The ecommerce scene is booming in India with hundreds of ecommerce stores going live each week. But many of them also shut down soon mainly because of one single reason – not reaching your best market.
If you run a ecommerce store, you need to realize that it’s not what you sell that matter but whom you sell it to. It is very important to find your market but at the same time it is even more important to find your best market.
So what is your best market?
Well, to put it in simple words. Let’s say you have a patch of land that is made of black alluvial soil best suited to grow cotton but you decided to grow rice. What do you think will be the result?
Similarly, a market might definitely exist but you need to make sure you are able to reach your best market, your best audience. So, this best market is your social circle where you have to put in efforts to cultivate it in such a way that it gives fruits that you want.
People who know you – who trust your judgment and care about your success – are your early adopters. These may be friends, family, your broader personal network or professional acquaintances. But you should have a strategy devoted to tapping this market and enabling them to spread your message.
How to do it?
Well, I won’t say it’s a piece of cake but it isn’t rocket science either. In fact, it is far more easier these days with many social media tools available to connect the buyer with the seller.
1. Make the best use of your network
Most store owners open their online stores and expect people to find them. I won’t say it doesn’t happen but soon you’ll be lost in the crowd and people won’t be able to find you. Your close social network is the best place to start off with. Major brands spend millions of dollars to simulate a relationship with consumers. But with your own social and business networks, you already have an authentic relationship.
Tap in to this network – friends, colleagues, relatives and take advantage of this authentic relationship. It matters a lot to have a relationship between the buyer and seller and with this particular network of yours, you have already built a relation. Use it to your advantage. If you make those people happy, they’ll spread the word to their networks and you’ll be on your way.
2. Reach out to influential people
Well, this may not be that easy to achieve early on so you can start small. With social media tools available, it is easy to connect and share your story with the rest of the world. Now remember, we need to reach the best market so target accordingly.
I agree that Twitter followers or Facebook fans is a vague measure of business success because it is hard to evaluate the data there and whether it leads to a transaction. Still, the tools are quite valuable for reaching large numbers of people you know. An average Facebook user has 256 friends, now you can do the rest of the math.
If you are able to put your word across properly, they’ll put it across to their friends.
3. Say something new
When you are targeting a specific audience, it is important that you say something new once in a while. For example, it could be about a new product that you are launching, it could be about a new category of products on your online store, etc.
In retail, the saying is, “If your product stays the same, your audience must change. If your audience stays the same, your product must change.”
You may not be launching a new product, but maybe taking about an umbrella during rains makes more sense. The point I want to make here is, it is okay if you do not have new products, but make your existing product relevant. The important thing is, when you’re tapping a constant audience over time, you must say something new and of value to that audience.
So, at the end of it, your objective is to take advantage of your close network, build awareness, trust and interest there. Then use their broader network to share more info about your products by saying something new every once in a little while.
Hope this helps.