eCommerce is revolutionizing how the world shops. It’s also creating an incredible opportunity for small business owners and makers to extend their reach and build a profitable businesses.
While the world is continuously changing and evolving, giving gifts never goes out of style. Here are six practical tips for starting a successful online gift shop business.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is essential for success, no matter what type of business you run. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception among many aspiring business owners that casting a wider net is better for attracting more customers. However, it’s better to target a specific customer demographic to hone your approach and build a deeper emotional connection.
Take some time to consider who will buy your products and why. For example, are your ideal customers Millennials with a sense of humor looking to order gifts for coworkers? Are you selling bespoke jewelry that appeals to a higher income bracket? Is your audience lighthearted, serious, eco-friendly, etc.?
Clarifying your target audience will help you create messaging that resonates. But, don’t worry— you aren’t limiting yourself by taking a targeted approach.
Choose the Right Tools
Choosing the right platform and tools for your online store is another essential consideration. As an online store operator, you’ll need:
- an eCommerce platform
- sales processing tools
- an email marketing system
- a social media scheduler
- customer service tools
- inventory management and tracking software
- shipping tools
Clarifying what you need and taking the time to research the options will help you create a foundation for your business.
Create and Execute a Marketing Strategy
Social media is a blessing and a curse for small business owners. On the one hand, it will help you connect with more customers. On the other, it’s time-consuming.
Take the time to put together and execute a marketing strategy, outlining social media plans, email marketing, and other forms of outreach.
Cultivate Relationships with Suppliers
Every business has suppliers. Even if your gift shop showcases your handcrafted products, the supplies you use come from somewhere. Cultivating a relationship with suppliers can help you get better service and pricing to improve your profit margin.
Use High-Quality Photos and Copy
While casual, on-the-fly posts and updates work on social media, they aren’t enough to sell a product. Your online store should have high-quality photos and compelling copy. Unfortunately, these aren’t skillsets that everyone has. Consider outsourcing to a professional to ensure you make the best possible first impression when showcasing your products. This aspect of eCommerce can make or break your business.
Prioritize Proactive Customer Service
Finally, consider the customer experience with all aspects of your business. Create a website with the user experience in mind. Be proactive in reaching out and offering support, making yourself accessible with an omnichannel approach.
Creating customer loyalty is another aspect of proactive customer service. Consider offering discounts and referral codes to expand your business and keep customers coming back. Be sure to ask for reviews from satisfied customers to use as social proof.
With these tips, you can build a successful online gift shop business.