The right platform can simplify the process of building an online store or integrating one into your existing website. Mailchimp and Shopify both offer many desirable e-commerce features for small businesses. With marketing at its core, Mailchimp provides the tools to sell and promote your products, all in one place.
Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
Research before you launch
The journey begins with research.
First, think about your industry and identify your potential competitors. Look for other businesses that:
- Offer similar products and/or services to your target audience
- Offer different products and/or services to a related audience
- Rank highly for keywords related to your business
If you’re not sure where to start, there are lots of online tools to help you analyze the market, see how much traffic other businesses get, and determine how quickly new businesses can break into your industry.
Next, examine your potential customer base. Look at their demographics—like their ages and where they live—as well as their psychographics, which are their interests, attitudes, opinions, and lifestyles.
Once you know who your audience is, you can strategize about how to reach them.
Consider these questions:
- How will you interest them in your product or service?
- How will you craft your offering to be as appealing as possible?
- What sort of pricing strategy will be competitive in your market?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be ready to start developing your online store.
Open an online store
When you’re just starting out with an online store, you want a simple solution—a platform that makes it easy to market your products, sell them, track your progress, and improve your bottom line. It’s also wise to use a platform that grows alongside you, with scalable features to meet your needs from day one onward.
Mailchimp and Shopify both provide platforms to sell your products online, and both make it possible to get up and running quickly.
Using Shopify, all you need is a business name and something to sell, and you can launch a store. Shopify currently offers fewer digital marketing features than Mailchimp, which could limit your long-term growth potential.
With Mailchimp, you can build a store online or connect one that you’ve already built, and then use the platform’s robust marketing features to drive traffic to your store. With all the tools you need to launch your store, market your products or services, and transact your sales in one place, Mailchimp was designed to help you grow your business.
Drive traffic to your online store
Operating an e-commerce business isn’t quite the same as having a brick-and-mortar storefront. You don’t have a window display to catch the eyes of passersby. Instead, you rely on search engine optimization (SEO) and a cohesive multichannel marketing strategy to guide people toward your online store.
To convert someone from a casual website visitor to a paying customer, you may need to make an average of 7 impressions. That means reaching people where they consume content. This is where your multichannel marketing strategy comes in.
Multichannel marketing guides customers to your store and through the buying journey across multiple platforms—like social media, email, websites, and more—with continuity between one platform and the next. For example, if someone clicks on your Facebook ad, it directs them to your website, where they can sign up to receive an email. The email welcomes them and suggests relevant products based on the Facebook ad they clicked on.
Mailchimp can tie your online store to the channels you use, allowing you to reach your customers and drive sales from a single platform.