The question with a local e-commerce website is how best to market it. There are two issues obviously there is the on-site search engine optimisation or SEO as well as the offsite SEO and advertising geography does have a severe bearing on how you are to go about making your client find your goods.
SEO For Ecommerce
On-site optimisation will often take form around the product you are selling, for instance if you’re selling Levi’s jeans and obviously you’re not too bothered about the geography of the customer but you certainly want to be presented immediately at the top of Google if someone types “Levi’s 512 boot cut jeans.” .
The big boys have multiple locations-you don’t.
All the big retailers like Amazon, Argos Tesco’s etc obviously have multiple warehouse locations where they can send their perishable goods from. What happens if you are in the perishable goods business and you are a local retailer that only has one location? Also why would you want to fight the big operators across National geography when you can do better just becoming more popular in your own area. What if you’re a local tool and plant hire operation with one or two locations in a very specific county? There is no way you’re going to be able to compete against someone like HSS or the big players. There are obviously specific plant Hire type directories in which you can advertise, but in the end this sort of advertising does not add up, and erodes any budget you may have to put towards making your website more findable.
Choose your own geography-and dominate there.
Therefore if you’re a local operator aiming at a specific geography (Perhaps County/urban/neighbourhood or even citywide) …you must spend almost as much time concentrating on optimising the words that describe your area as much as the words that describe your products.
Concentrate on all three-the brand, the product and the area
Now this obviously applies over all forms of website optimisation not just specifically to e-commerce sites. However, a classic mistake that many new Internet entrepreneurs make… They tend to concentrate too hard on branding of the products they are selling or descriptions and pay little or no attention to the likelihood (or not as the case may be) of a client ordering from a certain distance away.
To be fair, it’s not that long ago that people were quite resistant to doing supermarket shopping online, but these days if this is the norm for many people. Personally, I never get it right, and I personally need to walk up and down each individual isle to see which products I want to buy, and I do find it difficult on Tesco’s website. But that’s just me.
Think about it though, why did Tesco’s; Domino’s pizza, Waitrose and all the others do it? The reason is twofold …they can centralise an awful lot of their fulfilment and warehousing, and they save extreme amounts of money by being able to employ less staff because there is less foot fall in the stores.
But how does the same ideology translate to the small business operator?
Ecommerce Marketing Tips
There’s a lot more to it than just credit card transactions
Imagine the situation, you are completely run off your feet, the phone never stops on your premises-however actually you are able to get round all the deliveries without putting your drivers under too much strain.
Having a very basic and simple e-commerce website would enable you to take orders without actually picking up the phone and still do all the deliveries. This means you save money by not employing extra staff to answer the telephones and still you get around more customer deliveries.
This sort of e commerce website really doesn’t cost very much money and is exceptionally easy to manage, so it pays dividends across the board.
“it won’t work for me.”
Another statement from the average small businessman is that e-commerce websites are no good for local businesses. This is in fact a complete fallacy there are many ways you can use an e-commerce website to save money and increase productivity.
A typical scenario we came across was with a local tyre dealer, the client mentioned when we first went to see him that he was a bit sick of getting constant telephone calls just asking for prices. However, he did mention that he was particularly competitive and often did convert the enquiries into a sale after the client called back a couple of times.
His concern was he could save time if the client phoned him last, simply because his prices were that good. What most people were doing was checking his price first as he was their local guy…. then calling some other dealers – finding out that they were more expensive and then coming back to him.
Most people want to use a local supplier.
Most people want to use a local guy but only if he is competitive.. They don’t want to be ripped off. This meant that if they got the price from his website and then looked at some others and got prices from his competition they would always come back to him .We discovered that the client could save wasted time on three or four phone calls if he put the prices on his website straight away …..but obviously the logical step is then to enable to clients to buy the tyres on the website and book the appointment for the fitting on an automated system. That way he didn’t have to manage the diary and he was able to see what money was coming in at the beginning of the week and save time on multiple telephone calls that were unnecessary.Our clients at FlycastMedia want beautiful, functional websites which are easy to use and reliable – and that is what we give them. To help small businesses with their Ecommerce marketing strategy, we’ve put together 3 in-depth guides packed full of advanced techniques and strategies for SEO, social media and content marketing campaigns.