Birds of a feather flock together – and ecommerce merchants are no different. They congregate in niche online communities where they voraciously consume advice on how they can sell more online. Within the reliable confines of these communities, they are most open to listening, absorbing and taking action.
Before you smack your lips and begin peddling your wares, be forewarned. DON’T DO IT. There is no more certain way to earn the wrath of your potential customers than to sell yourself out of turn. Rather, you need to commit to selflessly serving these communities with the genuine intent of helping them out.
With that out of the way, let us begin.
Strategize – Don’t Scatter Abroad!
Even before you build a strategy, spend some time rationalizing who your customers are. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Are they purely online merchants, or do they have an offline store?
- Do they sell in marketplaces or do they only sell on their own Shopify store?
- Are your products/services more relevant to one vertical, say fashion, than another?
- Are your products/services more relevant to merchants with large catalogs or small ones?
- Are your products/services affordable to high-revenue grossers or low ones?
- Are your products/services more relevant to one geography over another?
Once you answer these questions, you should have a rough sketch of your customers’ profile. Then think about where you stand a higher chance of finding them. Here are some key questions to answer:
- Which social media channels do they adopt?If your customers are small merchants with less than five employees, you will probably find them on Facebook. On the other hand, if your customers are large merchants with over 100 employees, LinkedIn is probably a better bet.
- Who do they listen to?List the top 100 influencers for your target segment. If you are selling to apparel stores, then your list should have a lot of fashion experts. If healthcare stores are your primary target, health experts should dominate your list.
- What are they interested in?In order to make your presence felt, you need to make conversations that are valuable to your customers. Do they like to stay abreast of trade news? Do they appreciate daily tips on increasing their business? Would they be interested in industry trends that will help them plan inventory?
Armed with this information, you are now ready to reach out to your customers.