Three things Sellers can do to expand their business

Three things Sellers can do to expand their business

With the current situation facing commerce now, there is just so much more opportunity out there, and it's time to go get it. It’s time to expand your business.

Recently, I’ve been reading articles about how the pandemic has upended retail and e-commerce.

But I have to disagree.

I don't think it has been upended it at all. I think we were eventually going to get to the state where you buy online pick up in-store, or you buy online and do curbside pickup, or you buy online and a drone delivers it, or Uber Eats.

We should acknowledge that we were growing in this direction anyway.

The pandemic just accelerated it, but business owners were forced to get there quickly.

As consumers, we were absolutely ready for this.

Shopping has never been easier or more convenient. That's why smart retailers and smart merchants are getting a lot more share of our wallets than ever before.

When I research products, I use Amazon as a product comparison tool, either for the price, quality and certainly for reviews. But these products are available elsewhere and have even more depth and an array of choices.

I can go buy a pair of Nike shoes on Amazon. But I can’t go to Amazon and choose custom colors, or have custom Nike shoes made for me. I would go to for that. Product customization is difficult to do on Amazon, at scale.

So make sure that your products are easily discovered outside of Amazon. The market is exploding and there are a lot more consumers. There are a lot more buyers. There's a lot more eyeballs.

But, e-commerce has become a utility that anyone can easily access. You can sell a product online in 15 minutes or less, and you don’t even have to have the product. You can find a seller before you even get the product.

So the barriers of entry for sellers with any products are so low. Really low. Probably the lowest in history—and they'll continue to get lower.

But what that means is we have an influx of merchants and sellers who are have pivoted from mainly offline sales to online sales and now you’re fighting for market share.

So what can a Seller do?

Collect social proof and product reviews.

One of the critical elements of a transaction converting in Amazon is based on the quality and quantity of your reviews.

The same is going to ring true outside of Amazon.

You can use an app like Yotpo that integrates perfectly with your Shopify site to get good reviews and good social proof.

If something has great reviews on Amazon, but there's a lot of competition, I, as a consumer, I might go to the individual branded websites. I’ll look to see which company is better at building a meaningful and authentic relationship with me so that I keep coming back.

Your social proof is what’s really going to attract buyers, drive those sales, and create that longterm customer loyalty.

Next up... managing your digital ecosystem.

Check your footprint. How is your social engagement, your nurture sequences, and your abandoned cart sequences?

Are you active on at least one social media platform? Creating engagement and building a relationship with your audience on social media can be time-consuming, but it creates repeat buyers. You can utilize tools like chatbots and schedulers to help manage your accounts if you’re short on time, but personal and authentic engagement always gets the best reach.

Do you have an opt-in? Try providing an incentive for your audience to share their email with you. Respect and nurture that relationship so that your audience will open your emails, click-through to your products, and eventually buy.

Abandoned cart sequences can be humorous and fun for the consumer (they are often an appreciated reminder) and can help recover lost revenue. Up to half of the customers who abandon their carts will complete the purchase when asked.

You can use post-purchase emails to notify customers of promotions and additional offers on products you already know they are interested in.

And finally, create a cross-channel content strategy.

This is the omnichannel experience where every touchpoint with your brand is an opportunity to enrich and deepen that relationship with the customer. Make each touchpoint awesome and effortless, and you can even turn a complaint or an issue into something awesome.

Don't be that mom and pop who didn't pivot and blames Amazon because you are still selling candles from your basement using a fax machine.

The world has changed. It’s okay if you haven't yet, but you need a plan. Learn about the tools and the technology that is available.

According to research, 35% of consumers said they won't be going back to the mall anytime soon, which has completely flipped the mall scene.

So if you’re just selling on Amazon, create a Shopify site and connect to the Walmart Marketplace. Those are two simple pivots. Then look and see what else is out there.

Follow a plan. Maybe pivoting isn't in your wheelhouse right now, but get it on your roadmap. If you are on Amazon and that's working for you, that's great. But maybe you need to increase your revenue a little bit. Do a little research. Add something else to your plan, whether it's getting your reviews squared away, or picking one additional channel. Do something else to grow that revenue.

As consumers, the new normal is what we were hoping for in our online experience to be. The pandemic just accelerated what we already wanted.