However, eBay does not have an in-house fulfillment option like Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon program: you must provide your own fulfillment solution.
  • Walmart Marketplace — The hallmark bargain store has moved into the digital age with a distinct advantage: it’s existing brick and mortar ground cover. With its own loyal customer base, Walmart is now offering a ‘Buy Online Pick Up In Store’ option along with direct-to-doorstep.
  • Newegg — Originally a marketplace for tech aficionados, Newegg is still a go-to online marketplace for the tech-savvy, but has recently expanded its product offerings. Their Premiere loyalty program also gives merchants more time for deliver, with a 3-day standard as opposed to Amazon’s 2-day.
  • Overstock — Similar to NewEgg, Overstock was founded with a niche market in mind: homemakers on a budget. However, they too have recently expanded their product offerings.

Making the most of a branded ecommerce store

A Ware2Go survey in September 2020 revealed a trend in ecommerce: 35% of surveyed merchants opened an online store for the first time.

The benefits of using an ecommerce plug-in like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce include::

  • Eluding competitors by driving traffic to your site with SEO and digital marketing 
  • Re-targeting customers with digital ads
  • Creating opportunities for new and return business via email marketing
  • Maintaining full brand control 

How YBell Fitness pivoted from B2B to D2C with ecommerce

From their founding YBell Fitness, a seller of gym equipment, positioned themselves as a large volume business that sold to gyms and fitness centers. However, mandatory gym shut-downs in 2020 threatened to slow their go-to-market strategy to a near halt. The solution? Selling directly to customers. 

With a new online store, YBell found a new online sales channel, driving traffic directly to their site. With a user-friendly ecommerce platform and a fast, reliable ecommerce fulfillment solution, YBell was able to pivot effectively while also having peace of mind over the logistical shifts needed to meet customer expectations, like 2-day shipping.

‘Passive Purchasing’ opportunities on Social Media & Google Search

The old adage goes that ‘no one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy’. This idea has led to another growing trend: passive purchasing. This strategy is built around removing friction from the buying process by integrating into social media and search, often reducing the number of clicks it takes to ‘buy now’.

What does passive purchasing look like?

The two sales channels for passive purchasing are social media and Google search a la Google Shopping

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have long offered targeted ads and promoted posts, these have become more actionable over time with call-to-action buttons. Likewise on Instagram stories, followers can simply ‘swipe up’ to buy. 

The more recent tactic of product placement with social media influencers is also evolving. In the past, influencers would simply include a product mention or tag a company’s social media account. This required followers to take an additional action, but now buying is becoming more streamlined with YouTube’s new shopping features that allow for tagging products in-video for purchase opportunities.

Meanwhile, shoppers often ‘Google it’ as a first step on their journey to making a purchasing decision. Similar to previewing images and videos that may apply to searches, Google Shopping provides a preview where customers can go straight to buying from their Google search. While digital marketing tactics like SEO remain important for SMBs that want to be at the top of the modern-day phonebook, Google Shopping has introduced ‘Smart Shopping’ campaigns based on a PPC model, similar to Google AdWords.

Multichannel selling software can create ROI for SMBs 

Multichannel selling has been proven to increase sales for SMBs, but what happens when those channels are siloed? Without unifying sales channels, SMBs could see inventory shortage or shipping delays, and not be able to spot them until it is too late. Disjointed online sales channels also lead to manual aggregation, which takes a lot of time and effort while increasing the potential for human error.

To make the most of multichannel selling — and their margins — SMBs are looking to technology to simplify ecommerce and fulfillment across all ecommerce channels.

Multichannel selling software:

  • Builds effective COM (Commerce Operations Management)
  • Consolidates all metrics into a single dashboard
  • Improves strategic, data-driven decision making 
  • Helps launch new channels and products quickly
  • Syncs sales channels with fulfillment operations

Ware2Go has all-in-one solutions that help SMBs ensure they get the most ROI from multichannel selling and deliver on their promises to customers. To learn more about how Ware2Go is working with SMBs to meet the current demands of ecommerce and fulfillment, reach out to a specialist today.

 

How To Take Your E-Commerce Business To The Next Level

Traditional commerce has been around for ages, but thanks to the internet, the expansion of eCommerce has become global. E-commerce gives people unlimited access to sell and purchase online, anywhere, anytime with a click of a button. 

Launching an e-commerce business may seem like an easy task, but it comes with its challenges if you want to succeed. You start with a product,  a theme, and boom, you can start selling. The tricky part, however, is building your following and finding the right customers. To take your e-commerce business to the next level, this is where this comes into play.  

Here is how to take your e-commerce business to the next level: 

If you are an e-commerce business owner, then you probably have gone through ups and downs with your sales. When you first launch, it is unpredictable what the outcome might be. There could be an influx of sales from acquaintances or special promotions. Then your e-commerce business slowed down, which is natural. 

