You’ve probably heard the said “If you build it, they will come.” ? It comes from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, starting Kevin Costner. A lot of people seem to live by that mantra, with books, YouTube channels, blogs, websites, online stores… just about anything you can think of in the business world.
But unless you are very lucky, people aren’t just going to magically find your store and start buying from you. You have to get out there and bring in visitors. Let’s talk about some ways you can market your store as a newbie.
Have A USP
It’s very important that your store have a USP—a Unique Selling Point, or Unique Selling Proposition. This is something that sets your store apart from all, or at least most, of your competition, and gives people a reason to shop with you instead of someone else. If you’re selling a very unique product, that alone is your USP. However, if you’re selling something that is available at many other stores, you need something that will set you apart.
Here are a few suggestions:
Specialize – We talked about the importance of drilling down as far as possible in a niche, and that’s because it can really set you apart from the competition. It’s a great USP.
Free shipping – This may or may not be possible based on your profit margins, or you may have to include free shipping only with a purchase over a certain dollar amount, but this is a great way to get people to order from you instead of your competition.
Create bundles – Bundles are a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Let’s say you have a shop selling kits for building model cars. You could have a beginner’s model building kit that contains everything someone might need to get started in the hobby, including things like a basic paint set, brushes, craft knives, etc. You could then advertise this specific kit in order to get people to visit your store, where they are likely to purchase other items.
Include bonuses – People love getting stuff for free. Including bonuses with purchase, even small bonuses, can be a great way to boost customer loyalty, gain repeat purchases, and attract people to your store. Shops that are well known for this include Fingerhut and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Differ your business model – A lot of people change their business model from the standard shopping cart type website to a subscription model, bundle model, or some other model. Just be sure whatever type of model you choose is suitable for YOUR market before you invest too much time and money into it.
Don’t create a USP just for the sake of having one. Make sure it is suitable for your market and adds true value to the experience for your customer.