Almost every eCommerce store owner dreams of steering their company to achieve six or seven figures annually in revenue. But what does it take to be a successful store owner? Is it more time, investing in marketing your product, the popularity of your chosen product, or just mere luck?
eCommerceFuel.com surveyed over 300 successful eCommerce stores that make at least $100k or more in annual revenue, with many making over $1m in annual revenue, and shared their data with us in the first survey of it’s kind.
Here are the secrets behind some of the most successful eCommerce stores.
1. Careful Selection of a Product
The increased popularity of eCommerce and online stores has seen a surge in the number of stores setting up. However, due to poor product selection or marketing, most have a tough time turning their stores into profitability. As the system filters out the poor performers, there is an ongoing debate about the looming end of drop shipping and the need for store owners to create their own brand.
Interestingly, most store owners are reporting increased growth. Pet, health, and automotive products are performing particularly well and growing at almost double the rate compared to their counterparts in other sectors. Research and find the best-performing products in those industries if you wish to create a store that is likely to succeed.
2. Paying Attention to SEO
Contrary to the current and popular belief about the ineffectiveness of search engine optimization (SEO) and organic traffic in promoting an online store, most successful store owners still attribute their success to organic traffic. AdWords is usually the best way to kick-start your store but for long-term success a commitment to search engine optimization is crucial.
Current industry estimates place SEO as the most dominant source of eCommerce traffic commanding over 50% of all traffic and paid ads accounting for only 30% of overall site visitors. To create a 6 or 7 figure online store, bank on finding the right keywords to optimize for your products and store and popularize them organically. However, note that after getting most of your traffic from organic sources, you should still continue investing in paid searches to receive multiple digital marketing channels converting into leads.
3. Keeping Track of Site Analytics
Successful eCommerce stores follow product performance and conversion analytics keenly to know what product to specialize in at any given time. While such a strategy might not work for an eCommerce startup, you can see the need to keep tabs on conversions of your product variations.
4. Leveraging on the Power of a Storefront as Opposed to Amazon
Where do you seek to host your products after launching? Do you hope to fully rely on Amazon or set up an independent eCommerce store? While you would expect most of these six and seven figure income stores deriving a significant portion of their income from the global eCommerce giant, the opposite is true for highly successful stores. More than 70% of high figure shops draw close to 90% of their annual revenue from direct sales on their site, compared to the less than 10% sold through Amazon.
When getting into eCommerce be ready to grow your site independent of Amazon and other leading online stores if you hope to avoid disappointment in the long run. Trying out both options is probably a good idea, but be wary of Amazon. They have a reputation for shutting down extremely successful products overnight and creating their own version without warning.
5. Maximizing Popular Software
E-commerce store owners understand the importance of prompt communication in drawing conversions and client retention. Successful stores report having incorporated more than one automation software on their eCommerce site to help serve different purposes. Chief among these included Shopify in the eCommerce platform category. Successful eCommerce store owners also report that a help desk, email marketing, and product reviews as a key part of their strategy.
Appreciate the fact that you might not always be available to respond to your customer queries immediately or remember to send the next email when you should. Software tools, therefore, come in handy in such instances. As you embark on a journey towards setting up an eCommerce store, research different automation software, and applications that align with your store goals.
It takes more than a passion to start and succeed as an eCommerce store owner. You need a financial commitment and substantial time investment, to begin with at the very least. Remember that the research and decisions you make in regard to the product you sell, where to sell, how to market it as well as successful customer service will determine the ultimate success or failure for your new store.