Thursday, July 2, 2009

Marketing Strategies for Your Online Shop

"Success begins with doing the tasks you don't want to do."

For many people, marketing is such a hassle! It can be the most time-consuming part of their business. As many successful business owners know, the dreaded task of marketing is never done. Marketing campaigns may come and go but in order to keep your customers coming back, you need to have advertisements, coupons, giveaways, promotions, etc. Internet shoppers need interaction, they need the ad literally in their face.

These days it seems that you have to give away more and more free stuff just to get people's attention and interest. Here are just a few ideas that may increase traffic to your online shop.

Work on your image
Create an Image for your business that matches your customers needs. Make sure it is an image that you feel comfortable with and that separates you from your competitors.

Know your customer
It is important to know who your customer is! You should be able to almost have a Polaroid picture of them in your mind. Age, income, race, lifestyle, educational background, etc are all very important pieces of information that will help you gain more customers and sell more products to existing customers.

Focus advertising on current and potential customers. Where do your customers come from? How do they end up clicking on your shop? Tons of information can be derived from asking simple questions of your customers. Check out online demographic information about Etsy, eBay, or other online venues you may sell at. Check out Quantcast Audience Profile information to get a better picture of who your customer may be. It just so happens that the person described in this report also happens to be my customer base - not a surprise!

The demographic that visit the venue (Etsy, eBay, Art Fire) you sell your products at will likely make up the base of your customers. Knowing if your customers will be shopping there will greatly improve your suceess before you even list your first product.

How do you know this? Let's say that your product is handmade flower hair clips. The first question to ask is who buys these? Women. Do they use these? Not usually on themselves, but possibly on a child, doll, pet, etc. Do women who have a child, pet or doll collection visit your shop now?

If they do, find out how they are discovering your shop. If not, where are there likely to be? People who may have an interest in flowered hair clips... Some ideas: bridal magazines, blogs, websites, costume websites, groomer blogs, pet health websites, doll collectors forums, etc. You get the idea. Just because you have this picture in your mind of cute little curly-haired girls wearing the hair clips you make does not mean they will be the only ones interested in them.

Marketing can be a big drain on your resources and on time. Do your investigating ahead of time and learn who your customer is. Knowing who they are will make all the difference. :O)

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