The Hierarchy of E-Commerce Marketing

How do you sell [ _________ ] online? Simple:

  1. Develop a great Product/Brand/Website
  2. Build a solid mousetrap (E-mail/Retargeting)
  3. Acquire traffic
  4. Generate social validation

Seriously – that’s it. Much easier said than done – but that’s it.

Product – Do you have an interesting, disruptive, or competitively leveraged product? Are you sure? How do you know? If you’ve got an ounce of doubt – you’re out. Start over and get back to the drawing board. Many companies, especially in the e-commerce space, think they have something novel, but in fact do not. Don’t rely on the testimony or feedback of friends (exclusively) – make some small moves to ensure you’re not wasting your time and that of your prospective audience. Minimum viable product (MVP) or minimum viable service is important to get to market before you get too high on your own supply.

Brand – Now that you’ve ensured you have a decent offering, why should anyone care? Building a brand about what you’re up to and why the average consumer could or would give a rip is equally, if not more, important. Are you giving something away – that’s been done. Are you delivering something sweet on a monthly interval – ditto. Is your perspective fresh, edgy, or representative of a generation or novel – are you sure? What is it that you do, what do you have to say, why would people fall in line to support who you are and what you’re about? Start with “WHY?”

Website – Building a decent website is incredibly simple these days given the multitude of tools available: Shopify, WordPress, SquareSpace, Brandcast, BigCommerce, etc. If you don’t have any design chops, check out ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, or WooThemes,. If you are alive at the time of this post and can navigate a smartphone, you can build an e-commerce website. The fact that you haven’t yet or think you need more functionality that you can wrap your mind around is indicative of nothing more than laziness. Ouch – that was harsh, my B. Seriously though – stop making excuses and start executing.

After you’ve ensured that your product is solid, a reason for being that can be easily and succinctly articulated to a hungry mob of potential fans, and a website that clearly conveys who or what you are, you are ready for the second phase…

The Mousetrap.

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