5 E-commerce Marketing Mistakes SMBs Make and How to Fix Them

February 24, 2021 Melissa Boileau

Whether you own a brick-and-mortar retail space or provide home services, having a strong online store is key to succeeding in today’s competitive market. Eight out of 10 Canadians shop online according to Canada Post’s 2020 Canadian e-commerce report, and one-third of online shoppers say they plan to buy more online in the coming year.

If you’re trying to leverage your e-commerce website to reach new customers and boost sales, here are some common – and sometimes costly – mistakes to avoid.

  1. Not articulating your unique selling proposition

The e-commerce space is already crowded, and more competitors are popping up on e-commerce platforms in Canada daily. If you want your business to stand out from the crowd, you have to be clear about your unique selling proposition (USP). Customers need to quickly understand what’s special about your brand and what their experience will be like if they buy from you. Are your products built better? Do you use unique or high-quality materials? Are your services backed by a better guarantee or customer service? A strong USP is built around something that your business does well that also speaks to what the consumer wants. Identify what makes your products or services different from the competition and put those distinguishing characteristics front-and-centre in all your marketing messages.

  1. Underestimating the importance of SEO

Building an appealing and functional e-commerce website is the first step, but how do you reach the right audience? Taking a strategic approach to search engine optimization (SEO) will help increase the visibility of your website on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. By tapping into the power of SEO, you can reach new customers who are searching for products and services in your local area and beyond. Sharing unique content, using keywords, and creating backlinks are just a few of the SEO best practices for websites that can help business owners improve their search ranking and attract organic web traffic. Learn how YP’s SEO experts can help increase the volume and quality of search engine traffic your website receives.

  1. Ignoring online reviews

Monitoring customer reviews is a key part of online reputation management and can help you get to know your customers better. Potential clients are far more likely to support a business owner who takes the time to answer questions, resolve an issue and address negative feedback. Whether you receive customer comments via your e-commerce website, social media profiles, search engines, or a third-party platform like Yellow Pages, make sure to check reviews regularly and reply in a thoughtful and timely manner. Discover how a tool like YP’s NetSync can help manage your online ratings and reviews.

  1. Not investing in great photography

Think of your website as your digital storefront; beautiful imagery, videos, and design features can stop customers in their (virtual) tracks and entice them to stay, browse and shop. To make a strong first impression, you need to capture stunning photos of your products, services, team members, and other relevant business offerings. Strong images are an important part of your website strategy, and they can also be shared across social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which rely on aesthetically appealing images to engage audiences. You can hire a pro or if you’re keen to learn, there are plenty of free photography tutorials and tips online. 

  1. Neglecting social media channels

Your social media channels are key when it comes to brand building, nurturing customer relationships, and social selling. In fact, 46% of online shoppers have visited an e-commerce website or app after seeing a social media ad. Developing paid ad campaigns and an organic content strategy for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter is an important part of your overall digital marketing plan. Small businesses that understand how to leverage the power of social will have a serious advantage in the marketplace.

Yellow Pages’ suite of digital marketing solutions can help your business succeed in e-commerce. Whether you’re looking to build an e-commerce website that sells, boost your online presence, manage your online reviews, or find new customers through SEO and SEM, our certified experts can help you reach your goals. Get a free consultation today with one of our Media Account Consultants by calling 1-877-553-6883.

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