How to Grow Your Online Store

November 27, 2014

It’s been a while since I began my online boutique and I must confess that being an entrepreneur is not as easy as I imagined it to be in the beginning. It seemed so easy to start an e-commerce business:

  • you choose the platform to host your store
  • you pick the products and publish them on your site
  • you start selling and calculating the profit

In the reality the process is much more complicated and tricky…. After opening my boutique I had to deal with numerous questions, problems and difficulties, such as:

  • how to attract clients and drive traffic to my store
  • how to convert visitors into buyers
  • how to deal with paid orders which for some reason couldn’t be accomplished
  • how to deal with a situation when post delays delivery or looses parcels
  • how to acquire repeat clients
  • and so many other things…

Sometimes I feel excited about the fact that I ran my business on my own and I did it the way I wanted to, sometimes I feel I could benefit more from the support and the advise from others.   I hope this post can be helpful to another e-shop owners, as I am going to share several things that I’ve learned.

Several months ago I’ve met with one of my best friends for coffee. She is teaching Marketing and Business Development in the Business School of Riga, and I asked her what could I do to increase the profit from my boutique. She gave me the best piece of advise, I’ve ever received. She said: “Imagine yourself a buyer in your own shop and try to complete all the steps, which the real buyer takes and you’ll see what you are missing”. Since I am visually minded, I’ve drawn the following diagram, which helped me to understand the whole process. You should also create one for yourself and with each step try to ask as many questions as possible. They will help you to understand what you need to change and what actions to take.

diagram 2.001

Statistics is a wonderful tool too, which will provide you with some valuable information: from which countries do the majority of visitors come from? what gender and age are they? how much time does the average visitor spend on your site and what is the bounce rate? what are the traffic channels? what keywords the visitors use to find your shop? All these points will help you to understand your target group.

Conversion from all visitors to actual buyers can be presented in the form of an upside down pyramid:

diagram 2.002

As we can see from it, some of them are just “tourists” – coming to see what you have but don’t actually buy, some of them will actually add something to the cart but then will drop out at this stage and only a few will actually complete the check out. To make your shop successful all that you need to do is to make the base of this pyramid the same  size as the top. That’s it!

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