I remember once listening to a CD by Bruce Baker. If you’ve never heard of him, Bruce Baker was, like, THE guy to learn about designing craft and trade show booths for handmade businesses. He taught a lot about learning to rework questions to be open-ended instead of yes/no, how to prepare applications for juries, stuff like that.
Anyhow, once he opened one of his lessons discussing displays and how the days of just throwing your products on a table and having it replaced at the end of the day with a pile of money was long gone. Now, he said, you have to take time to plan your booth design and plan a sales strategy.
Bb’s listen, that is happening now with online stores.
You can’t just expect to put up a shop on Shopify or Etsy and quit your job the next day. Your e-commerce sites are no longer new, or interesting, or making you money if you’re not thinking of a more comprehensive sales strategy. You’ve got to rethink how you plan to get customers, and what the fluff you’re going to do with them after they’ve made a purchase.
So what are you supposed to do now, and how the heck are you going to get noticed when every person with a Pinterest account thinks they can make a product to sell?
I’m here to tell you, it’s not difficult to stand out if you follow these strategies:
Blow up your e-commerce site by:
Rethinking what it is
Stop thinking about your Etsy site as just an Etsy site. STOP IT. It’s not just an Etsy site, it’s an outlet for your brand and a way for your customers to interact with it. That sounds like total BS, I know. But it isn’t.
Your e-commerce site is an avenue. Yeah, it’s the avenue that makes you money, but it’s only the end of a funnel. You need to realize that making a sale is only part of the process in building a successful business. It’s a step, and it’s a big step fo sho, but it’s not the end (and if it is, you’re doing it wrong).
Creating KNOW. LIKE. TRUST.
Now that you’re thinking about your brand as more than an e-commerce site, you’ve gotta up the ante. Think about buying on Amazon. Why do you buy, uh, everything there? Because you can see reviews. You can see there are enough favorable reviews there that make you feel like you’ll make a worthwhile purchase.
In this instance, you’ve experienced KNOW. LIKE. TRUST. which is why you’ve made a purchase.
- You KNOW what Amazon is and what they do
- You LIKE that you can get such a variety of stuff
- You TRUST that Amazon will back you up if something is wrong with your order and because you’ve been able to read reviews.
How can you create that same feeling in your own branding? Getting customers to know your brand will make them decide whether or not they like you or your brand (and if they don’t, AWESOME because you aren’t trying to please everyone). Once they like you, they begin to trust what you have to say…they see you as an authority, bb. BOOM. You’ve just outsmarted your competition by showing your brand is knowable, you are likable, and that they can trust what you have to say.
Providing extra value
I dun told ya and told ya that you should have a standalone blog separate from your website so that you always have a failsafe is something on your e-commerce goes wrong. But you wanna know another reason why? Because having a blog means you’ve got to do something else besides selling to people every GD day. So you start blogging about what you know…and that teaches your customer. Going back to KNOW. LIKE. TRUST. they start coming to you because they see YOU offering extra value because you sincerely want to help (you do, okay? Just go with me here even if you’re not feeling it). This creates more avenues in their brain to remembering YOU over your competitors. Are they offering free advice? No? Pfft, their loss.
So what happens now? Now you start planning your sales strategy as a funnel instead of a dead end. The story doesn’t end with the sale, that’s only the 2nd base of e-commerce site dating. If you want to go all the way, you need to keep the relationship going through extra value, newsletters, and developing more “you” into your brand.
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