The ’if you build it, they will come’ mentality is death to digital sales in the world we live in. Yes, the destination is important, but without promoting it, it will fail to realise its potential. Having a website that presents, promotes and provides the right products, at the right price, in a way that’s easy to purchase, with an aesthetic, valuable information and messaging that resonates with the audience and convenient delivery options should be a given. But so, should a robust and progressive SEO strategy, ensuring that appropriate keywords are identified, present in your content and used for promotion on search engines. We’ll be doing a guest article with our SEO specialist partners on this soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Appropriate analysis of who your target audience are, where they are online, what brands they like, where they like to shop, brands they love etc. all feeds into your online sales strategy. This will ensure that efforts are targeted for minimal waste and maximum Return on Investment (ROI). In considering where your target audience are online, you will also identify online channels where you should have a presence (if you don’t already), or where you should be concentrating marketing efforts or placing products to yield return. Commonly this list features marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, and social media channels such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Promotion on these channels needs to be appropriate to your brand and your audience. Images and videos are popular content with consumers and search engines, but would they be appropriate to your product offering? And don’t forget, not all channels are equal! You shouldn’t take a unilateral approach to social media marketing.

Listing your products on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay needs to be done with careful consideration and a strategic approach. We often advise businesses to treat them as marketing opportunities to pull people back to your website (where you will make more money in the transaction). Using lower value products for clearance purposes on channels like eBay often seems to be appropriate, with buyers coming to your website to find out what else you sell.

Amazon push margins hard, so again, to optimise profitability it’s common practice to list certain things on Amazon to draw attention to your business. Where you compete with others in the sale of a particular product, often listing on Amazon as soon as you have product knowledge and price from distributors is a key to success. Platforms like Magento have marketplace integrations to enable prices to be tracked below other listers but within acceptable margins to your business, this takes a lot of the effort out of managing these channels, which can contribute significantly to the overall digital sales channel ROI.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other strategies for growing your digital sales channel, including those around reducing basket abandonment. If you’d like to discuss anything in this article in more detail, or get some help in establishing a growth strategy for your business please call 01787 319393 or email talktous@netxtra.net. We recently helped increase Thomas Ridley’s digital sales income by 400% so it’s definitely worth a quick chat!