How to Build a Successful Online Retail Business in Today’s World

In the post-COVID era, retail businesses will continue to rely more on online shoppers to grow their business. As a result, it has become essential for new and emerging digital brands to differentiate themselves in an already crowded market.

While online retailing has been a rapidly growing segment for several years, the pandemic has further altered consumer habits to the point that physical retailing risks becoming obsolete. According to a recent report from Coresight Research, up to 10,000 stores could close in the United States in 2021 alone, with far fewer openings than in previous years. In contrast, online sales of clothing and footwear increased by more than 27% to reach $ 121.5 billion in 2020.

Some might argue that shoppers will return to stores once the pandemic has run its course. However, according to a recent First Insight study, “40% of consumers say they will buy less or the same amount of clothing in stores after being vaccinated.”

Below are a number of practices that will help increase the chances of growing an online retail business in today’s competitive environment.

Building a strong team

The old adage “you are not as good as the people around you” could not be truer in today’s world, where the amount and type of expertise required for a retail business success has never been higher.

From branding and marketing to social media, there are a multitude of disciplines that a business must use effectively to be competitive. If there is something that you are not doing right, you can bet someone else in the market will take advantage of it. Not to mention the importance of understanding the rapid evolution of technology that is shaping how virtually everything is done today.

It is impossible for one person to be an expert in everything, and it should not be the responsibility of a founder or CEO to master all of these tasks. However, it is their job to build a strong team, to have a good understanding of each discipline, and above all to be decisive.

Marketing is the key

According to eMarketer’s Global Ecommerce Update 2021, global online retail sales are expected to approach $ 5,000 billion in 2021, up from around $ 4.28 trillion in 2020. However, there are more than 24 million sites. Worldwide e-commerce web. With so much competition for online shoppers, marketing plays a vital role in building a brand online.

The two main goals of a marketing campaign are brand awareness and customer loyalty. While finding new customers is the key to growing a business, attracting repeat buyers will ultimately be what takes a business to the next level. There are a number of tools that can help online retailers achieve both of these goals, including digital advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, public relations, and social media. .

SEO has become a particularly important tool in ensuring that a business website ranks well on Google and other search engines. There are many digital marketing companies that offer SEO, but the cost and level of service can vary widely, so it pays to do your research.

Email marketing may seem old-fashioned, but in fact, it can be a hugely effective way to maintain and increase brand loyalty if done in a thoughtful way. Running a weekly or monthly brand newsletter is a good option, along with emails highlighting specials and events.

Public relations can also be used to promote a brand to potential customers through ‘won media’ opportunities such as executive profiles, inclusion in trending stories, news announcements, and corporate awards. ‘business.

For a younger audience in particular, social media has become extremely important for promoting brands online, but it needs to be done in a thoughtful and methodical way. For example, it’s important to know which social media platforms your customers are using, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and to post regularly on those sites. Increasingly, Instagram offers brands the greatest potential for audience growth due to its popularity and visual benefits.

The power of influencers

A brand influencer is someone who gets paid to connect their loyal social media audience with a retail partner, potentially increasing that brand’s sales. Perhaps the most famous example is Kim Kardashian, but influencers can range from over 5 million followers to “nano-influencers” who engage a small, targeted audience of up to 10,000 followers. The costs to hire an influencer can vary widely, so a brand needs to weigh the costs against the benefits of working with a particular person. Influencers may not work for all brands, but they can provide a much needed boost if used intelligently, even if only for a short time.

With competition greater than ever from online retailers, it is essential to use at least some of these tools in order to effectively connect with customers and build brand loyalty in a post-COVID world.

Written by Jeffrey M Canouse.
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