The online retail sector is continuing to grow, and the number and diversity of online retailers is growing with it. Savvy brands are employing ecommerce inventory software solutions and other growth tactics to stay competitive in this rapidly changing market.
In 2018, online sales in the U.S. reached $517B, or 14.3% of total retail activity in the country—a high water mark. While total retail sales expenditures continue to grow, online sales outpace the broader retail sector. But all of this activity is increasingly spread across smaller brands, meaning there is success to be had by more than just the big guys.
Last year, Amazon sales comprised over 49% of total online retail sales in the US, pointing to serious retail dominance, but when you look under the covers—as active online brands already know—most of Amazon’s retail sales are from 3rd party transactions conducted within the Amazon web store, meaning the retail giant’s dominance is actually facilitating the growth of other online retail businesses.
So what’s an online retailer to do in an increasingly crowded market?
- Find Your Niche. Every product has its market, and the key to finding yours lies in knowing your value proposition and figuring out where the people who need it live and work. What problem does your product line solve? What emotions does it appeal to? Who is most likely to use it? Start with enthusiast and hobbyist communities if your product offering is niche enough. Become an expert in the things your buyers love and introduce yourself—and your product—through those interactions.
- Key in on Keywords. With nearly half of transactions happing on Amazon, you need to sell there, no matter where else your products are listed. You don’t just need to list on Amazon—you need to SELL on Amazon. Remember when you found your niche? Think about the way your enthusiasts talk about their interests and your products. What specific words do they use to describe them? These become the search terms your future customers use when looking for a product like yours, so employ them as keywords in your listing. Amazon doesn’t offer a free keyword report to sellers, but you are able to bid on paid keywords through Amazon Sponsored Ads, which will show you the “Customer Search Term” that preceded an ad click. Paying for some keywords will help you understand which words resonate and should be included in your listings.
- Get Lean. When you’re focused on product development and driving sales, it can be easy to forget about your back-end operations and the toll they could be taking on your bottom line. Your sales could be healthy and growing, but if you’re wasting tons of money on shipping costs or spending time and money dealing with frequent stock-outs, you could be killing profits while driving revenue. Inventory automation software for Amazon sellers can help you choose the best order, as well as provide real-time inventory status no matter how many channels you sell through.
- Know Where Your Stuff Is. Two or more warehouses, drop-shipping capabilities, and multiple sales channels can help create a more nimble and profitable ecommerce business, but they also add complexity to your operations and can culminate in disaster if not managed properly. Ecommerce inventory management software can help you understand where your inventory is and how much of it you have at a given time so you can forecast properly, meet demand, and keep customers happy.
Ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level? Webgility is a multichannel retail management solution that empowers businesses to thrive in ecommerce by integrating their systems, automating their operations, and delivering powerful insights—so they can move faster, make better decisions, and win. Schedule a demo to learn more.