E-Commerce Strategies & Tips for Small Businesses

Standing out in a crowded e-commerce marketplace is difficult, especially for small businesses and start-ups. But with highly effective e-commerce strategies and marketing techniques to boost engagement, you can dramatically increase the chance that users will find what they’re looking for on your website.

Allegro Logistics have worked with scores of small businesses, helping them bring the gold standard to their customers with first-class fulfilment. From our 30,000 sq ft warehouse just outside Bristol, we provide streamlined logistics services that enhance customer experience and cultivate brand loyalty.

In this article, our logistics experts explain some of the top e-commerce benefits and strategies for small businesses, helping you put your best foot forward.

What Are the Benefits of E-Commerce to Small Businesses?

Reduced Overheads

Selling your products online is much more cost-effective than a bricks and mortar shop, especially if you’re just starting out. Not only will you escape rent and utility bills, but you also won’t need to worry about decorating the shop and purchasing display units. You will need to consider web hosting costs and technical support, though.

Increases Pool of Potential Customers

2021 is expected to see 2.14 billion online buyers across the globe. That’s a lot of potential customers for your business. Compare that to the trickle of locals wandering past a physical shop and you can quickly see where the greatest odds of making a sale lie.

Expands Reach

To extend our previous point, selling online means you can take your business to previously unreachable markets. Your ideal buyer might be on another continent entirely. In this case, a physical shop isn’t going to do much good. Take it online, and see your business take off.

Allegro Logistics helped clothing brand Saint + Sofia access new markets across the globe – check out the case study >

International Shipping with Allegro Logistics >

Operational 24/7

4am – you’re tucked up in bed. But what’s that? You’ve just made a sale! The internet has the handy attribute of being always open for business. Forget closing time; e-commerce means your sales channels are open day and night, so you never miss an opportunity to sell.

E-Commerce Strategies for Small Businesses

So, you’ve decided e-commerce is the future for your small business. But how do you make sure your online shop is on the road to riches?  Below, we explore some e-commerce strategies small businesses can use to help ensure success.

Effective Online Marketing

There are a lot more customers on the internet, but there’s also a lot more competition. Standing out is crucial if you are to drive users to your site over someone else’s. It’s important to identify what your Unique Value Proposition is, and what distinguishes your brand identity.

With this in mind, you can plan and implement a range of marketing strategies to build your audience. These might include increasing your social media presence, using Google Ads or an equivalent and working with influencers. See those orders roll in and ship your way to success.

Read more: Shipping Solutions for Small Businesses >

Email Retargeting and Remarketing

Don’t neglect retargeting and remarketing either. An email campaign that sends shopping cart abandonment emails can be just what’s needed to finally score that sale. Did you know, 77% of people abandon their shopping cart while shopping online? That’s a large proportion of near misses, some of which could be nudged back to the checkout with a well thought out email and desirable discount code.

Beyond this, you could ask customers to opt-in to updates at checkout, meaning you can send promotions and notify them about new product ranges, prompting subsequent purchases.

Build Trust

Establishing yourself as a trustworthy site selling quality products is vital when you’re starting out. You know you’re honest, but how do potential customers? A key part of this strategy is putting a face to your brand, so make sure your website is personal as well as professional.

Another great way to give users peace of mind is to feature customer reviews (glowing, no doubt). This can tip them over the edge into making the purchase, removing any reservations.

It’s also important to make sure your site has an SSL certificate, so users feel safe making a transaction and sharing sensitive information. This is also a ranking factor on Google, so you may find your visibility in the search results increases too – win, win!

Optimise Website

Your website is your shopfront, so make it look good. Keep your homepage clutter-free and resist the urge to install annoying pop-ups. Navigation and menus should be simple and your Call to Actions and products clearly visible. On product pages, do justice to each item with clear, effective descriptions and stunning photography.

Consider Search Engine Optimisation and ensure site-speed and user experience are slick and seamless. As well as this, opt for a premium hosting service that can cope with sudden surges in demand.

Another great way to ensure you soar up the Google rankings is to make sure pages have plenty of your target keywords. You might also want to consider creating high-quality content to further develop customer engagement and convince the Google bots that your site is an authority in your chosen niche.

Last but not least, make sure your website is responsive and works well across all devices. In 2021, 54% of all e-commerce sales are expected to be made via mobile, so make sure it’s user-oriented and just as slick as the desktop version.

Increase Average Order Value

Try to encourage customers to buy multiple products, rather than just one with upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is all about increasing average order value by persuading customers to buy a more expensive option or an additional product. And have you ever been on a site with a ‘People Also Buy’ or ‘Related Items’ section? That’s cross-selling. Users are tempted to buy other items related to their search query, but which they were not actively looking for.

Keep Checkout Simple

Customers, whether consciously or not, are always looking for a reason to exit your page. Streamline your checkout and remove any trip hazards that could stall the process. Don’t make it compulsory for users to sign up for a profile – obviously this is great for remarketing so do have it as an option. Many users, however, will just want to sail through unencumbered by online forms. Finally, accept multiple payment options including all the major credit and debit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay.

Consider Multiple Channels

While you’re still building the visibility of your site and developing a customer base, it might be worth offering your products on other sales platforms. Selling through e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay will give you a shortcut to a large audience and increase convenience for customers who want to get everything they need in one place.

Store the products you sell on Amazon with Allegro Logistics through the Seller Fulfilled Prime scheme. We can handle all the logistics using our advanced integrated software Mintsoft. This makes the whole process a breeze and keeps you in the loop with real-time reporting.

Flawless Fulfilment

The purchase has been made – it’s time to get to work. After delighting your customer with your low/non-existent delivery costs (well done!) you now have to get their order to them in a timely and efficient manner. Use tracked delivery and try not to take longer than a few days. If you’re struggling to keep up with orders, outsourcing your fulfilment to a third-party logistics provider might be worth considering.

Read more: Benefits of Outsourcing Logistics >

Likewise, receiving their parcel is a customer’s first impression of your brand, so make sure it looks stunning. To underscore the uniqueness of your brand, bespoke or personalised packaging could work wonders.

At Allegro Logistics, we love helping businesses bring their A-game by planning, designing and printing top-quality promotional packaging. We make it easier than ever for you to impress your lucky customers.

See more: Bespoke Packaging – Why is it Important & What are its Benefits?

Hassle-Free Returns

In the unfortunate event that someone isn’t happy or the product isn’t right, make sure your returns process is swift and stress-free. This goes back to building trust, and helps users know that your site is not a risk.

Returns Management with Allegro Logistics >

Discover Next-Level Logistics in Bristol

The team at Allegro provide seamless e-commerce fulfilment solutions in Bristol for a wide range of clients. Integrated with all the major e-commerce platforms, we guarantee a top-quality customer experience time after time.

To find out what we could do for your e-commerce business, feel free to request a quote and one of our friendly team will get back to you.

Find out more: The Importance of Effective Inventory Management >

Find out more: How to Ensure an Efficient E-Commerce Shipping & Delivery Solution >

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