So, you’ve got a niche business up and running that you want to grow bigger. New platforms has made it easier for people to try their hand at e-commerce, but only some have the skills to become a prominent and important store. How do you do it? Thankfully, there are some straightforward tried and tested methods to help you attract customers and become more of a leader in your chosen market. Here are just some of them.
First things first – choose a hosting provider
The very initial thing you need to do in the process of starting an online business is deciding upon a hosting provider. Consider your future goals and how big you’re looking to grow your store – do you want to stay humble and small or grow exponentially? It’s likely the latter, and so you’ll want to opt for a dedicated server.
Although dedicated servers are admittedly more expensive, you won’t be sharing them with anyone else, therefore minimising the risk of crashing or overloading the server when traffic reaches its peak. If you’ve already set up a site with a shared server but are looking to grow bigger, now may be the time to look into transferring hosting providers. If you want to ensure reliability and speed upon your online store, this is where it all begins.
Sometimes you can find extra services to make the process even easier if need be – Shopify is a particularly reliable and easy-to-use platform for newbies to the e-commerce scene.
It’s all about the niche marketing
Despite having a niche business, it’s important you’re not limiting yourself to a niche market. You’ll be significantly reducing the outreach of your store, and the effective number of customers shopping from it – niche markets are small and limited to only a small amount of buying consumers, meaning you won’t be growing as much as you perhaps want to.
Make sure you instead employ niche marketing. Despite the similar name of the term, this is something you do want to do – it’s all about finding your own space within an oversaturated market, with competitors offering the same old products with no differentiations or anything to make them stand out. It’s your chance to showcase your innovation, effectively branding your business as exciting and unique and drawing customers to you from said competitors.
Have a good design to keep them browsing
You may be offering products that draw customers in, but if they’re greeted with a garish and ugly design upon arriving at your store, they may not go any further with the homepage. The layout and appearance of your site is one of, if not the most important aspect of it to consider – no customer will want to buy from you if you don’t appear to be professional.
Minimalism is a web design trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere just yet. Consider flat design, too – almost every major website nowadays sports it within their layouts, so if you want to stand with the top dogs it’s perhaps a necessity.
Ensure your customer service is at its best
Once your store is up and running, keep it growing by ensuring a good level of customer service. Your customers are your most honest critics, and if they’re left unimpressed by a lack of communication, you won’t see much growth at all. Instead make sure you’re offering a line or email address for customers to contact you upon, and promise quick responses to fulfil them.
There’s no more effective marketing strategy than simple word-of-mouth, which your customers are responsible for. Make sure they’re satisfied with your store and your communication, and they’ll undoubtedly be recommending you to their friends.