Guide For Starting An ECommerce Business From Scratch

Starting an eCommerce business is a continuously growing trend. Since everything is going online, so are the stores. People no longer love to go out and shop for their needs. When everything can be done within a few clicks for the same price, then why waste time and fuel?

According to the stats of Shopify, the eCommerce industry is expected to double by 2023 to more than $6.5 billion nearly.

Image Source: Shopify / eMarketer

So why not jump and grab this opportunity for your products? With the rise in eCommerce players, it is getting easier to manage an online store.

However, there some points to take care of before starting your eCommerce business. Being prepared makes the journey easier.

3 Things To Know Before Starting an ECommerce Business

  1. Category – the kind of products will you be selling
  2. Product Catalogue with high-quality images of the products – this will serve as the first impression of your products
  3. Platform – the marketplace where your target customers are present to buy your products

The category is the industry that you want your products to list. You can even go narrower with your niche depending upon various factors.

In case you are not clear with your niche, choose your eCommerce niche using four easy steps. Since we have already covered that in a dedicated article, let’s know about the next stage of deciding an eCommerce marketplace.

There are two types of platforms to sell your products – pre-established marketplaces and self-hosted eCommerce websites.

Pre-established Marketplaces

Several marketplaces are selling a large range of products from multiple vendors of every category.

If you are confused about the market place for your product, then we are listing a few.

You can sell your artistic work and handicrafts on marketplaces like Craftsvilla, Afday, Etsy, Saffronart, and the India craft house.

If you have apparels as your products then marketplaces like Myntra, Shopclues, LimeRoad, and Koovs are open for you.

For electronic items, we have great options like Amazon, Flipkart, Croma, HomeShop18, Naaptol, and IndiaMart.

Want to sell food online? Zomato, Swiggy, Deliveroo, Faasos, and other food delivery partners will warmly welcome you.

Not just products but you can even deal with real estates. For selling or renting properties, you can use platforms like 99Acres, Magicbricks, Rent Mantra, Gumtree, Flatmates, and others.

Similarly, if you want to rent your property for hospitality, then you have partners like Oyo, Yatra, Airbnb, MMT, GoIbibio, TripAdvisor, and others.

Challenges with pre-established marketplaces:

No doubt it is convenient to list your products and sell on these large eCommerce websites with their branding.

After all, they are managing all the technical aspects for you. These websites don’t easily get hacked, and their security is really strong. You don’t have to work the backend hassle, and you can completely focus on your products and business.

Also, people easily trust when your products are listed on these big websites like Amazon or Flipkart. These tech-giants even handle the marketing for you.

However, there are some challenges.

1] High commissions

At present, Amazon charges a commission of anywhere between 3% and 25% for listing and selling your products. Flipkart has similar rates. eBay charges around 10% of the commission.

Multiple eCommerce platforms have their rates of commission which they charge.

Before even entering any eCommerce platform, it is important to calculate your Returns on Investments (ROI), margins, fees, cancellation charges, shipping charges, and even policies.

We will talk about the policies in the next point but calculate your finances beforehand – research about all the hidden costs and taxes that you would need to pay later.

It’s wrong to blame them as they are making things easier by handling server costs, shipping, and even providing you with an easy dashboard. It depends if these market places are sustainable for your business.

2] Policies

Always check the refund and return policies because sellers often ignore this factor before registering. How a particular platform responds to returns and refunds matters a lot. Who will be bearing the double logistic costs? Will the platform bear some part or will the seller has to take the losses?

Some marketplaces deduct the charges from returned products.

Look for the disputes as well. There are always some unsatisfied customers, so it is important to know how these platforms co-operate with sellers to solve them. These are trivial things to start, but they matter once the business starts growing.

3] Restrictions

According to the availability of resources, several marketplaces don’t allow you to sell your products in specific areas. Generally, logistics and shipping cause such issues.

Check beforehand if you are allowed to sell your products in your targeted locations to avoid any further inconveniences.

Also, you are not given the data of your customers in almost every marketplace. The reason is that their users are their customers, and sellers are just vendors for them.

These steps are also useful for Amazon and others to avoid stealing consumers from them to your eCommerce store. After all, marketplaces are just acting as middlemen. It’s possible to operate without them.

You even have restrictions on analytics. You cannot track your consumers to retarget or spot them later. If you have a self-hosted eCommerce business, then these controls are with you. You are the owner of your marketplace.

What are self-hosted eCommerce stores? Let’s find out.

Image Source: Unsplash

Self-hosted eCommerce Store

Building an eCommerce store from scratch can get slightly technical. You need to manage shipping, marketing, and even inventories. 

But you hold all the control. You don’t have to rely on someone else’s marketing and data.

There are multiple platforms where you can build your eCommerce store and sell it from there. WooCommerce and Shopify are good examples. We will be covering them in our upcoming blog.

You can market your products on your own and create a strong brand for your own business. If you are doubtful about growing your self-hosted store against giants like Amazon, then check out the six ways how your eCommerce website can compete with Amazon.

If you need help with developing and growing your eCommerce business, then we might help you out!

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6 Ways Your eCommerce Website Can Compete With Amazon

Amazon is the ruler of the eCommerce world. It is leveraging an unprecedented amount of money, inventories, and even brand name. So how will an eCommerce brand compete with Amazon?

A small eCommerce store can’t even look for too many discounts. Everyone knows that Amazon spends hundreds of dollars to convert a single customer. A new player cannot defeat it in terms of customer acquisition costs. It’s just too high.

