This guide is dedicated to those who have started but are looking for ways to grow their business.
There is no "silver bullet" or unique recipe for success in an e-commerce business but there are a number of best practices. We have worked with many successful customers. Here are three stories we hope will inspire and spark new ideas and perspectives:
Table of contents
1. Expand your product offering
- Is your product offering too narrow?
- Are your products appealing to the segments you want to target?
- Have you considered cross-selling and up-selling?
- Are there any other products that might be interesting to your target segments?
One of the key advantages of adding new products to your store is to appeal to a larger audience. Also, you might be able to target multiple segments with different products or up-/cross-sell to your existing customer base, thus increasing your average order value (AOV).
Some examples of both strategies that we've seen work well are:
- Offer frames to your posters
- Offer the same design on multiple products with different price ranges, e.g. on a poster only (basic segment), on a canvas (premium segment), on an acrylic/metallic print (luxury segment)
Gelato offers an extensive catalog of products printed locally on demand thanks to our network of print partners. Adding a new product to your store takes minutes and you can easily test the market response and adapt your offering, pricing, and commercial strategy in seconds.
- How to add your products to your Shopify store
- How to add your products to your Etsy store
- How to offer posters with and without frames in Shopify
2. Expand your geographical reach
Another way to increase your market is to expand your geographical reach. This means selling in more countries, thus reaching a higher number of potential customers.
For many merchants, the fact that they are not local makes delivery expensive and time-consuming - if it arrives…
Many times we've heard phrases like: "How do I adapt my supply chain to support global scale?" or "How do I deal with suppliers in a different time zone and who speak a different language?".
We take care of that for you. Over the course of more than 10 years, Gelato has built an extensive network of print and logistics partners that allows our customers to print locally in more than 30 countries and to deliver to 200+ countries and territories worldwide.
For example, are you only selling locally in the United States and would like to expand globally? No problem! We support thousands of Sellers daily with just that :-) Your products arrive safely to 5 billion potential customers.
- Where does Gelato print locally?
- Which countries does Gelato deliver to?
- How quickly does Gelato deliver?
- How much does shipping cost?
We advise starting by expanding to countries with the same language before moving into countries with new languages. If the market you would like to expand to has a different currency or language, you would need to adjust the currency and professionally translate your website. You can read more tips about how to enter new countries in our blog articles How to expand your ecommerce store to new countries - a practical guide and 5 steps to enter new markets
3. Optimize your marketing strategy
According to Shopify, one of the key elements to make dropshipping a success is to focus on marketing and SEO, which becomes particularly important right after you launch your e-commerce business and can easily take most of your time and money.
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy but based on our experience working with e-commerce owners from all over the world, here are a few strategies that you can deploy:
Craft a genuine and personal story
Get clear about what you offer to your customers, why you do it better than anyone else, and how you will communicate this to potential customers.
Storytelling in social media
Identify which channels your target customers use, and share content that is valuable to your customers and that they find engaging. Place your products in a context that brings value by e.g. showcasing “five ways to decorate your home office” rather than simply promoting your products.
Advertising in social media
Sponsoring the content you craft in social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin can be a cost-efficient way to expose your brand to a specific, segmented audience. Choose between anything from the industry your customers work in, their hobbies and interests, or where they are located. Installing pixels can help you track and measure the effectiveness of your ads.
Google rewards quality content, so consider starting a blog or writing articles that can help bring traffic to your website. Depending on your business, what topics can you position yourself within? If you are e.g. selling framed cycling maps, what can you share about your passion for cycling trends, tips, and training? Use relevant keywords and metadata to boost SEO.
The power of newsletters
Existing customers are your most important audience. They already engage with your products and brand - your mission is to stay relevant and give them good reasons to buy more. However, the same rules apply here - show you value, don’t tell. Craft content that is relevant and that triggers your customers’ interest.