It sounds like part of some obscure riddle, but the reality is that ecommerce has grown to encompass more than just an online store. There are more ways to get in front of your potential market and the post-launch marketing is more important than ever. Consumers want information, they want fast and accurate delivery, and they want to save time. Here are a few channels for stores of any size.
If anybody ever saw Field of Dreams, you might remember the constant whispers of "if you build it, they will come." Unfortunately, that doesn't hold true with Web sites or ecommerce. You can build the best site ever and have the greatest product ever, but if you don't market the site nobody will know it exists. As part of the process, you should plan a monthly budget toward increasing your store's visibility..
We built (and are actively seeking beta testers for) a new service called MerchantFeedr to help streamline that process and make it easier. With input from individuals using the service, we'll make it even better. MerchantFeedr works by simultaneously submitting product information to multiple search engines automatically. Contact us if you're interested in a free beta test account.
This is a relatively new concept which only recently began rolling out on Twitter. The basic concept has been in use on social media games (anybody ever played, or witnessed their kids playing, Farmville?) for some time, where players could purchase "upgrades" to use inside the game. Traditional retailers have caught on recently and this is projected to be a $30 billion dollar business by the end of this year. We've seen some great options for Facebook and Instagram as well. If you're considering social commerce, we recommend checking out the Beetailer and SpotItBuyIt platforms. Both can be integrated with your ecommerce store using Magento or Joomla, though the latter can be a little more of a manual process.
Google started including "responsiveness" as part of their page ranking algorithm last year, reinforcing the idea that to stay relevant, you need to be available to Internet users, regardless of their browser (and, in this case, their platform). Mobile commerce covers not just a mobile-friendly purchase experience, but also information gathering. Consumers have become extremely savvy at price comparison using their mobile devices in store to check other locations and compare to online prices.
It's not just limited to big box stores like Barnes & Noble, Lowe's, and Cabela's either. Part of what consumers want is to know they aren't wasting time. They'll shop their favorite local store just to make sure it's available at the store when they go in. Further, if an online purchasing option is available with in-store pickup, they'll often order immediately so they can walk in and walk out when it's convenient for them.
There are so many option available for ecommerce that it's more than just ecommerce. If you're looking for assistance in picking apart the options or putting together a solution, Sol Minion Development can help. Contact us for additional information or to receive a proposal.