So how will your eCommerce brand grow? Is it just impossible now? Are you too late?

Amazon is too big to focus on smaller aspects that you can grab as an opportunity.

Compete With Amazon Using These 6 Factors

1] Micro Niche

Let’s ignore what Amazon became today but focus on how it started and grew to this level. 

The tech giant is selling everything available on the planet literally.

But did you know Amazon started with a single niche of books? Amazon just sold books in its initial days.

Even today, Kindle devices and ebooks are its specialities.

There’s a saying – don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20. This quote works well for the eCommerce business as well.

Narrowing down on the niche not only helps you establish your brand in that micro-niche but also benefits from the SEO point of view. Google and search engines understand that a particular website has E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) in a specific niche.

Many eCommerce companies are implementing this strategy successfully.

Pier1 is an example that is just focusing on its niche – Furniture.

In case you are confused while picking up a niche then choose your eCommerce niche using these four steps.

2] Hyper-local Deliveries

Why will a consumer buy from a new website when he is getting the same thing from Amazon within a day?

Amazon and other large brands give a guaranteed next-day delivery. If you try to compete, you will be maintaining multiple inventories at different places to ensure fast deliveries. However, this becomes costly.

So, how will an eCommerce website compete with that speed? Going hyper-local in initial stages is a great option.

You can target a specific location and stock up your inventory in that radius. Hence, you can ensure the deliveries within a few hours and not even days. The whole point is to give better and quicker service than other eCommerce platforms.

Dunzo is another great example of a growing eCommerce company that targeted hyperlocal deliveries. It used to deliver medicines, food items, groceries, and everything related to your day-to-day requirements. Once it grew and raised some fundings, they started targeting more locations.

Once the business grows, you can target more locations by expanding the inventories.

3] Free Shipping

People hate to pay for shipping. Hence, most of the marketers and online sellers play with the psychology of consumers.

A product worth $50 with a shipping charge of $5 is simply unacceptable for most of the consumers. But if you set the price tag of $55 and highlight the free shipping in bold, then most of the people happily order the item.

The reason is simple yet effective. When the consumer looks at the price tag, and it fits exactly with his budget, then he is convinced to buy that product. But if such a customer finds an extra cost for delivery, he is forced to leave the deal.

This strategy works best if your product gives you a good amount of profit margin.

4] Subscription-based offers

Subscriptions work because you have already taken the customers into the loop and they are at the bottom of your sales funnel.

People love it when they get customized and special offers after becoming a family member. Leverage this emotional aspect. Think about why a customer would like to be a part of your email list. They should get value and feel cared for by joining you.

For instance, this pandemic of 2020 gave a strong blow to the travel industry. As a result, nobody is searching for hotels. Here’s what Oyo did – they sent customized emails to their subscribers with attractive offers.

This strategy was only possible because they made a strong connection with their email subscribers. 

These discounts are not visible to other people. This service is the result of personal touch and customized emails for subscribers.

Don’t just promote your products but give the exclusive products to test before launching in the market. At times, free samples can do well. You’re not only providing the value but also not giving any reason to leave your subscription. This simple thing also builds a high quality of relationships with customers. They feel valued.

5] Creating an Ecosystem

Creating an ecosystem of sellers and distributors can help to grow your business.

We all know that Amazon takes a sizeable chunk from the profits and affiliates & sellers remain helpless. That is because they have no other option. Smaller eCommerce websites can scale up here.

List more sellers with their products on your eCommerce website and take lesser commissions on listings or sales. If you have your products, then form a chain of affiliate marketers who will help you sell your products.

Amazon hardly gives a commission up to 10% and that too for the limited categories. For your business, provoke the affiliates to market your products for more margin, and they will happily do it for you.

Image Source: Amazon Advertising Rates

6] Focus on Consumer Experience

The biggest factor where Amazon lags is the consumer experience. The reason is that it is so vast that it simply cannot focus on the whereabouts and problems of individual consumers.

This gap is where you can stand out! If you have a limited and manageable size of customers, then it is easier for your eCommerce business. Creating a community where you solve the pain-points of your consumers helps you grow much faster. Not because you’re providing great products but because you listened to your customers. The word-of-mouth publicity is too good in the initial stages.

Summarizing:

No matter how big Amazon gets, there is always some space to compete with Amazon and improvements, and new eCommerce owners can grab those opportunities.

However, it is important to have the best product quality at the right price, and that becomes the deciding factor for buyers.

Do you need help for your eCommerce Business?

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6 Amazon Listing Optimization Points For Sellers

Advertisements are fine, but nothing is better if your Amazon product pops up on the top if someone searches for something related to your work. For that, you need to learn about Amazon listing optimization.

According to Statista, Amazon has a huge traffic of 197 million monthly visitors. That is a huge market place for every seller, which we cannot ignore.

SEO is not only about Google. Whenever the search feature comes on any platform, SEO has to be there. When thousands of similar products compete for a single keyword, you need to optimize your page for that target keyword.

It is important to know that Amazon works on the A9 algorithm, which decides the ranking factor as per the relevancy and performance. Amazon cares about its buyers and their experience. Make sure that you satisfy humans first, then algorithms.

If I give you a short snippet about things to optimize, here is a list:

  1. Product Title
  2. Product Description
  3. Product Features
  4. Product Images
  5. Keywords
  6. Products Reviews & Ratings
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Amazon Product Listing Optimization Techniques

Before making changes to your existing pages or listing your products, it is good to go through the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) page. FBA has several benefits for sellers.

