How to Win the Game of eCommerce

One billion online customers. Ready to buy. Right now.

What are you offering?

The United States witnessed 38 billion dollars in mobile online sales alone three years ago. That number has obviously increased since then, and many entrepreneurs are learning to monetize the opportunity. My question is, are you?

Here’s why the online world of business is so successful. This idea parallels a core principle behind the success of Apple. Both the mega-tech company’s devices (iPhone, Macintosh computers) and the online shopping industry are easy to use and do. eCommerce is simple, fast and provides instant gratification to its buyers and sellers. Similarly, part of Apple’s global appeal is its simple to use, elegant interface. “Easy and simple” — an ideal the world desperately desires. Your usage of Amazon is proof of this. Online selling is a permanent staple in our society, and if you want to learn how to master it, read on.

No matter what you’re selling—shoes, business services or skydiving lessons, you need an online presence. Go where the people are, right? Well, they’re all increasingly online! Even if you service the older generation, they too are more readily searching for a WiFi connection these days. In fact, “74% of adults now use social media” according to Pew Research Center. Many more use other eCommerce behemoths like eBay and Amazon.

However, most of you probably have an online presence. You independently, or with the help of a talented tech individual, created your website. It displays your information, with a Home, About and Contact page. Now what? Monetization. How do you do that? By building your tribe— becoming a celebrity in the community you create.

But how do you get fans and followers? There are many ways. In one of my prior articles on Facebook Advertising, I described how you can utilize the most widely used social media platform on Earth to gain subscribers and lucratively serve them. The process is simple: think about who your audience is, create an ad targeting them, and offer something that addresses their wants and needs. Your email list begins to grow, for as little as $5 a day!

Let me ask you—are 13 subscribers worth $5 to you? Extend that math out. Run the ad for ten days at $5 per day. You spent $50 and earned the respect of 130 people. Offer those 130 people a product for sale, at a price of, let’s say, $300. In the eCommerce Thought Leadership space, most entrepreneurs shoot for a 1% sales rate on any offering. 1% x 130 people is 1.3 people, let’s just say, one person. You just made a $300 sale by paying $50.

After the initial contact with your community, the game is won or lost in the quality of your email marketing. To your current fans and followers — the people on your email list — consistent engagement and intelligent promotion is the formula for success. One could define consistent engagement as weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly interaction with your list.

But what should you say in these emails? Content that addresses your audience’s wants and needs. Cure their problems, help them achieve their goals, and they will love you for it. Think of a difficult time in your life. There was likely someone who helped you through it, motivated you when you were disheartened, and ultimately became an integral part of your revival and consequent struggle-turned success story. You psychologically favor them to this day for their help. You know, like and trust them, too. Sound familiar? Be the hero to your subscribers by solving their problems and helping them realize their dreams.

Perhaps the most fulfilling part of this industry is that you can empower others on a mass scale. Marketing, which is the key to the growth of any business, is simply giving. The more you can inspire, inform and advise others, the more success you will achieve. By creating content that serves your audience, your generosity will prompt reciprocity on their part. They will want to help you out, further reinforcing this win-win culture.

There are so many more strategies for success in this industry, the likes of which I share and implement for my clients, so allow me to distill the central message of eCommerce success:

1. Create and promote an incredibly helpful product online (this could be an eBook, video series, etc.)

2. Regularly engage with and delight the people who subscribe to your content

3. Intelligently offer your product or service to your audience by describing the benefits they will receive and the problems they will learn to solve.

Then, as every authentic, service-driven leader does, you will find yourself at the top of your industry, and eCommerce.

Works Cited

Staff, Statista. “E-Commerce – Statistics & Market Data | Statista.” Statista. Global ECommerce Statistics.

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Research Team, Pew Research. “Social Networking Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 27 Dec. 2013.

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