Updated: Jan 31
Ecommerce. What even is that? Why should you care? And even if you do care how do you even get started, isn’t that like a lot?
These are some of the most common reactionary questions you get when you bring up the monster that is eCommerce. These are all valid questions and since this February we’re promoting Ecommerce what better time than now for Christi, your best marketing friend, to break it all down for you.
So what is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce, as intimidating as it is, is a pretty simple concept. Ecommerce is just commerce (ie shopping) on the internet. If you go to a local Target and buy out the entire Dollar Spot you are participating in commerce. If instead, you wait until the day after Valentine’s day to purchase all the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates at 90% on Target.com then you are participating in (thrifty and admirable) eCommerce.
Seems almost too easy right?
What can you sell with Ecommerce?
This is the fun part. With Ecommerce, you can sell literally ANYTHING! The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to eCommerce is to limit yourself on what exactly you can add to your online shop page.
Here are a few of the most common examples of eCommerce inventory for small businesses just like you!
Obviously, if you sell physical products eCommerce is definitely something you should consider. Selling physical products requires a few elements including a compelling and informative product description, some well-lit product photos, a price point, and shipping paraphernalia.
The biggest hiccup with physical products is shipping and inventory management. Be sure to have a shipping method planned and set up PRIOR to starting your online shop to avoid logistical delays and always set the quantities of your current product inventory.
Don’t have physical inventory? Don’t count yourself out yet. Downloadable content is a wonderful way to add products to your shop without having to manage a physical inventory. In fact, The Clever Catalyst (that’s us) has a wonderful example of a downloadable-content-rich eCommerce site.
Currently, we offer several downloadable Canva templates and are developing social media caption builder tools and tutorials - all downloadable and all without a physical inventory.
The options for downloadable content are virtually limitless so don’t be afraid to use your imagination. Just be sure whatever downloadable goods you decide to offer are relevant to your industry and who you are trying to target as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Wait, what? Yes, that’s right. You can offer services on your eCommerce website. Services are one of the best (and least talked about) elements of eCommerce.
Invoicing is a big part of running a small business, as all of you know. And anything we can do to reduce the amount of time we have to spend managing, tracking, and reminding people about balances due is a very VERY good thing.
So if you have simple, flat-rate, or package style pricing on any of your common services adding them to your website on a “shop” page is a great way to help the customer pay you faster!
Pro-Tip: You don’t have to call your shop page “shop”. If you’re a dog walker and you want to rename the page “appointments” and only offer appointments on the page with the option to pay on the website you can absolutely do that. Remember eCommerce is just selling stuff on the internet and services are sellable stuffs.
Why should you care about eCommerce?
Even if you aren’t a commerce-based business adding an eCommerce page to your website and commerce into your overall business plan is not necessarily a bad idea.
Obviously, if you are just starting out this is a fringe item and should be thought about only in theory until you have the time, energy, and resources to devote to it. But if however, you are a small business that is established and starting to focus heavily on growth- eCommerce is one of those things that are just smart to consider.
Why? One of the main reasons is for SEO. Any additional page you add to your website will contribute to overall SEO. You will be using keywords more often on more pages and Google and the other engines (if anyone even still uses those) will have more pages to crawl and index.
This is even more impactful than it looks because you aren’t simply adding one page with a shop page. But instead, dozen, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of pages because each collection page and the product page is its own page and each indexable.
Another big reason to consider adding a shop is to help keep interested customers around. For example, in choosing what to offer on our shop page Canva Templates were a no-brainer. We are marketers for small businesses. Social media is a HUGE marketing tool and I never met a small business owner that hasn’t at least thought about establishing a presence on social media for marketing purposes. We have several social media-exclusive clients. You get the idea.
But that being said I am also aware given the size of businesses I target for my ideal clients that many of them are not ready financially or mentally to bring on a marketer part-time. So I offer affordable and manageable service-adjacent items.
This does two very important things. First, it gives every visitor to my site the opportunity to leave with something. If they can’t or aren’t ready to schedule a consult they can download a free template.
Second, it allows me to serve these customers who ultimately I hope will grow to a point they are ready to work with me and my team. Giving them a reason to come back to my site again and again until eventually they are ready for a real-life marketer and at point, we will already have an established relationship.
Leads don’t get warmer than that!
So what do you think?
Now that we’ve cleared all that up, what do you think? Is eCommerce something you might add to your overall marketing strategy in 2022? Or does it all still seem like too much?
The Clever Catalyst - that’s us - offers simple, transparent, and affordable eCommerce strategy calls, inventory services, and all adjacent marketing services (including building the entire website up around the shop). If you’re thinking about or managing an eCommerce business and you think you might want our help do not hesitate to reach out.
And if you’d be so kind go check out our shop! It’s been a labor of love and we’re really very proud of it.
$5 off coupon available when you sign up for the newsletter - which will get you any one item for FREE!