Let’s start with the optimization points now.

1] Product Title

The title is the face of the product. The title is something that makes you click when search results appear on your screen.

Amazon allows you to put a product title with 250 characters.

Similar to traditional SEO, it is important to insert your target keyword into the product title. For instance, if you want to rank for ‘Bluetooth earphones’ then it is important to include that in your title.

Before writing a title, it is important to know what you should not do with a product title on Amazon.

Avoid writing titles in all caps, but always capitalize the first letter of every word. Also, you cannot mention the discounts, price, quantity, quantity, or anything promotional that incentivizes the users to click on your product.

When we search for ‘best headphones under 2000’ then this product ranks on the top. Check out the title for example.

2] Product Description

Amazon gives this space of 2000 characters where you can do magical copywriting to convert your visitors into customers. Tell the best reasons why your visitors should prefer your product over your competitors.

Mention the important details in your product description. Write short but easy to read sentences so that the visitors understand the value you are providing.

You can include the keywords that are close to your target keyword but not mentioned in your title or your keywords section. It helps the Amazon algorithms to understand that the product is relevant to other synonyms. For instance, if your product is related to mobile phones and you included ‘smartphone’ in your title, then you can use ‘mobile phone’ in the description.

That was an example, but that applies to most of the products. Find out the synonyms.

Avoid using the seller name or company name in the description. Also, don’t use promotional language in your narrative.

3] Product Features

You have 1000 characters to write the key features of your product. Product features are the bullet points that describe the parts of your item in a more elaborative way.

It’s good to highlight the top five features of your product in this section in the bullet form. Use the first letter of the point as capitalized. Be specific and avoid getting descriptive.

Product description might be telling about why your product is better than competitors and how the consumers can get benefitted by using your product. However, product features are straight-forward.

Once again, avoid mentioning the seller or company in this feature. Also, Amazon prohibits other information such as price, quantity, or even sales tactics.

4] Product Images

A picture is worth a thousand words. Leverage this opportunity to grab all the attention of your visitors.

Amazon allows you to upload nine high-quality images with at least 1000 pixels in height or width. However, Amazon recommends using a picture of 2560 pixels wide.

It’s good to have a white background color, and the product should fill up to 85% of the frame. Optimize your images with the title names as it helps the Amazon bots to understand the product.

Bonus tip: Mention the size and dimensions of the products. Most of the buyers complain that the product does not appear as large as it appeared in images. Don’t let it happen to your buyers.

5] Keywords

Amazon gives an option to insert backend keywords but avoid using the same keywords that you used in your title, description, or features. Because if you do so, it is a waste of precious space.

The best way to leverage this space is to use the alternative meanings of your products that your potential customers might be searching for! If you are selling hand sanitizers and you optimized the product for the same keywords. But what if someone searches for hand lotion? Also, people misspell several products.

There are several tools to find keywords related to your product. One of the options is Amazon Keyword Search from Sellerapp.

The important thing is to avoid using claims in your keywords like ‘best’, ‘cheap’, ‘new’, and so on.

6] Products Reviews & Ratings

For every business, the customer is the king. No matter how well you optimize your products for Amazon algorithms, humans are playing the key role to decide your ranking. All top-ranking products have one thing in common – they have excellent reviews and high ratings.

It’s always good to provide high-quality products within the competitive price range. Never over-promise. Inversely, under-promising but over-delivering works like a charm but make sure it doesn’t affect your sales.

By chance, you get negative reviews, work upon the issue, and provide some partial compensation to the customers. Ask for the feedback and work on the product.

People love the brands which listen to their voice and act upon them.

Among all these tips, observation is the best teacher. Stalk your competitors and toppers in other categories. Look what top rankers are doing differently.

These were some basic Amazon Listing Optimization techniques that can help an Amazon seller to boost the sales by reaching on the top of Amazon search results.

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The Latest Amazon Email Marketing Tool is Here – Grab Your Sales Superpower

After serving 1000+ Amazon customers, we’ve realized that the silver bullet for success is email marketing. So, we built the most comprehensive Amazon email marketing tool out there.

If you are seller caught in the vicious cycle of no reviews – no sales – no reviews, read on. We’ve solved this forever with Seller Wizard from CPC Business.

1.    What is Seller Wizard?

It is your one-stop marketing tool to manage your Amazon buyers and prospects, leading to greater revenues over time. It covers email marketing, inventory management, reputation management and deep analytics.

2.    What are the benefits to an Amazon seller?

A typical Amazon seller has three great challenges which get perfectly tackled.

Managing magnitude: The sheer volume of orders, inventory, SKUs is so large that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Excel sheets give up too. When seller wizard converts all that data into graphs, charts and actionable alerts, it starts to make sense.

Nurturing the customers: A sale made is just the beginning. It is important to solicit feedback, build reputation, upsell other products. Seller wizard automates all these sequences, so the store runs on autopilot.

Operational efficiency: Sales and orders is just one side of the story. It is important to investigate negative feedbacks, respond to queries, reconcile transactions. Seller wizard acts as a tracker and listening tool.

3.    How does it work?

3.1. Connect your store

You connect your store to the tool, and it pulls in all your existing data in a clean, simple dashboard

3.2 Set up your email campaign

Believe it or not, sellers take a lot of time to figure the success code for the right email templates and workflows. Seller Wizard takes the guesswork out. Let us walk you through it.

