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Ecommerce

Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024

13.5.2024

Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024 including 12 strategies for you
Ecommerce

Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024

13.5.2024
March 28, 2024
Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024 including 12 strategies for you
Webinar

Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024

13.5.2024
March 28, 2024

Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

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Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

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Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

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Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

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Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

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Written by
Tara Gerashi
Written by
Tara Gerashi
Blog

Our Guide on how to run an Ecommerce Business in 2024

Our guide has 12 strategies for you to successfully run your online shop in ecommerce in 2024. Do you have a great product or service and want to build an ecommerce business? Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2024, up from 4.3 trillion US dollars in 2020. If you want to be successful in this dynamic and lucrative market, you need a clear and effective strategy for your online store. In this article, we present 12 strategies that can help you run a successful online store in 2024 and beyond.

Strategy 1: Define your niche audience

Before you start selling anything online, you need to figure out who your ideal customers are and what problems you can solve for them. A niche is a specific segment of the market that has a particular need or preference. By focusing on a niche, online stores can set themselves apart from the competition and gain loyal customers who are willing to pay more for their products.

To find your niche audience, you can use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Amazon Best Sellers to research demand, trends and keywords in your industry. You can also use social media, forums, blogs and surveys to understand the problems, interests and motivations of your target audience.

Once you have a clear idea of your niche audience, you can create a customer persona that describes their demographic and psychographic characteristics as well as their behavior. Once you've created your customer persona, you should review and refine it by talking to a focus group from your niche and interviewing them to get their real feedback.

Strategy 2: Choose a reliable ecommerce platform

An ecommerce platform is the software that runs your online store and allows you to manage your inventory, orders, payments, shipping and marketing. There are many options out there, but you should look for one that fits your budget, goals and technical capabilities. We've compared some of the most popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopware, WooCommerce and Wix.

When deciding on an ecommerce platform, you should consider factors like these:

  • The features and functionality you need for your store, such as product catalog, shopping cart, checkout, payment gateways, analytics and SEO
  • The ease of use and customizability of the platform, e.g. drag-and-drop builders, templates, plugins and integrations
  • The scalability and security offered by the platform, such as hosting, bandwidth, SSL certificates and backups
  • The pricing and support of the platform, such as monthly fees, transaction fees and domain fees

The most used ecommerce platforms in 2023 (Statista)

Use online reviews, ratings and testimonials from other users to compare different ecommerce platforms. It is possible to sign up for free trials or demos to test the platform before you decide on one.

Strategy 3: Create a unique brand identity

A brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a company, including name, logo, tagline, colors, fonts and tone of voice. A strong brand identity can help build trust, recognition and loyalty with customers. You should craft your brand identity to reflect your niche, your target audience and your value proposition.

Here are ways to create a unique brand identity:

  • Come up with a name that is memorable and fits your niche and target audience.
  • Design a logo that is simple, distinctive and adaptable to different sizes and platforms.
  • Choose a consistent, appealing color palette that expresses your brand personality and emotions
  • Choose a font family that is legible, harmonious and fits your brand and tone of voice
  • Write a tagline that is concise and memorable and communicates your brand promise and benefits.

You may already have a brand name and logo, but you may want to expand your color palette or find your own tone of voice. Rebranding is not a sign of inadequacy, but an opportunity to adapt and evolve to the changing market and customer needs. Many large companies have successfully rebranded, from Meta to X (formerly Twitter) and from Siemens to Uber. Shopstory was even called "boomerank" until 2022! Just make sure you keep your customers informed and up to date by communicating the changes and reasons clearly.

