4 Actionable Tips for Launching Niche E-Commerce Websites in 2018
Posted Dec 14, 2017 by Pratik Dholakiya

4 Actionable Tips for Launching Niche E-Commerce Websites in 2018

The official launch is perhaps the biggest event in the lifetime of any website.

As 2017 comes to a close, getting your name out there isn’t getting any easier. Being as how thousands and thousands of new sites are launched every day, you certainly want yours to enter the digital world with a bang.

1,296,986,419 websites were online when this article was wriiten.

In all the work that leads up to your platform hitting the airwaves, there are a number of fundamental practices to keep in mind for ongoing success.

If you are planning to create a website for your niche product or service in the upcoming year, here are a few tips and tricks you should know to make sure everything goes right from day one.

1. Keep Sales, Marketing, and Development Goals Aligned

One of the most important things to remember when you are creating a niche website is consistency. If your customers see conflicting messages, it will certainly cause confusion and can potentially lose sales.

90% of consumers agree that brands should have a consistent message across every channel in order to properly execute branding, so pay attention to even the littlest details — such as language and color schemes.

Adding an Ecwid online store to your website will keep your brand consistent. Ecwid can adapt its colors and styles to your website’s so that the online store looks a natural part of it.

Enabled Color Adaptive Mode

An embedded Ecwid online store matches the rest of the website thanks to Color Adaptive Mode

Your entire organization needs to work as a single unit in order to build a united brand that customers can understand and recognize. For example, before you dive head first into designing landing pages, be sure the goals and approaches of your marketing and sales teams are factored into the layout.

Most importantly, the overarching objectives for business development need to play a role as well, especially in a niche website. Discuss the plans in place for building the brand in the future.

  • What customer base will you ideally be marketing to?
  • What sort of language is your target audience most responsive to?
  • Are there certain trends influencing your target audience and their consumption methods?
  • What are the ideal sales volumes?
  • What are the challenges?

While it is difficult for us to precisely identify the “goals” of a company, we can easily do a bit of analysis to see if a brand’s sales and marketing messages are consistent. This need not be very complex. For example, Black Milk Clothing is a brand that uses sales-focused messaging in its email marketing.

Here’s one of their abandoned cart emails:

Black Milk Clothing abandoned cart email

Black Milk Clothing abandoned cart email

Clearly,

  • They understand the language of their audience — and speak it with puppies!
  • They’re marketing to a customer base that has already shown interest in their products.
  • They are tackling cart abandonment — one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce.

2. Emphasize Simple UX

When it comes to websites of any kind, customer experience is king. Poor design or confusing navigation causes up to one-third of shoppers to abandon their online orders out of frustration.

That being said, you need to design your website with the customer in mind if you want to create high-converting webpages that keep buyers coming back.

While online retailers can make simple navigation changes to their sites to help customers find everything they need, the checkout is the most critical part when it comes to getting the customer to buy.

Kristen DeCosta of FounderU considers choosing the right niche and making the checkout process simple as the “secrets” of selling products online. Her three golden rules for simplifying the purchase process all focus on simplifying UX:

  1. Don’t force shoppers to register.
  2. Don’t make your navigation complicated. Put it at the top where people expect to see it.
  3. Don’t collect more information than necessary.

An e-commerce platform fully integrated with plugins and extensions for marketing tools, payment options, and analytics makes launching an e-commerce website possible for people of all skill levels, technology wise.

Ecwid free online store

Ecwid online store demo

3. Demonstrate Thought Leadership

Building trust with new customers is perhaps the toughest aspect of building a brand in a niche market. Positioning your company as a thought leader is one of the best ways to do so. By generating content that demonstrates your domain knowledge, authority, and commitment to the industry, customers’ opinion of the brand goes up.

Thought leadership is an investment that retailers must be willing to make if they want to set themselves apart from the rest. It will require hard work, research, and a commitment to high-quality content that speaks to the customer.

Again, keep your customer’s interests in mind when you are planning your content. You should constantly be looking for unique ways to interest them and create value, whether it’s through product tutorials, how-to videos, and manufacturer insights.

While blogging has traditionally been the most effective tool for developing thought leadership and expanding reach, video content is something brands must take very seriously in their marketing mix these days. Studies have found that video posts receive incredibly high engagement rates.

6 out of 10 people would rather watch a video than read an article on the same topic.

No surprise then, that conducting webinars to select target groups or customer segments is a great way to create educational content that increases your chances of acquisition as well as retention. Marketers are finding out that what traditionally worked for B2Bs is now highly effective for B2C too, as consumers increasingly want to “try it before they buy it.”

A recent report by DemandMetric found that 79% of buyers are willing to share personal information in exchange for valuable webinars. Tools like ClickMeeting make producing this type of content easy. You can customize slide decks and demo videos in line with your branding strategies. The virtual video room comes with whiteboard tools and live polls for instant interaction with viewers.

ClickMeeting interface

ClickMeeting interface

In the current state of marketing, there is a lot of pressure placed on the beginning of the buyer’s journey. In other words, if you want to sell to today’s consumers, you need to make the concept of educating them a priority.

4. Offer a 360 Degree View

Customers these days want to know everything before making a purchase. Since they are not able to physically handle your products and try them out before they buy, it’s imperative that you provide them with enough information so they feel comfortable purchasing it. Adding a couple of photographs may not be enough, especially if your product is expensive or requires specific measurements, such as eyeglasses.

Providing your customer with a top-to-bottom view will make them feel more confident in making decisions, and can help clear up any questions or concerns they have. Start off by including 360° photographs that show every angle of your products.

The Beginner's Guide to 360º Product Photography

Learn to make awesome 360º view for your products

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Consider including videos that show the product in use. Bellroy does a great job with a simple video does showing their innovative phone cases:

If you are providing a service, like a software solution, you certainly want to include an intuitive demo discussing exactly how your program works. Keep in mind, this should be very user-friendly. Try to frame your wording to be free of jargon or technical talk so the average user can understand.

The goal of providing a 360° view of a product or service is to eliminate as much unknown as possible. The last thing your customers want is regret making a purchase.

In Conclusion

Designing and promoting your niche website should be fun and exciting, not a dreaded task that must be done.

Each element works to create a concrete representation of your brand, so make sure that your message is clearly demonstrated through every detail of your website. Consider these bits of advice leading up to your launch, and in time, the results will speak for themselves.

About The Author
Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat's UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.