3.2.1 Decide your campaign type

General campaigns: Every new buyer should get a ‘how-to guide’? Schedule it. Simple.

A/B Testing campaigns: Offer 1 works better or Offer 2? Test it, easy.

Follow up campaigns: Rarely do we hear back with one email. Follow up emails are designed to entice action without annoying the user.

Adhoc campaigns: Got a new idea to research? Tap into your existing customer base with an email campaign.

3.2.2 Set up the campaign

Pick your product, your content and you are ready to go.

Hold on, where do you get the content for the emails from? No need to hire content writers. We have three powerful features in-built.

3.2.2.1 Proven templates

We’ve studied click-throughs long enough to know what kind of content will make users tick. Simply pick one.

3.2.2.2 Personalized touch

We all love the ‘Dear our name’ formats and emails that know ‘our needs’. Nobody likes generic ‘to whomsoever it may concern’ styles. So, we built that in with ‘placeholders’

3.2.2.3 Superb Call-to-Actions

We send the user straight to the page they should go to. Nobody is going the extra mile to find those review links on Amazon for you. We make it darn easy!

There we go. Let’s move on.

3.2.3 Track your results

You can sit back and relax but we won’t. We keep our eyes on your campaign results in the dashboard section and send you weekly updates too.

In a bird’s eye view you get to see three metrics which can make or break your success. Constantly optimizing them is the secret sauce.

3.2.3.1 Email open rate & click rate:

Map those against industry benchmarks and you know if it is time to change the campaign

3.2.3.2 A/B test results

The magic of marketing happens here. Keep testing to find what works for your brand.

Email marketing is where it all starts but we don’t stop there. We take a more holistic approach and link it all back to your sales and revenue. Here is what we recommend.

3.3 Watch your dashboard

All your marketing efforts will bring you orders, which must be tracked.

3.3.1 Order trends

High cancellation rate? You have something to fix. Dropping sales curve? All eyes back on marketing boosts. Every metric will demand a reaction and you will be always ready with our dashboard by your side.

3.3.2 Top performers

Some SKUs are your heroes. They bring new customers in the category. Similarly, some geographies react better to your offers. The unique ethnic profile of India brings these diverse trends and we help you stay on top of it.

3.4 Know your inventory

There is nothing more powerful than the power to forecast demand and stock up well in advance. We cover that too for you with our orders and inventories dashboard.

3.5 Manage your reputation

One negative review can impact your sales badly. However, it is inevitable – law of nature you may say. The best thing to do is ‘react’ as promptly as possible. So, again, we help you manage that.

3.5.1 Negative review alert

Get an instant notification when there is a negative feedback. Resolve the customer’s issues and get it removed. Timely reaction is your best weapon.

3.5.2 Automatic blacklisting

If there are unhappy customers who leave bad reviews or who’ve cancelled orders in the past, they should not be targeted through email marketing. How do we keep track? The tool automatically does that.

3.6 Protect your Amazon account

The hard work that goes into creating a reputation on Amazon can go down the drain if your account gets hijacked. We send instant notification if that happens.

4.    How to get started?

Depending on the age of your Amazon account and your time in business, you may need different solutions. We have basic beginner packages as well as advanced enterprise ones. Check pricing here

Top 3 Ways To Promote Kindle Book When You Are Short of Budget

It is a dream for every author to publish a book and sell thousands of copies. Every author wants to get visibility from the masses and get recognized. But once you publish your book on Amazon, how will you promote your kindle book?

According to Forbes, only 1 or 2 become top sellers out of every one million authors. That might not seem good.

Writers know how to write a book, but the main game about selling copies is marketing it to the right audience. Selling books is where the majority of writers fail.

It is totally fine and acceptable because not everyone is a master of all trades. Writers and authors are good at writing. 

For promotion, it requires different skills and a huge chunk of time. There are marketing and advertising agencies to promote your Amazon Kindle books.

However, you might be curious if there are ways to promote kindle book for free or spending a minimum amount? For your relief, yes, there are some ways!

How To Promote Kindle Book Using Online Platforms

(Image Source: Olga Tutunaru on Unsplash)

It is important to note that when we promote without spending much on Ads, we need to spend time. Organic promotion takes time, consistency, and patience.

Social media is the power in the digital world. Not only social media, but we can also easily establish an online presence to promote the products.

Here are a few ways to do it.

1] Google

A user comes to Google and searches for something related to your book, and your Amazon Kindle book pops up on the top. What is the possibility of increasing sales? It’s endless.

Approximately 5.6 billion searches take place on Google every day. Possibilities are high that many people might be searching for something related to your book.

But how would you come on the first page of their search results? The answer lies in Search Engine Optimization, which is also known as SEO.

SEO is free for everyone where all you need to do is optimize your content to rank for specific keywords. Let’s say you are writing a book on motivation. Now whenever someone searches for ‘best motivational books’ then your writing should be the one.

No doubt, this is a highly competitive keyword. Thousands of authors and large publications are competing on that keyword. There are several strategies to become a member of those top lists.

You can outreach the top bloggers with your product and ask if they can include your book on their list as well. No doubt they might ask for a free copy of your book or even charge you some money. But that is a part of the negotiation. Let’s focus on the return of investment that you made!

However, the good news is that you can still target lesser competitive but highly targeted keywords and swiftly gain the users specifically looking for some book. Ranking on less competitive keywords is easier.

Once you start gaining traffic, it becomes exponential growth.

