E-commerce sales are big—and they’re only getting bigger. A decade ago, about 6% of total retail consumption was online. In the most recent quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 15.4% of everything Americans bought was online. According to market research, the size of the global e-commerce market in 2021 was $14.3 trillion; that market is projected to grow to $58.7 trillion by 2028.
The mission is simple: I want you to eat a huge piece of the already large and getting larger global e-commerce pie. So let me distill prior experience down to several key pieces of advice.
- Choose Demand Over Differentiation
Digital sales is all about demand. If you don’t have traffic, good luck. The foundation for any product strategy needs to be ensuring that the well is deep enough. In other words, vet your market so you’re confident the total addressable market is large enough, the web traffic is searching for your product, and there are enough competitors. Many entrepreneurs fall victim to the notion that competition is a bad thing. They are dead wrong. If there aren’t competitors, your battle will be to sell consumers why they need a product like yours. In some cases, this fight is fierce.
- Micro-Conversions Are King
Of course, the “sale” is your main metric for success. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was a direct path for your online traffic? Well, it’s not, nor will it ever be. It’s time you become obsessed with your traffic’s behavior, watching their every step from behind the curtain—the digital curtain, of course, using professional analytics tools. Once you assign baby steps within your conversion funnel, shepherding them to the promised land (a sale) will be much easier.
- Automation Is Acceptable
Why does everyone love automation? Because it frees up time to do more important things, like laundry or tanning. Automated marketing tools are a dime a dozen in today’s landscape, and it takes very little time to find a fairly well-established software that condenses your three-day task into three seconds.
- Find Your Forever Channel
Dating is great until you find the one. Same with digital marketing. It’s important to play the field, picking up tips and tricks from all different varieties of digital advertising, but once you see consistency in your conversion rates, lock that down and focus on optimization.
- Third-Party Validation Matters
Aka social proof counts. Unless your product has been mentioned in a notable social thread, listed on a top 10 site, or highlighted on a blogger’s “service roundup,” you still have a long way to go. A great product is necessary, but third-party validation is just as mission critical. If you don’t have access to or funds for a traditional PR firm, consider expediting your brand exposure through affiliate marketing tools like Mosaic.
Follow these five tips and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll see sales spike.
Of course, don’t forget a few other critical lessons:
- Invest in SEO: Advertising is a must, but SEO helps you rank high on an organic search.
- Competitively price: Research what the competition is charging. Dropping your prices isn’t the goal, but chances are you can’t sell similar products for more than everyone else.
- Test, test, then test some more: It’s not enough to a/b test. You’ve got to a/b/c/d/e test. Go with what works. Embrace experimentation.
- Streamline checkout: You want the customer experience to be seamless, and the most seamless experience of all has to be checking out. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Empathy isn’t just a virtue of being a good human. It’s an essential business asset.
Good luck! Now go sell more!
A seasoned tech entrepreneur and angel investor, Kyle Mitnick was awarded #37 on Entrepreneur.com’s ‘Top 360 Entrepreneurs’ for 2019, is the Founder and Chairman of Advertise Purple, Inc, a 6x (2018-2023) ‘Fastest-Growing Private Company in America’ by Inc. Magazine, and ‘2019 & 2020 Best Workplace in America’ by Inc. Magazine. He is currently the President of Mosaic Digital Systems, Inc., a CRM for performance marketing.