If 2022 is the year for launching or going all-in on your ecommerce business, welcome to the family.
Global ecommerce retail sales have doubled in 3 years from $2.9 billion in 2018 to $4.8 billion in 2021. As a result, ecommerce has become the premier space for innovative brands to start and grow their reach—that includes you.
The competition is growing, which means you need to make ecommerce growth a priority for your business. In this article, we’ll share with you the latest ecommerce tips to grow your brand in 2022.
10 Ecommerce Tips for 2022 Success
You may have started in the ecommerce industry to build a revolutionary new brand, expand your market reach, or make some side cash. But no matter the reason, the pathways to ecommerce success can seem vast to any newcomer.
Don’t worry. At Foundr, we’ve interviewed the most successful ecommerce business leaders on the planet, and we’re sharing their tried and true methods with you. Check out the ecommerce tips below that can make a difference for your business this year.
1. Find an Ecommerce Platform That Can Grow with You
We’ll shoot it straight with you. The ecommerce platform we recommend for setting up a store quickly and efficiently is Shopify. But just because Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms doesn’t mean it will benefit your business. Before selecting your platform, try and answer the following questions to make an informed decision.
- How many products are you planning to sell?
- How much are you willing to pay for a platform?
- Will you need accessible technical support or are you comfortable going it alone?
- Will you need imagery, video, and creative features to sell your products?
- In 5 years, how much business do you hope to have?
The key to selecting an ecommerce platform is to choose one that will grow alongside your business. You don’t want to get into a situation 6 months from now where your quick decision creates the need for an entirely new platform. The guides below will break down each ecommerce platform with its pros and cons.
2. Find a Manufacturer That Aligns with Your Values
A manufacturer for your ecommerce product is a relationship that can make or break your business. However, it can be intimidating to know where to start. And once you’re talking to manufacturers, how will you know they’re the right fit? Below are the first 3 steps you need to take when looking for a manufacturing partner.
- Decide whether you want to make your products from scratch or go through a supplier.
- Reach out to local manufacturers in your area.
- Widen your net and find global manufacturers on Alibaba.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of manufacturers, then you’ll need to ask the right questions to see if they’re going to be a valued partner for your business. Here are some manufacturing questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.
- What are the communication preferences of the manufacturer?
- What is the size of the operation?
- What are their order minimums? Will they be able to scale?
- Will you have access to different leaders within the manufacturing business?
- Have they produced similar products to the one you’re requesting?
- Are you looking to create an original product and control intellectual property?
- Does the manufacturer treat their employees fairly?
- Does the manufacturer use sustainable processes or ingredients?
- Can you visit the manufacturing plant?
It may seem like overkill to be this thorough when you have a launch deadline looming or are struggling to get your product made, but this decision will have consequences—both good and bad. Take it from skincare entrepreneur Sarah Muir.
Sarah fired her manufacturer right before a product launch because they weren’t honest about meeting the sustainability standards she had set. Sarah bounced back and found a better manufacturer that allowed her to launch Palm & Pine Skincare with 2 original formulations and control all intellectual property. Listen to her story below.
3. Review Your Market Product Fit
Gretta van Riel started 4 multimillion-dollar ecommerce brands and knew how to find the right market for her products. Her strategy reverses the traditional business saying of “product market fit” to “market product fit” when building a new ecommerce brand.
Why? Because you may have a great product idea, but if you blow your budget before identifying the correct market fit, then your business will collapse before it begins. Gretta says:
“New entrepreneurs think that their product is so amazing and it’ll appeal to anyone. Therefore, their target market is everyone. Nobody can afford to market to everybody. So to get more ROI (return on investment) out of your marketing, you need to find the group of people who your offer is the most compelling for.”
Don’t freak out if you’ve made the mistake of marketing to everyone everywhere. Instead, take time to look at the customer data you have or create customer personas of the potential people you’re hoping to reach. Think about the demographics and psychographics of your target market.
Using Demographics and Psychographics
Demographics are data related to population groups and how they’re organized. Demographics include age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment.
Psychographics are data related to the attitudes and psychological behaviors of people. Psychographics include personality traits, lifestyle, interests, opinions, beliefs, and emotional reactions.
Use demographic and psychographic factors to create customer avatars to discover your market product fit. For example:
“Married women, ages 25-45, with full-time jobs, who like to hike, and support environmental groups.”
The possibilities to “niche down” on a target market for your ecommerce brand are endless. Watch the video below, and Gretta will walk you through a step-by-step example of launching an ecommerce brand, including tips on developing a target market.
4. Launch or Relaunch a Product
Whether you’ve recently started your ecommerce brand or are on year 3 looking to expand, launching or relaunching a product is the perfect way to build momentum with customers and generate profit.
The problem many young entrepreneurs face is how to tell those customers that there’s a product offer available. The key is providing value.
That may look different if you’re launching a new product or reintroducing a classic. So, here are tips to make your ecommerce product stand out to new and loyal customers alike.
- Release the Vault: Do you have old products lying around your storage closet or warehouse? Chances are you have customers that love the product or missed out the first time. Release the products with scarcity value. Create a marketing campaign with messaging like “one-time only sale,” “limited time only,” or “from the archives.” Fans of your brand will be delighted to see classics available again, and newcomers will be able to discover new purchase options.