2] Forums: Quora

There are several online forums, and many of them belong to a niche. However, we will consider one of the largest communities, Quora. The reason being it is generic, and all types of people are present.

The best strategy for marketing on Quora is to build a strong fanbase for yourself by providing more value or the content which your audience demands.

Several self-established writers on Quora turned out to be promoting their books, and they sell well. Top writers are practicing this trend more.

Here are some instances.

Dushka Zapata is a professional author who has written ten books until now, and she is successfully selling them using her Quora traffic.

She has more than 222k followers on Quora, where she wrote thousands of answers to engage with them.

(Image Source: Dushka Zapata Quora Profile)

Another example we have in India is Dr. Awdhesh Singh, who is one of the top writers on Quora from several years with more than 300k followers on his profile. He is an ex-IRS officer who writes books now. He has more than five books on his name now.

(Image Source: Awdhesh Singh Quora Profile)

How is he marketing them? He writes multiple answers on Quora solving the queries of youngsters in his field. Eventually, many of his readers get converted and buy the books he sells because they trust his knowledge in the field.

The more value you create, the easier it gets to build a personal brand for conversions. People look for trust factors.

If someone is selling something valuable, users want a sense of trust. Even I would check the level of expertise before buying any book.

3] Social Media

Social media is not all about posting content and calculating the likes you get on the posts. It’s more about building a community.

We have already discussed getting more sales using social media platforms on our blog. In case you missed it, check out: Roadmap To Boost eCommerce Sales Using Social Media

But let’s talk about selling books.

Social media is a double-sided sword. No other way is better for reaching out to millions of people around the globe to showcase your book.

However, getting narrower is important as social media platforms are huge, and all kinds of people are available here. The main task is to target them specifically.

Find out where your target audience usually hangs out. Apart from posting content and engaging with the target audience, there are several ways to promote your book on social media platforms.

With the decreasing organic reach of social media platforms, paid ads come to the rescue.

Even influencer marketing works well for boosting the sales of your book. Reach out the influencers and negotiate with their charges to promote your book. Multiple micro-influencers give more deals but managing them is a task.

Finally, selling books without putting your budget on fire is an art.

As I mentioned earlier, it is totally fine for authors to focus on the writing part. Specialists can manage marketing and promotional activities.

In case you need help with the promotion part for your Amazon Kindle Book, let us know. We assist people with their Kindle books.

Contact Us For More Details

Choose ECommerce Niche Using These 4 Steps

The eCommerce industry is booming day by day. The lockdown effect has made several offline businesses realize the importance of going online. But how will you choose Ecommerce Niche if you don’t own any existing business?

For businesses with an established audience in the offline market, it is easier to build an eCommerce store online and make more sales. They can leverage their existing loyal customers.

But how will you, as a beginner with no established set of audience, start an eCommerce business?

The process starts with deciding a niche. A pre-decided niche gives a better idea for chalking out the strategies and marketing plans.

Giant eCommerce stores like Amazon and Flipkart can afford to sell everything due to the excess of capital and workforce. However, a small business or an individual has to start with a niche.

Steps to Choose An ECommerce Niche

1] Pick Up An Industry

If you are an individual or an aspiring entrepreneur, you would need to be passionate about some products or industries. Sure, it is not a compulsion for anyone.

However, what will happen if everyone chooses to start with a high-end product? For instance, it is well known that electronic gadgets have great commissions, and people need it.

But the question is – are you passionate about that niche?

Certainly, anyone can start with that, but it becomes difficult to survive. Lack of interest for a niche mostly leads to dissatisfaction and burn out. Don’t let that happen to you.

Moreover, starting with an industry that already interests, you possess higher chances of being successful. Being updated with the trends and knowledge gives you leverage.

The best way is to note down all your interests and make a list of industries related to those interests.

2] Research Competition & Profitability

Now you have the list of industries and niche ideas. The next step is to check the profitability and competition. Usually, competition and profitability don’t go together. Higher the competition, the lower is your profitability.

Most brands and companies fight with each other to give the most competitive pricing to consumers. It leads to the cutting of profits.

Use tools to research. For instance, you can use tools like SEMrush if you are willing to pay.

Otherwise, Google Keyword Planner is a free tool by Google for basic research.

If you visit the Google Keyword Planner tool on the given link, you will see a dashboard. Enter your keyword and let Google fetch all the data.

For instance, I have entered the keyword ‘sports shoes’ to check the competition.

It is obvious that ‘sports shoes’ is a highly competitive keyword, and huge brands are competing on the keyword. The bids are higher as well.

(Image Source: Google Keyword Planner)

There are 3 major factors here:

  • Average Monthly Searches – This is the number of people searching for the given keyword. It is an average of searches per month. It should be as high as possible. Make sure that people even search for your target products.
  • Competition – Competition for a particular keyword denotes the amount of content that is already present on the Internet. If the competition is too high, too many people are already into this niche. The competition has to be low or medium for your keyword.
  • Bids – Bids are for advertisers. If you have a product and you are planning to run Ad Campaigns for your product, then you need to consider this metric. Now, it completely depends on your budget and willingness to spend. However, the thumb rule is that it has to be as low as possible.

This was about the Research part. Once you find a perfect niche with low competition and high search volume, you are good to go for the next step.

3] Identify A Problem

The next step is to identify the consumer problems within that niche.

Most of the problems that people face in their day to day lives can be turned into opportunities. Large eCommerce stores handle everything, and they cannot focus on minute things. Smaller businesses and individuals can capitalize on these gaps.