The best way to take your business to the next level is by focusing on increasing sales and establishing a presence online. You can accomplish this through digital marketing and advertising.  For an e-commerce business, driving traffic to your site increases brand awareness, and brand awareness helps generate sales.  The more you diversify your presence on various online platforms, the more you can succeed. 

To get started, do market research to establish your audience. Then, build your advertising using best marketing tactics to reach your audience. There is so much more on how to use digital marketing and advertising to grow your e-commerce presence. This may be overwhelming at first, but that is okay because Elemerce is here to assist clients in growing their e-commerce brands. To get started, contact us today for a free consultation. 

State Sales Tax Requirements By State For E-Commerce Companies

If you are an online seller, economic tax nexus is an important term to be familiar with.

Sales tax nexus was originally defined in the Supreme Court case Quill v. North Dakota saying that a retailer must have a presence in a state before that state can require the seller to collect sales tax from buyers in that state. More recently though, the Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair that the precedent set in the Quill v. North Dakota case has been overturned. 

Physical presence, which means location, an employee, or inventory, in a state is not the only thing that creates a sales tax nexus anymore.

Introducing Economic Nexus Laws – the latest addition to sales tax nexus

Now, if a business has an economic presence in a state, they are responsible for paying sales tax. This means if you surpass a certain revenue in or the number of transactions in a state, you are now legally required to collect sales tax and give to that state. 

This change in the law was directed at e-commerce giants like Amazon and Wayfair, but the threshold varies state by state. Since the ruling, more than 40 states now have enacted economic nexus laws of their own. 

Some state thresholds are only $10,000 and some are $500,000. As a retailer, it is important to know about state tax nexus laws so you can be prepared in case your online sales pass the threshold. 

Because of this new ruling in the Wayfair v. South Dakota case, online retailers with sales surpassing $100,000 must now pay nexus tax to South Dakota. The ruling of the case can impact any online retailer doing well in certain states, and can increase taxes by causing retailers to pay out more states than before. 

Currently, there are only a few states that do not collect sales tax in accordance with economic nexus laws, which are Missouri, Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and New Hampshire. You can read more on specific states

Moving forward, there is a chance that Congress could step in and change these laws on a Federal level regulating state sales tax. Until then, it is important to familiarize yourself with the economic tax nexus to avoid surprises during tax season. 

Elemerce is here as a resource for everything E-Commerce. Contact our team today to discuss your online retailer needs.

Best-Selling Products During the COVID-19 Era

The novel coronavirus has changed consumer shopping habits, maybe forever. Certain industries have seen a sharp decline in sales, while others saw a surprising spike, and many more are getting creative with how they market to customers and how they can pivot their product lines to meet the current market demand.

The largest growth has been in categories such as home appliances, home improvement, security and protection, sports and entertainment, and lights and lighting – essentially everything you would expect to spend money on if you were in sheltering-in-place and working from home.

What made the best-sellers list?

Here are some of the top products that have sold in the first half of 2020, as COVID-19 impacted the whole country.

  • Cleaning supplies: This is not a surprising best-seller. With everything from soap and disinfecting wipes to toilet paper and paper towels all selling out in physical and online locations across the country, the care and cleaning category has seen extreme demand during this time. The priority for many people has been cleanliness and comfort as the focus on health safety has grown.
  • Yeast: Some grocery stores and online suppliers have had a hard time keeping items in stock as more consumers picked up cooking and baking at home habits once going to sit down at restaurants was no longer an option. With fewer options for things to do outside of the house, many people took up baking, particularly things like bread, which drove up purchases of yeast way past the point of demand previously. Many stores were sold out for weeks.
  • At-home fitness equipment: Like many other businesses, gyms shut their doors for health and safety and people pivoted to working out at home. Items like kettlebells, resistance bands, hand weights, and pull-up bars all saw increased sales as people started buying equipment to support their new home gym routines.
  • Puzzles: Across Amazon and other platforms, puzzles became very hard to come by as people searched for new entertainment options and hobbies to keep themselves and their families busy.
  • Nintendo Switches: Another source of family entertainment – the Nintendo Switch – saw surging sales that saw it sold out at vendors everywhere. This was an already popular product that saw an even bigger boost in light of conditions being impacted by
    COVID.
  • Work from home tools: With a huge portion of the American workforce transitioning to work from home or remote work situations, there’s been a significant uptick in office supplies and technology. Webcams, laptops, desks, office, chairs, and monitors have also seen a spike in sales that would be very unusual outside of a pandemic.
  • Baby gates: One ecommerce report noted that baby gates and screens have seen bigger sales in the first half of 2020, likely as a solution for parents who need to crate a sudden in-home separation of their work and personal space and create boundaries for pets and kids.

If you’re looking for a way to drive more sales, we can help your business get in front of more customers. Our experience in promotion, marketing, and sales can help you connect with a wider audience and help you get the best selling results possible. Find out more by contacting our team today.

