• How to Market Your Ecommerce Site on a Budget

    One of the biggest challenges that online ventures face is growing their business in this competitive marketplace. With so many marketing options to choose from, often the number of choices will dwindle when faced with a tight budget.

    Often marketers are looking at short-term results rather reaching than long-term goals. In many online marketplaces, pay-per-click (PPC) can be a solution where you can scale up as your budget allows. But there are many other inexpensive ways to get more traffic to your Ecommerce website without breaking the bank.

    Improving Conversion Rates

    When it comes to keeping your existing customers engaged with your brand online as well as acquiring new customers to invest in your products or services, there are a surprising number of ways to increase your conversions from all sides. One of which can be doing something as simple as adding more payment methods on your site. Utilizing PayPal and offering credit card options like American Express and Discover are sometimes overlooked. Here are some other methods used to improve conversion rates:

    ●     Have a clear returns policy – customers will feel more comfortable purchasing if they know exactly how to return any unwanted items.

    ●     Offer “guest checkout” - give consumers the ability to purchase without signing up with an official account on your site.

    ●     Be safe and secure – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are inexpensive and gain trust with consumers.

    ●     Have a shipping estimator - people don’t like surprises with these additional costs and may back out on purchasing an item if these fees are unknown to them.

    ●     Offer free shipping when reaching a certain monetary plateau – many shoppers will add another item into their cart just to avoid paying these extra charges

    There are other low-cost ways to get consumers to purchase more items that deserve some consideration. Whether it is an up-sell from an entry level item to a product with a higher value and price, there are some proven methods to increase your order size:

    ●     Offer ratings and reviews – post high ratings and reviews to solicit more shoppers

    ●     Promote ensembles – group additional, similar items on the description page for an individual product and offer them at a discount when purchased together as a whole.

    ●     Offer giveaways - to promote a new or existing product, offer a related, inexpensive item at no charge with purchase.

    Social Media Networking and Marketing

    Advertising or going after a hard sale on social platforms is usually not very effective. In these arenas, people are looking for advice and guidance. Not to say that introducing a new product or service is out of the question, but often giving helpful hints and being engaged in hot, trending topics in your industry is a powerful marketing strategy. Your business and associated website will be seen as being a helpful advisor instead of a hard-core sales place.

    Facebook and Twitter usually come to mind first when mentioning social media, but there are many other options out there. LinkedIn and Google+ are rising in both popularity and effectiveness. Seek out similar businesses in your specific industry and join their groups, engage in discussions and you will see more brand recognition for your company.

    See and be seen — there are many free and low cost ways to get more traffic for your site and a bigger bang for your business online.

    Dave Landry Jr. is a business journalist and personal finance adviser based in Southern California. As a guest author, his writing often covers finance management, business communications and globalization, and social media marketing.

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