For example, Etsy has done a great job in building a handmade Card Store.

(Image Source: Etsy)

The trend of readymade greetings started growing as people started getting busier. Many people lack creativity as well.

But the handmade greetings have their essence. They are still highly valued and have much demand in the market.

So, Etsy identified this problem and started selling handmade greeting cards.

4] Check The Trends

Trends play a major role in an eCommerce business. A prime example is an ongoing situation.

Till a few months ago, India was facing a shortage of sanitizers, PPE kits, masks, and other lateral products related to the pandemic.

Fast forward a few months, several brands and individuals came forward to make homemade masks and sell at low prices.

Research says that the medical face mask market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 26% during the period 2019-2025.

The reason is well known. The trends!

You can use several tools for getting real-time trends on the Internet. I would recommend Google Trends. It is a free tool by Google that will allow you to understand the trends in a particular industry.

Visit Google Trends from the link mentioned above and enter the keywords that you want to check.

Again, for the demonstration purpose, I am considering the same keyword ‘Sports Shoes’ to check out the Trends.

(Image Source: Google Trends)

It is clearly visible that the searches for sports shoes have suddenly dropped in March 2020. The reason is well known – the lockdown.

But how about comparing it with some trending product?

For that, I entered ‘Masks’ to compare with sports shoes.

(Image Source: Google Trends)

And there you see a steep growth in the searches. It indicates that demand for sports shoes might have gone down, but masks are booming the market.

These were the 4 Steps to decide a profitable niche for your eCommerce Business.

  1. Find Passion
  2. Research Competition & Profitability
  3. Identify a Problem
  4. Check the trends

Consequently, it is of utmost importance for every small business or an individual to decide a niche to get a decent idea. It helps to determine the strategies and a path to move forward.

Are you looking to build an eCommerce website for growing your own business? Let us know.

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Roadmap To Boost eCommerce Sales Using Social Media

There was a time when companies had to set up their products in offline stores. They used to market it using TV ads, large hoardings, or newspaper ads.

But now, anyone can boost eCommerce sales using social media.

Current stats by ​Statista ​show that 40% of Internet users have shopped online at least once in their lifetime. 

This trend is continuously going to increase for the next few years. The current lockdown boosted the eCommerce industry as most of the people are preferring to order online instead of flocking to the market.

So considering the demand, you set up an eCommerce store for your business, but how will people reach there? How will you get more sales?

Social Media is an inexpensive way to boost your business and generate more sales for your eCommerce. 

According to the​ ​Research, 87% of eCommerce shoppers believe social media helps them make a shopping decision.

So how to do that?

Roadmap For Boosting Sales of eCommerce Using Social Media

(Image Source: ​Brooke Lark on​ Unsplash)

1] Define Goals

Having a specific goal for social media marketing is the first step. Some companies need awareness while some look for more sales. That will decide the strategies for social media marketing.

For eCommerce, it is mostly about increasing sales.

2] Content Curation & Strategies

Social Media is all about the game of content. People use social media to get entertained and pass their time. They don’t want to see ads from random brands.

So how will you make them engage with your content?

Blend your posts with their social media feed.

Create entertaining posts to attract an audience and provide them value to spread awareness. It works!

3] Optimization

Every social media platform is different. We need to optimize our content according to the respective platform. It depends on various factors like layout, demographics, algorithms, users, and most importantly, your followers.

Are you optimizing your content and products according to what your followers respond to? If not, then you are making a big mistake. The next point is about the analysis of your followers and content so that you can optimize it better.

4] Analytics

Every social media platform has an analytics section for creators where they get to see the insights. It is a highly underrated yet powerful tool.

Check the trends and figures to find what your followers react to. Try to build the content around similar concepts to boost your overall performance.

In terms of eCommerce, it is not only about the content but also about the products. There are always some products for every brand that don’t get the desired response. Tweak your store and products accordingly.

These were some tips for building content and product line ups. But what about the platforms? Which platform should you target?

As I mentioned, every platform is different. Let’s check one by one.

(Image Source: Photo by​ William Iven on​ Unsplash)

Best Social Media Platforms For Your E-Commerce

1] Facebook & Instagram

Facebook family is, without any doubt, the biggest player in the social media industry. It owns Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and several other platforms.

That means it is the largest hub of users that you cannot afford to miss. Facebook has 2.6​            billion monthly active users, followed by Instagram with​           ​ 1 billion monthly active users.

Organic reach might be dropping day by day. However, paid ads still give the best results with detailed targeting.

For example, you own an eCommerce store that sells gift items. Facebook gives you an option to target those people who have friends with the upcoming birthdays. Cool, isn’t it?

Recently, Instagram even gave a feature where you can tag your products. It can boost your eCommerce sales.

(Image Source: ​Realmelink Instagram)

2] Pinterest

Pinterest is a double-sided sword. It can at times highly boost your sales, or it simply won’t work. The reason is simple. Pinterest is good for only a few industries.

Some examples of niche ideas that do really well are home & decor, parenting, food, arts & designs, beauty, and style.

Currently, there are more than 350​      million monthly active users. It has a very specific set of​           audience that loves visually appealing content. Content strategy is important.

The biggest advantage of Pinterest is that it helps in SEO ranking, and the life of a post is longer than any other social media platform. Also, it is one of the few platforms which directly ranks your posts on Google or search engines.

So how will you market your products on Pinterest?

