Practical Ecommerce

10 Great Ecommerce Ideas for August 2017

Practical Ecommerce periodically asks industry insiders to share a great, innovative idea that could help an ecommerce company. Here’s what 10 of them had to say for the August 2017 installment of “10 Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Outsource Non-core Competencies

“Think about where you spend the most time. There are tasks that you may not like doing, tasks that you shouldn’t be doing, and action items that could be completed faster by delegating. What if you only had to focus on the exact tasks that will most likely bring you the highest impact?

“For example, I was receiving 4,000 emails per month and decided there had to be a better way. I hired a virtual assistant, Ann, who now manages my inbox better than me. Likewise, you may not enjoy managing your warehouse, but a good third-party logistics provider can organize your chaos and make it look easy.”

Chad Rubin
Chief Executive Officer
Skubana

Back Up the Right Way

“It is vital to back up your online store daily. For those backups, don’t use your laptop, home computer, or the same server your store is running on. Use another server, preferably in a different data center. Always keep at least three copies of your store or marketplace in case one of the backups doesn’t work. To make sure all your backups are restorable, test them regularly.”

Maria Azizova
Chief Marketing Officer
Simtech Development

Consider Selling in China

“Chinese marketplaces — such as Tmall, Taobao, Amazon China — continue to offer massive sales opportunities for the right consumer brands. Do the research to look into these opportunities for selling products to Chinese consumers. There are many companies that can provide guidance.”

James Thomson
Partner
Buy Box Experts

Test Raising Your Prices

“A small increase in the selling price can make a huge improvement to the bottom line. And the reverse is also true. If you sell a product with a 40 percent gross profit and you discount that product by 20 percent, then you have to sell twice as many just to make the same amount of profit! This post by Emyth, a consulting firm, explains the math of how quickly discounting can destroy your profits.”

Lars Hundley
Owner and Founder
YoyoPlay

Leverage Your Social Media Followers

“Find ways your social media followers can help promote your business. For instance, if you frequently host social media giveaways, use reporting tools to uncover your most engaged users for these posts and then reach out, to see if they would be willing to promote or review your business to their social networks in exchange for free products, sneak peaks, and other exclusive perks.”

Vanessa Pino
Director, Content and Inbound Marketing
1-800-PetMeds®

Focus on Sales, Not a Good-looking Store

“Try not to concentrate on what your store looks like when you’ve just launched it. Instead, put all of your energy into making sales. You’re an ecommerce entrepreneur. Your main goal is to generate as much revenue as possible. Focus on experimenting with marketing campaigns first. Leave the design work for later.”

Tomas Slimas
Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer
Oberlo

Use 80/20 Rule to Manage Shipping Costs

“Understanding complicated shipping costs is a pain point for most ecommerce companies. Discount rates, surcharges, zones, weights, and dimensional weights: They are all potential savings. Run your numbers and use the Pareto 80/20 rule to determine where 80 percent of your spend is going. Then focus on optimizing or reducing those items.”

Jose Li
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
71lbs.com

Identify Quick Cross-border Wins

“Realize where there’s demand for your products in international marketplaces, understand the unit economics to make sure the expected margin is feasible, and comply with local tax collection regulations. Make sure your pricing reflects local market realities. Start with the locality that makes the most sense, learn from that experience, and move systematically to the next market.”

Ori Greenberg
Chief Executive Officer
Algopix

For Affiliate Marketing, Create Long-term Strategy

“Before launching an affiliate marketing program, research for at least three months before pushing the button. The channel is not a set-it-and-forget-it tool. Do not launch during the busy season. Beware that it might not be profitable for the first year. Affiliate marketing is all about relationships with key affiliates — and a long-term strategy.”

Greg Hoffman
President
Apogee

Answer Questions to Get ‘Featured Snippets’ in Google

“Using the free tool AnswerthePublic.com, identify questions that prospective customers type in Google. Formulate concise but informative answers to these questions and place them on your site in an FAQ page or in a learning library, and then link to this content on relevant product pages. Not only will these answers assist with ecommerce conversions, but they will also increase your chances at getting “featured snippets” in Google — i.e., an answer box in the top position, above all organic results.”

Stephan Spencer
Founder and Host
Marketing Speak Podcast

Practical Ecommerce

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