What is the best way to market a new e-commerce site? How do I get more visitors to my site who will actually buy something?

Lucas Leach



E-Commerce takes a business worldwide and provides valuable information — more customer information than we have ever had before.

At the same time, the more things change, the more they stay the same. No matter what you are looking for, you — and everyone else — first turn to friends and family. However, if you are looking to grow your business, which you are, you need to first look to your customers; both to learn your strengths and for referrals.

Your customers come to you for a reason — there are other places they could go, but they have chose you because of something you are providing or the manner in which you operate. Look to their purchases to learn your point of differentiation: What are they buying, where are they located and what other characteristics can you identify? Make sure you continue to provide what your current customers are buying; this is what you are known for. Also be sure to tell visitors to your site what the most popular items are and why.

Another tactic: Send a follow-up e-mail to targeted customers — how is the product working for them, what do they like that they did not anticipate and what are their reservations? Not everyone will respond, but from those who do, you will gain insightful perspective. An added bonus: If they are willing to share their first names, you can share their customer/product experience on your site.

Additionally, you can go back to these responders with an incentive to introduce a new customer to you. Regular customers and "their referral" each receive a discount of at least 15 percent off their next order. Is 15 percent too large or too little? Track the referral incentive and you will learn the answer.

Building on the insights you gain from your current customers and making them part of your marketing will attract more customers looking to buy.

About the author

Jonathan Seltzer is a professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.