       Etsy is a good example. It is an eCommerce website that sells vintage items and craft supplies.​                                                             

They extensively use Pinterest for their online marketing.

They kept posting high-quality images of their products, eventually gaining more than 10 million hits a month.

(Image Source: ​Etsy on Pinterest​)

3] Twitter

Twitter has ​ 330​  million monthly active users, with the majority of its users between 35 and 65.​        More than 60% of the users are male.

Twitter is more about trends. The engagement rate on Twitter might be the lowest, but it still allows you to promote your website links directly. 

Other platforms tend to limit your reach if you use website links that direct the users out of that particular platform. It is not the case with Twitter.

So how will you boost your sales using Twitter?

Brands mostly use Twitter as a medium to connect their customers. It is a great platform to resolve the issues faced by your loyal customers.

The Home Depot is a great example of diverting Twitter traffic to drive more sales on the eCommerce website.

(Image Source: ​Home Depot on Twitter​)

Another example of excellent Twitter marketing to generate traffic is SEMrush.

(Image Source:​ SEMrush Twitter​)

The company is not an eCommerce website, but it is doing a great job to make people engage in their tweets and build a loyal fanbase.

4] Quora

       Quora has a monthly active userbase of 300 millio​      n ​ people. Around 57% of the users are male.

It has high-quality traffic where people answer questions. There is a way to promote your products and services on Quora.

It is a completely text-based platform where images don’t perform well. Also, videos are not allowed here.

Moreover, moderation is quite strict. Instead, brands are using ad campaigns on Quora to reach their target audience.

(Image Source: ​Marketingland)

These were a few insights about boosting eCommerce using social media. Every business needs a different strategy and model.

Do you want to build an eCommerce website for your business? Are you willing to boost eCommerce sales using social media?

It’s time for you to sit back relaxing a cup of coffee and let us do that for you. Contact Now

Real effect of Covid-19 on Amazon

Real effect of Covid-19 on Amazon

With nowhere else to go, the consumers have shifted their focus to Amazon, making it the top supplier of products during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

While some sellers are burdened up with the pressure to meet demands, others struggle to stay in business with shifting buying trends. 

Let’s look at the key forces behind this change.  

The Story at the Consumer End 

The Spike in Demand 

The global pandemic’s inception in early 2020 brought about some major buying pattern shifts amongst consumers staying under isolation around the globe. 

Even before the pandemic, a whopping 89% of buyers chose Amazon over other companies for shopping and the pandemic has only resulted in increase in demand. 

The e-commerce topper has seen a sales surge as high as 26% garnering $75.5 billion in the first quarter itself.

Amazon’s declared Q1 results

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/30/amazonamznq12020earnings.html

The Effect on Coronavirus Related Categories 

With hygiene being a prime focus and kids being at home, it is little wonder that wipes, cleaning essentials and snacks showed a huge spike. 

People also stocked up on cough and cold medication which were out of stock at offline drug stories and nobody wanted to hit the doctor’s clinic for regular ailments.  

With uncertainty over availability of perishables, grains and canned foods were piled up in fridge. 

Sales index for Coronavirus related categories

Source: https://wwd.com/businessnews/businessfeatures/supplychaintipsthinktank1203539815/

The Best Affected Categories 

Certain categories showed the bulk-rush. 

The need to bulk-buy is not as much physical as psychological, displaying herd behaviour. The following categories had a logical impact. 

  • Categories which were largely dominated by offline retailers, came online. It included groceries and household basics 
  • Categories which will were tagged survival – health and hygiene were bought in bulk 
  • Categories that meant entertainment – video games, toys and hobbies soared well too
  • Categories that were linked to office supplies rose on the back of the new work from home culture 

Survival mode on, the trend of bulk-buying is likely to continue until the scare is over. 

Top 10 sub-categories in the U.S

Source: https://sellics.com/blogcoronaviruscovidamazononlineshopping/

The Worst Affected Categories

How did the other categories, especially luxuries get affected? 

Clothing, shoes and jewellery were the worst hit Amazon products, with going out becoming impossible. They registered negative growth. 

Other outdoor categories like beauty also saw a steep drop. With people losing jobs, consumers were possibly holding on their cash reserves. 

Here is a snapshot view: 

Category trends in e-commerce – Amazon & Walmart

Source: https://feedvisor.com/resources/amazontrends/thecovid19impactonamazonandwalmartsales/

The good news? All categories are bouncing back, slowly but surely. 

The Story at Amazon Seller End 

Product Sourcing Hit Hard 

The epicentre of coronavirus – China stagnated and shut down factories, leaving majority of Amazon sellers handicapped. 

For instance, in the brutally affected Covid-19 countries like Italy and France, 45% of Amazon sellers are China based. 

The situation is worse than ever as sellers have to look outside China for product sourcing.

In India as well, we have suppliers and Government looking for alternate sources. 

Category wise sourcing choices chart

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/indiabusiness/indiastartshuntforalternativestochinatosourceover1kitems/articleshow/74421762.cms

Amazon Fulfilment Affected 

The e-commerce giant had suspended (in March 2020) the shipment of non-essentials products to its FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) warehouses to meet the current demand of market. 

Since May they have resumed non-essentials but the volumes remain low. 

With 87% of active Amazon retailers using FBA, the suspension is a big blow. 

All sellers can do now is – either sell products on their personal websites or wait for the company to waiver policies and resume sales of the leftover categories. 

