African eCommerce business entrepreneurs are waking up to niche stores. The growing number of niche stores ranges from shoes, bags, wristwatches, kitchenette, phones, accessories, etcetera. Niche eCommerce sites has not only taken over, they have cut to size big eCommerce marketplace brands like Jumia and Konga.
Although, among the African eCommerce markets, South Africa, Nigerian and Kenya stands out with growing patronage for goods online. But the entire African, with a population of over 1 billion presents a huge business proposition for investors.
According to an update from The Asian Banker website, African will move from $16.5 billion online purchases in 2017 to an expected $29 billion in 2022. The huge increase is as a result of the spread of niche eCommerce sites in sub-Sahara Africa.
Why African eCommerce Business Not Doing Well?
At the inception of eCommerce business in Africa, the general problems they all face was categorized into three. These problems hindered many new entrants from succeeding. Here are why:
- Lack of funding
- Lack of trust
- And logistics challenge
That was before this new trend in eCommerce – the niche stores. Now, funding couldn’t have been any problem. You can start eCommerce business on a shoestring budget, from design to products you list for sale. And DropShipping makes it even much easier. You don’t have to handle any logistics issue, while you can operate without employees, and be completely on autopilot.
However, the issue of trust is still something that needs to be dealt with, even by niche stores. Online trust and real life trust are not exactly the same. Niche stores can change the narrative on trust by building a better online reputation. The only challenge is that most of them are eCommerce enthusiasts without proper skills for the job.
Clever Ways to Boost eCommerce Sales
Still on what African eCommerce stores are not doing well. Let’s look at boosting sales. The primary business of every eCommerce store is to make sales.
Africa has over 1 billion population and yet must eCommerce businesses are not enjoying enough sales. I will list a couple of what needs to be done to improve sales in a massive way.
- Using paid traffic
- Using upsells
- Improving trust
- Advertising product benefits
- Simplifying checkout process
- And improving Email marketing
If there’s any better way to quickly generate sales for your eCommerce business that’s through paid traffic. It must also be done in a professional way to maximize every dollar ad spent. That’s important, especially at the early stages of your eCommerce business.
The rest on my list are to compliment your paid traffic effort to maximize sales. Even if you lack the skills to implement these on your own, the internet is flooded with skills for hire at very reasonable fees. You can get any skill set you require to grow your eCommerce business online.
Hire The Right Skill Set
Sometimes the burden of not knowing why you do what you do can lead to failure. Inasmuch as your eCommerce store is built for the purpose of selling product or service, you need to recognize what should be done to make those results faster and cost effectively.
Make no mistakes, without these things your eCommerce business will not be successful. Now I need you to pay attention to the right tactics to improve your eCommerce sales.
- Number one: is to grow your brand. To achieve that you need to get the best logo designed for your store. All your branding must reflect the kind of image you want your target market to trust.
- Number two: use email marketing effectively. If there’s one online business that is huge in email marketing that’s eCommerce stores. And because your store rely so much on email marketing, it must be done well to reflect that image you have built and constantly reach out to customers with personalized online experience to make them buy regularly.
- Number three: drive more traffic with adverts on social media platforms. If there’s one place you can find the best targeted audience for your eCommerce business is on social media. Run most of your adverts on the platform. Advertising on social media platforms reduces your cost, by targeting precisely the right audience for your store.
- Number four: try to understand your customers on a much deeper level. Understand that your customers are shopping on your store because you provided a solution to their problems. Get deeper understanding of the problems that brings customers to your store. Know why your customers are making the decision to buy from you.
- Number five: serve your customers in the best possible way. Customer service is one way to let your customers know that you care about their problems and not just about their money. Before now, good customer service can only be provided by big eCommerce stores, because they could afford to hire the best customer service consultants. Now you too can hire a good customer service consultant on freelance at a much reduced cost for your small eCommerce store.
eCommerce Business Skills to Hire
Now that you know what are responsible for your eCommerce success, let’s align them with the kind of marketing skills you need if you plan to hire someone to do them. Moreover, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t do any of them yourself. Nobody can do everything required to market their eCommerce business.
