The online marketplace has changed dramatically in the last eight years, with ecommerce growing in popularity and competitiveness. Ecommerce on a broad range of products is being done so well by sites like Amazon.com and eBay.com that getting a piece of the e-business pie requires focusing in different areas than the big players do.
Find a Niche For Your Ecommerce Web Site
Search engines and online directories have been inundated with ecommerce web sites that sell everything under the sun. If you're going to be competitive online, then you need to find a niche. Because the big names in ecommerce are going for the whole enchilada, small businesses have the opportunity to duke it out for niche online markets.
The bad news? There's a ton of businesses out there, filling virtually every niche there is already. The good news? Very few of them are doing it well, giving new businesses the chance to do it better. Here's a few things you can to give your ecommerce web site an edge:
Invest in a Quality Ecommerce Web Site
A quality ecommerce web site uses a highly-usable shopping cart, is optimized for search engines, loads quickly and is pleasing to the eye. Strive to excel in all four of those categories, and you will see not only a high number of conversions, but you will also start to generate some good, qualified traffic from search engines.
Find Ecommerce Partners
When you have an ecommerce niche, there are likely a number of other companies offer complementary products or services that your customers will want to know about. Seek out potential partners online, and try to foster relationships where you encourage visitors to visit the partner's ecommerce site. These relationships can take the forms of links, advertisements, or even word of mouth.
As an added incentive, consider implementing an affiliate program where your partners earn a percentage off of each referral they send to your web site.
Get Creative Marketing Your Ecommerce Site
Marketing an ecommerce web site presents the biggest challenge to most emarketers. The good news is that there are many, many online channels you can use to increase the visibility of your site. Make sure to find every possible free online directory and submit your site to them. Not only will you get a valuable incoming link to your ecommerce web site, you will also get some traffic from the links. Start a small pay-per-click marketing campaign using the major pay-per-click engines like Google AdSense and Overture.
Also try to add content or services to your site that will attract incoming links. The more incoming links your web site has, the bigger the edge you will have over your competitors.