How Ecommerce Changed the Marketing Space

The marketing game has come a long way in the retail space since embracing ecommerce. With the internet providing access to a wide range of services in the ecommerce arena, it has changed the way we target customers through social media and our overall online presence. 

As a business, it is your goal to create a unique platform that allows marketing campaigns to reach the audiences you wish to target and become future investors or customers. With the right campaigns, it is possible to be successful at providing consistent messaging across all platforms. 

Retail marketing has stepped up its expectations in the ecommerce world. Let’s take a look at how it has evolved to become what it is today. 

Marketing is Essential

Whether your business is big or small, marketing has become a must. Why? With the number of companies, that could be similar to your own, it’s important to establish brand identity. With a brand identity you are: 

  • Distinguishing yourself from competitors
  • Becoming a brand that customers will remember
  • Building a reputation

Creative marketing campaigns and strategies are required if you are to make a name for your business online. 

Marketing Has Become Accessible

It wasn’t an ideal world for those in the retail space back in the day. Around 20 or 30 years ago when newspaper, television and radio ads were the only way to get your message across, you’d be faced with a pretty hefty bill. 

Today with technology making it more accessible for retailers to create ad campaigns across popular platforms and search engines, there’s no limit to what your business can achieve when it comes to customer acquisition. 

The best part? It’s not 1994 when a television advertisement would have cost you an arm and a leg to get one message across. Creating ad campaigns today tends to be more wallet-friendly and provide a broader return on customer engagement. 

Choosing the Right SEO Firm for Your Business

Every business, large or small, needs to have a well-rounded SEO strategy in place to maximize their potential for both online and offline sales and brand exposure. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the ongoing process of maintaining and editing a website with the goal of attracting the most relevant traffic possible while improving the site’s ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

While the particulars of how SEO works and what tips and strategies you should employ are best left to another article, here are a few things you can do to feel more confident about choosing an SEO firm to hire for your business.

You Don’t Need to be an Expert, but They Do

Effective SEO is a blend of art, technical knowledge, adaptability, and effective use of resources. A good SEO firm will have talented writers that produce good written content for website pages, good programmers that know current web standards, and individuals that know how to prioritize work. While you don’t need to know how all those things apply to SEO directly, it is important that you find a firm that does.

Find a firm that can clearly explain to you their SEO process. Make sure they can provide helpful and clear answers to your questions about the following items:

Writing – When asked about the content they create, a good SEO firm will put a strong emphasis on writing for actual website visitors, and not to simply trigger “what search engines look for.” The best writers know how to write for your audience first while still adhering to best practices for search engine friendliness.

Technical SEO – An SEO firm should be up to date with all the changes in web standards that impact a site’s rankings with Google and other major search engines. They should also be capable of making technical changes to your website (programming, design elements, image optimization, etc.) in accordance with current and changing web standards.

Experience – It’s easy for anybody to brand themselves as an SEO expert and sell their products. When researching and comparing SEO firms, put a lot of value in their experience and success stories. Ask them for examples of recent work and how they have helped past clients improve their SEO.

Reporting and Accountability – Every SEO firm should report regularly, at least monthly, on your progress in the SERPs and in relevant traffic growth. These reports should show gains and losses in search rankings, traffic statistics, web page audits for technical and on-page SEO needs, site performance statistics (page load speed, mobile friendliness, etc.), and a clear accounting of work performed over the past month. The report should also lay out a list of planned activities and how it relates to your current SEO strategy.

Many SEO firms will simply point at shifting rankings as evidence of work performed, but some natural fluctuation in search engine rankings will always occur. If rankings are rising or falling, the firm you are working with should have a good explanation for what is happening.
Compare and Research Reputation

As you look for companies to work with, seek out multiple bids, SEO audits, and take the time to sit down and speak with each candidate. Find out how each potential SEO firm aligns with your business plans and brand identity directly from them and then go out and do some research to see what kind of buzz each company has generated for themselves. Reputation is everything to an SEO firm, and the best firms have a deservedly good legacy.

Find a Partnership and Trust Your Gut

The most successful SEO strategies are born out of good partnerships. Look for an SEO firm that wants to work with you and not simply for you. If the SEO company says, “you can just sit back and we’ll take care of everything,” there’s reason to hesitate. What you really want is a company that tells you that they will keep you involved in the process, have open communication, and will make sure you understand their efforts.

As you compare companies and start getting close to making a decision, treat it like any other business opportunity or collaboration and make sure it passes the gut check. You should feel good about allowing a company to have the level of access to your website and business data that an SEO firm needs.

Choosing an SEO firm should also be exciting. A good SEO agency can really help your business grow and push your brand to new levels of exposure. Make sure you and everyone involved in the selection process is feeling that excitement and confidence in your final selection.