As a blogger I can write, but I hire others who are specialists in their field to do most of my other works to make my blog grow. That’s the same with managing an eCommerce business. You can’t do it alone. You may not even know what’s lacking or reasons why your store is not doing better sales.
Well, I have made a list to show you the things that your store needs to grow in sales.
- Content marketing
- Data analysis
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
To sell online your product content description must be well written to describe the problems and solutions that brought customers to your store to shop. That content that makes customers feel their problems are over, that your product is the answer to their need is the best and winning content. And there are those who are good at writing product content in the best ways that drives customers to buy without hesitation.
Data analysts are becoming more relevant to online businesses than they had ever been. It’s now more important to mine and analyze customer data to help define marketing direction and appreciate the impact of existing marketing program. This has been the reason for the success of market personalization in eCommerce business that’s making Facebook and other social media platform help you to target just the right customers for your business.
For eCommerce store, everything has to look it’s best design. Customers are going to assess the product quality by several factors, which includes the product image graphic, logo and website design. Everything to is visualized on your site tells a story to your customers. And it’s this story that would convince them to buy or skip to a competitors site. Pay close attention to who designs your graphics, product description page, and marketing materials.
The internet is now a land of codes. One code error can take your store offline for days or weeks if you lack the expertise to fix code problems. The same way it can help simply how your store processes orders and delivers them faster. Having a coder is important to eCommerce business, just as a nurse is essential for someone with an ailment.
Ecommerce advertising must be planned, created, purchased, executed, and measured. And it must be done in many channels, using many forms of media, including pay-per-click advertising on search engines and on social media sites, display advertising, native advertising, mobile advertising, video commercials, and more.
Your best route to faster sales is advertising. It should be well planned, tactically created to inspire customers to click the buy button. While the ad purchase must be approached to meet sales projection, executed regularly and measured to ensure each ad is producing the desired result. Using every media possible should be your goal.
Let me change the narrative a little. It’s stressful to keep repeating the same things every time. Sooner or later you will get tired and that would cause your sales to start dwindling. And you don’t have to do everything manually.
Take advantage of eCommerce automation processes, from order management, shipping, payments, to email marketing, social media advertising. You can automate any process in your eCommerce business to give you freedom to enjoy your success.
This will reduce your expenses while increasing your conversion rates. In some cases it can improve shoppers experience and boost average order value.
In all the marketing approach for eCommerce stores, email is the most important tool for re-marketing. It’s one of the best ways to reach eCommerce customers. How healthy your eCommerce business is can be measured by the open rate of your email marketing.
However, to get the best out of your email marketing you must apply it with automation.
Search Engine Optimization
One question most eCommerce businesses in Africa are asking is, when I’m not advertising what happens to my business? The internet has a better answer to that. It’s called search engine optimization (SEO). Your eCommerce store must be search engine friendly.
Here are a list of SEO work for your eCommerce store:
- Buy and install SEO tools
- Find and remove duplicate content
- Make navigation and UX design flawless
- Use Google analytics and Google webmaster tools
- Make your store design responsive
- Ensure your store is constantly being indexed by search engines
- Research and use the best keyword for your niche
- Signup local search accounts to target shoppers nearby
- Create only quality content for your pages
- Use title tags better
- Start building backlinks to your store
However, SEO work can be overwhelming for many reasons. You don’t have to understand everything about SEO. But understand that every aspect of SEO is important to eCommerce success. Then outsource these functions or hire a freelancer to do each job on a need to do basis.
In summary, my interest is to drive your eCommerce sales in a way you never thought possible. For you to even begin to dream that big, you must first change your approach. I didn’t just show you what to do. I showed you the best and perfect way to grow your eCommerce business in Africa.
Hire the skill set you need to upscale your store profit. Don’t think something’s are not necessary. If your eCommerce business is not wining everyday, it will soon fizzle out and lose all the customer patronage. My first eCommerce business failed because of some of these reasons I have shown you in this article.
And I’m not saying, start scouting for skills to hire. No, a thousand times no! There are already platforms that gathers the kind of skill sets you need to grow your eCommerce business. Your only job is to signup and start hiring the kind of skills you require, from as low as $5.