- Build the Hype: The internet goes crazy every time a new Marvel movie trailer is released, and this fandom behavior can work for your brand as well. Tease a new product with subtle messaging on your social platforms, give your email subscribers early access, or add a presale button to the product page. The more excitement you build around a product launch, the more likely your customers will commit to ordering.
- Target Customer Behaviors: If you’ve made a robust email list or customer database, utilize the data to target products people will be interested in. You can provide an exclusive discount to loyal customers, or share upsell offers to repeat purchasers. Use their purchasing behaviors to predict what products align with their desires.
5. Invest in Email Marketing
In 2021, the Apple iOS updates created a dramatic shift in the effectiveness of paid advertising. That puts more value in the tried and true practice of email marketing. Your email subscribers are the foundation of your loyal audience. Whether they signed up during checkout or subscribed on your website, they are willing to receive messages from your brand. Don’t waste this opportunity to connect with them. Instead, apply these tips to bolster your email marketing.
- Create an automated welcome email for new subscribers
- Build an automated email flow that sends 1 month after a purchase asking for a review or discount code
- Start an email newsletter that shares valuable content, product offers, and inspiration
- Make your customers feel special with an automated birthday or subscriber anniversary message
6. Use Your Customer Reviews
Social proof is validating a business through user-generated evidence. In the ecommerce world, this means customer reviews.
You can use customer reviews passively or externally to build your brand. First, ensure that it’s easy to leave a review on your product pages and social media. Then, if you don’t have many reviews, create a social media campaign that incentivizes your customers to share their opinion.
Here’s where the external strategy can make a difference. Once you’ve gathered a slew of quality customer reviews, use them in marketing materials and showcase them across your website and social channels. People follow people and potential customers follow repeat customers.
Customer reviews are a powerful resource to grow your community and increase your add-to-carts.
7. Don’t Blow Your Budget on Ads
A common mistake for new ecommerce brands is going all-in on social media advertising before evaluating their organic growth potential. Master the ins and outs of Facebook advertising or have a funnel strategy before blowing your advertising budget.
Nick Shackleford has spent over $100 million on Facebook Ads and has a proven strategy for high-converting ads. Watch the video below, and Nick will walk you through how to build a successful ad framework.
In the meantime, look at ways to grow organically with social media, blogging, and SEO. For example, Mia Dickson launched her second ecommerce brand, Safe Banz, and generated $10K in sales within 2 weeks of the launch. Guess what? She acquired these sales organically entirely through TikTok. No ads required. Listen to her strategy below.
8. Experiment with a New Marketing Channel
Launching an ecommerce brand on TikTok might not be the right strategy for you, but don’t be afraid to experiment with new marketing channels.
Randy Goldberg and David Heath are the cofounders of Bombas, an apparel brand that donates 1 item for every item purchased. Foundr CEO Nathan Chan asked them what mistakes young entrepreneurs typically make. Randy and David said that a common mistake is trying to copy a marketing strategy that is successful by another brand.
“We talk often if we were starting over right now, we wouldn’t do it the same way. It would have to be completely different. So we’re actually looking at the next generation of companies or who are reinventing how to find their customer base, how to market themselves.”
Review your target market. What other platforms and places are they spending their time? Sometimes an alternative marketing tactic can differentiate your brand and boost your sales. Here are additional marketing channels you can experiment with:
- Short-form content on TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts
- Community social platforms like Reddit or Discord
- Traditional marketing (TV, radio, print ads)
- Start a blog or submit guest posts to industry-related platforms
- SMS messaging
9. Find a Mentor
You won’t be able to grow your ecommerce brand without the support of a mentor or network. Having an experienced professional who’s been in your shoes will be necessary when you don’t have the answers—trust us, you’re bound to have a moment of doubt.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to find a mentor or join a community of like-minded ecommerce entrepreneurs. That’s why we offer access to our community of entrepreneurs when you sign up for a free course.
Sometimes a mentor is a person that can just tell you that you’re not alone, but this relationship can also lead to new business opportunities. Take Daniel Álvarez Yunes. He reached out to a mentor from his university when he started his first ecommerce brand. Through that relationship, they ended up creating a digital agency together.
Listen below to learn how Daniel’s mentor became his business partner.
10. Embrace What Makes your Brand Different
This tip is simple but crucial for your ecommerce brand. Hundreds of brands may sell a similar product to yours, but your differences will make you stand out. Lean into what makes you different as an entrepreneur, leader, and business owner.
Dany Garcia, the founder of The Garcia Companies, is living proof that it’s possible to run multiple successful businesses all at once. Her portfolio includes entertainment, sports, food, business, and fitness brands. In our exclusive magazine interview with Dany, we asked her what advice she’d give to her 10-year-old self.
“I would say to myself at age 10, you are going to be different for the rest of your life, and that’s going to be your superpower.”
What makes you different makes you strong. Ingrain that belief in yourself and apply it to your ecommerce brand.
Develop Your Ecommerce Skills
These tips are just the beginning of your investment in growing your ecommerce brand. Sign up for our free ecommerce course taught by Gretta van Riel so you can learn how to start and scale a successful ecommerce brand from scratch.