Michelle Phan does it. And so does The Coveteur. Selling items alongside editorial content is a blooming trend in the blogging world. And why not? Bloggers are already equipped with a built-in customer base—avid followers who love their style. So launching an ecommerce store to boost a brand and business should be a natural part of a blog’s (and business’s) growth. To get in on the action, check out these five ways to kickstart your ecommerce shop without disconnecting readers:
Step 1- It’s all about the blog.
Some think it’s best to create an online shop with a blog attached. However, doing the reverse can really pay off with the right planning.
Connecting a store or product to your blog offers limitless potential in content marketing. Say you’re already established as a self-styled fashionista and your blog keeps readers current with the latest trends; crafting valuable content will not only keep your audience informed, but help create trust in your brand. Once you’ve created an online shop to live alongside your blog, connect the two by referencing the products or services in your store when offering tips, tutorials, and resources in your blog posts.
If you can create compelling content on a regular basis, you’ll start to see the power of your posts via comments and social shares. If you haven’t started a blog or e-commerce store, check out these tips on how to start a blog for faster audience growth.
Step 2- What’s your market?
Your e-commerce game plan should start with understanding who your readers and customers are. Ask yourself: Who are your target customers? What do they need? Often you’ll discover that readers who product appealing share similar characteristics. Try listing the personality traits of the type of person who would be attracted to your site and products. This will help you create content for your audience, specifically. Try to Craft a customer profile to help guide your research.
Step 3- Learn from the pros.
Many e-commerce entrepreneurs have tried, tested, and failed. But on an optimistic note, you can learn from the experiences of others to take educated, proactive measures when launching your own online shop. Try to find someone who has launched the type of online store you intend to do and learn about their successes and failures.
Take the story of Sophia Amoruso. If there were a Cinderella of the online fashion world, it’d be her. This leading lady is the force behind Nasty Gal, the fastest-growing online retailer in the United States. Nasty Gal originated from Amoruso’s vintage eBay store and grew within a mere five years to become a one-stop shop for fashion risk-takers. Even better? She wrote a book in which she shares her experiences with us, the readers!
Step 4- Find your niche
While you think your idea for ecommerce domination may be innovative and cutting-edge, you must accept the likelihood that many people may share the same or a similar vision. To ensure you’re providing a service or need that is different from the pack, look for an opportunity gap in your industry and capitalize on it.
Think about what you can do differently or better from what is present or expected. For example, ITLY is an online store that imports handmade Italian goods to the States. They took advantage of a market gap by bringing customers a unique selection of quality products that are not as accessible overseas.
Step 5- Accept a helping hand.
Launching your e-shop can be challenging. If you can’t afford to hire someone to build your online store, there are plenty of vendors that can help, including Bigcommerce, Shopify, Goodsie, Jumpseller, and Volusion. These services allow you to design the overall look, feel, and functionality of your online store, all the while securely hosting your e-shop on their own servers. One simple link can direct traffic from your company’s website to a shopper’s paradise.