Amazon’s memo to the retailers

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirusamazonsuspendsallnonessentialshipmentstowarehouses20203

Sellers Suspended 

Amazon products saw a sudden spike in prices due to malpractices like price gouging. Amazon reacted by removing (as many as 2,500) sellers for wrong conduct. 

The Bright Side for Amazon Sellers 

Opportunity Knocking 

The demand is online and predictable now. Traditional shoppers have also reached out to ecommerce. If you are a new seller, don’t be late for the party. 

Amazon confirmed a spike of 50% in seller registrations in India. 

Sell on Amazon’ has become a buzzword and a major search keyword in India.

Trend chart for keyword ‘sell on Amazon’ in India

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=20200303%20202007

09&geo=IN&q=Sell%20on%20Amazon

Watch out for new trends 

We might see new categories making it back to top positions by the end of the year. Greatest year for Amazon sales or not, only time will tell. Watch this space for more updates. 

Top 10 tips for Instagram marketing for your Amazon products

Do you wish to render a jumpstart to your product profiles on the Amazon store? Have you gone tired of relying solely on Amazon search for establishing new sales outside of the platform? If your answer is yes, then Instagram is the best social media platform for eCommerce companies rendering them the ability to display their products, develop a strong connection with the targeted audience, and build up a strong market presence to attract profitable and loyal customers.  

Instagram for Amazon Sellers Best Practices

Amazon sellers consider that Instagram is one of the perfect platforms to implement a marketing strategy and accomplish its goal. However, it is important to remember that getting impressive leads and sales for eCommerce vendors can be quite tough to achieve from Amazon unless you are following the best practices for strengthening your presence and getting your post in front of the audience.  

You need to keep the following tips in mind before you embark on the pursuit of strengthening your brand on the platform of Amazon.

  1. Be Consistent

Consistency is a virtue when it comes to Instagram.  You have to find a befitting medium such that you consistently provide high-quality content that will keep you under the watchful eyes of the targeted audience. You have to make sure that the quality of the content does not dip. When it comes to customer engagement Instagram outscores Facebook by almost ten times. Images posted on Instagram receive more than 23 percent engagement when compared to Facebook images. Brands give their best shot for driving engagement. It has been found that an average brand posts nearly thirty times every month.  The bottom line here is to maintain quality.

Creating Instagram Stories       

One of the hottest features in Instagram is Instagram stories. In sharp contrast to typical postings, Instagram stories show up in different sections generates a higher level of engagement helping you to stand apart from your competitors. As of now, there are more than 400 million daily active Instagram stories with video-centric features.   

For a standard post, Instagram is capable of creating more reach for standard posts. If your user finds a post to be engaging and interacts with it, then your posts are likely to show up on their feed.

Preference for quality rather than quantity

Digital marketers need to ensure that in a bid to make regular posts on Instagram the quality of the content is not compromised.  The level of audience engagement achieved through the contents posted will determine the frequency with which your post is displayed in their feed. Accounts generating a higher level of engagement will show up often in comparison to accounts with lower engagement.  Keep in mind that the Instagram algorithm prefers total engagement while deciding what content to be displayed on the feed of your follower. It collates the total number of likes, views, comments, and profile click-through.

Sharing contents that are user-generated

Sharing product images may not be enough. You need to implement subtle tweaks. For instance, when a user shares a picture of them with your product reach out to them and ask if you can post it on your official page. You may also encourage your users for sharing content they create in the pretext of a contest or similar other strategies.

Optimizing Your Profile

Amazon sellers need to utilize Instagram for increasing brand awareness and generate traffic towards your Amazon product page. It is important to explain your identity and the necessary info that will help customers to find your product.  The approach will do your brand loads of good. Please make sure that you provide at least a link to your brand page with a short description of your company.  

Keep Touch with Your Followers on Regular Basis

You need to get a reality check about a conversation in that they are a two-way street.  Ecommerce brand often approaches Instagram as if it were a bullhorn.  Engaging customers is more than posting new product images repeatedly. Such an approach seldom becomes successful in engaging users. They often fail to realize that the ultimate objective of having your brand on Instagram is to create awareness among profitable customers.

Communication is the key

Hence, you must talk to your fans and jump into conversations. Provide prompt answers to questions that they may have. You can take the help of making part of the process automated. However, you have to make sure that you are genuinely engaging and developing connections with your customers. Otherwise, you may not get the desired results from your efforts.

You Must Look For Cross Promotion Opportunities     

If your brand is mentioned on other accounts, you will get new leads. If you can strike a deal with other brands selling similar products for promoting each other then it will help you to secure more sales and it will increase the number of followers. It must be remembered that the business development aspect of growing your social presence requires dedicated efforts.   

Do not write off Influencer Marketing

Building up an organic following on Instagram requires time. However, for Amazon sellers and other Ecommerce brands time is a scarce resource although they are having the necessary budget to pay for mentions, posts, and stories from an influencer having a considerable audience. It can help you generate immediate sales and jumpstart awareness in the industry. On the other side, it has to be kept in mind that influencer marketing can be quite expensive as influencers charge a hefty amount.

Never miss an opportunity

Amazon sellers must look at Instagram as an opportunity that should be grabbed with both hands and make the best use of it. To start thing of it is advisable to build a reliable presence on the platform alongside its rapid growth. You can grow awareness in your industry by consistently posting quality updates. It will enhance awareness within the industry and it will become feasible to generate more sales and earn surplus revenues. Besides, you will develop a close-knit connection with customers and prospects. You can expect favorable word-of-mouth along with product recommendations that will benefit you too.