So, you’ve built your awesome store with WordPress and WooCommerce. The products or merch are amazing and you’re ready to take it to the next level. But word-of-mouth alone isn’t enough to skyrocket your sales. Let’s face it, even your most vocal friends can only reach so far.

If you are a young entrepreneur or just entering the digital commerce space then this article is just for you. Buckle up, as we dive into 5 key strategies with practical solutions to make your e-commerce dreams a reality. For this article, we’ll use the practical example of a college student running either an online thrift shop, merch store, or even a computer parts store.

1. The Power of Social Proof

Consumers are looking for a reason to buy, or not to buy, from you. Research has shown that upwards of 70% of folks use online reviews to make buying decisions. For example, before a student pays for a professional essay writer they’ll probably go through a dozen reviews to ensure they don’t lose their money.

Therefore, before folks patronize your store, they will probably shop online for testimonials, reviews, or recommendations.

Let’s see some methods to achieve this practically:

Thrift Store

You can showcase carefully curated outfits worn by your real customers on Instagram or Facebook. Use hashtags like #thriftedfinds and #secondhandstyle across the board. Ask those who’ve worn your products to leave a review down the post, in exchange for discounts or other incentives.

Partner with local fashion bloggers for product reviews and outfit inspiration. You can also encourage customers to share their experiences and tag your store or use hashtags for a chance to be featured.

2. Paid Advertising

As an e-commerce store, paid advertising shouldn’t be your top advertising strategy. It should only come after you have built up a solid product and web presence. With paid ads, you can get impressions, clicks, and links on platforms such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, X, and Instagram.

Here are some practical ad ideas and strategies:

Merch Store

For a merch store, you can choose Google paid ads which allow you to target specific keywords with laser focus. There are two primary types of Google ads that you should keep in mind here. Search ads appear after shopping ads, but these are not visual. For merch, you are better off going for Google Shopping Ads which contain rich snippets such as reviews, pricing, and delivery speeds.

3. Retargeting

For an e-commerce store owner, it can be quite frustrating having people visit your website and not make a purchase or even abandon their cart midway. The good news is that these folks who have interacted with your product don’t have to be lost prospects.

Ad retargeting enables you to target ads specifically at people who have already interacted with your website. Studies have shown that folks seeing a retargeted ad are 180% more likely to click on the ad than those who’ve never seen the ad before.

Let’s take some examples:

Merch Store

Use URL retargeting to capture leads who may have browsed very specific pages on your e-commerce store. You can then use dynamic ads that feature the sea or similar products that they might be interested in. Capture abandoned carts with exclusive offers, discounts, and other incentives.

4. Content and SEO Are King (and Queen)

Many e-commerce owners wrongly assume that their product can just sell itself off the digital shelves. However, it is harder to stand out on digital storefronts than physical ones. Even with paid ads, you should always assume that a thousand other competitors are selling the same product.

Since your product is solving a problem for the customer, you have a natural window to rope them in and convince them to buy from you. Tell your product or brand stories, and use customer testimonials to share highlights.

It doesn’t end there. Content is directly tied to SEO, as you need Google crawlers and bots to pick up the content. Your SEO strategy should involve relevant content that provides users with solutions. Couple this with the use of long-tail keywords relevant to your business or your most popular search terms. Share the content across the web and social media through links. Aim to build a backlink profile (i.e., websites linking back to your website).

Let’s see some practical examples of content in action for an e-commerce store:

Thrift Store

Thrifting comes from the need to get trendy and exciting items without breaking the bank. You can create blog posts with styling tips for different seasons or occasions featuring thrifted outfits. Elaborate on why certain outfits provide the best matches in specific scenarios. Share DIY tutorials on clothing repairs or customization on social media.

Create review posts for new items that are just coming in. You can also create seasonal content that is relevant to your buyer. For example, specific items are more popular in winter or during Christmas. Couple these blog posts with offers and discounts.

5. Email Marketing

Email allows you to communicate on a more personal level with your leads or customers. You can send out email newsletters in the lead-up to special occasions such as the Superbowl or Thanksgiving. Introduce new products or remind your customers about the great offers that they might be missing out on.

For the three examples of a thrift shop, merch store, or computer parts store, the following strategies can apply across the board:

  • Segment your lists based on their preferences (vintage, minimalist, price, etc.) and send targeted newsletters featuring curated selections.
  • Offer exclusive discounts on newly arrived products and offer opportunities to preorder on upcoming products.
  • Automate abandoned cart emails with friendly reminder ad suggestions. Create a welcome series of emails introducing new subscribers to your brand story and bestsellers. Trigger birthday emails with special offers and personalized recommendations.
  • For a computer parts store, you can segment your email list by tech expertise level (beginner, enthusiast, hardcore). Send tailored newsletters with buying guides, upgrade recommendations, and exclusive deals. Offer early access to new product launches and personalized build consultations via email.

Remember to use FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to your advantage. Use timed events, display your best-selling products, or show your product information in the newsletter.

6. Google My Business Profile

Whether you have a physical storefront or not, you should claim and optimize your Google My Business profile. That’s especially true if you serve a particular location, or if there are other similar businesses within your location or near it.

Encourage customers to leave positive reviews and respond promptly to both positive and negative feedback. Regularly update your profile with new photos, events, and special offers to show up prominently in local searches.

Wrapping Up

Remember, all this is just a starting point. Experiment with different strategies and track your results. Personalize your approach to fit your unique brand and audience.

With these e-commerce strategies in practice, you have a solid foundation to get your business rolling. Try out different strategies depending on your audience or brand goals, keep a lookout for stats, and build your e-commerce experience around the customer.