Strategy 4: Optimize your website for conversions

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website performs a desired action, e.g. signs up for your newsletter, adds a product to their shopping cart or completes a purchase.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website for conversions:

  • Clear and meaningful headlines, images and calls to action that grab your visitors' attention and move them to take action
  • Provide social proof and testimonials that emphasize your credibility, authority and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce friction and distractions that could prevent your visitors from achieving their goals, e.g. long forms, distracting pop-ups, slow loading, etc.
  • Create a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates your visitors to act quickly, e.g. through time-limited offers, countdown timers and inventory displays
  • Offer guarantees and assurances that reduce the risk and anxiety of your visitors, e.g. free returns, money-back guarantee and privacy policy
  • Designing a user-friendly and aesthetic website that enhances the user experience, such as using consistent and appealing colors, fonts and layouts that ensure easy navigation and accessibility.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure, test and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Strategy 5: Offer multiple payment options

Customers expect a variety of payment options when shopping online, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. By offering multiple payment options, you can increase your conversion rate, reduce the number of abandoned purchases and cater to the different preferences and needs of your customers.

Consider factors such as:

  • The popularity and availability of payment methods in your target market and region
  • The fees that the payment providers charge you and your customers
  • The security and reliability of the payment providers and their compliance with the relevant regulations and standards
  • The integration and compatibility of payment providers with your ecommerce platform and other tools

The most important online payment providers in 2024 (Statista)

You can also use tools like Stripe, Paypal or Shopify Payments to accept and process multiple payment types on your online store. By offering multiple payment options, you reduce the friction and frustration your customers might face when they're ready to buy and make the checkout process as smooth as possible.

Strategy 6: Offer fast and free shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors influencing the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Customers want to receive their orders as quickly and cheaply as possible and are more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping or a low minimum order value. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 49% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs.

To offer fast and free shipping, consider strategies like the following:

  • Negotiating with your carriers to get the best rates and delivery times for your products and destinations
  • Using fulfillment services or third-party logistics (3PL) providers to store, pack and ship your products
  • Offer local delivery or pick-up options to your customers who live near your location or distribution center
  • Set realistic and transparent expectations regarding your shipping policies, costs and delivery times
  • Provide tracking and confirmation information so your customers can track their orders and avoid disputes

Strategy 7: Implement a customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards repeat customers for their purchases, referrals, reviews or other actions. An effective customer loyalty program can help increase customer retention, lifetime value and word-of-mouth marketing. According to a report by Yotpo, 52% of customers would participate in a loyalty program if it was offered by their favorite brand, and 39% are willing to pay more for a product even if there are cheaper alternatives.

To implement a loyalty program, you should consider factors such as the following:

  • The goals you want to achieve with your loyalty program, such as increasing sales, referrals and reviews
  • The rewards and incentives you want to offer loyal customers, such as points, tiers, discounts, giveaways or gamification
  • The rules and requirements for earning and redeeming points, qualifying for tiers and accessing benefits
  • The appropriate channels for communicating and promoting your loyalty program (email, social media, website or app)

Average memberships to loyalty programs in the USA 2015-2022 (Statista)

The global market for customer loyalty programs was worth USD 5.57 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030. Aside from this potential, it's important to note that many ecommerce companies are moving from package deals to personalized offers tailored to individual customer preferences. Brands should ensure that their strategies drive sustainable growth and profitability while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Strategy 8: Use email marketing to nurture and retain customers

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to communicate with your customers and drive repeat purchases. You can use email marketing to send personalized and relevant messages to your customers, such as:

  • Welcome emails that introduce your brand, raise expectations and call to action
  • Emails that remind your customers of the items they left in their shopping cart and convince them to complete their purchase
  • Product recommendation emails that suggest products your customers might like based on their browsing or purchasing behavior
  • Newsletter emails that inform your customers about the latest news, updates, tips and offers
  • Promotional emails that entice your customers to buy from you with discounts, vouchers or offers
  • Re-engagement emails that rekindle the relationship with your inactive or lapsed customers and motivate them to come back

Tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Omnisend and Privy can help you build and grow your email list, design and send your email campaigns, and measure and optimize your email performance. Plus, many email marketing tools integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce so you can better analyze your customers' behavior, preferences and feedback. This allows you to tailor your email campaigns to the needs and wishes of your customers and increase your sales and customer loyalty.

Strategy 9: Use social media and influencer marketing

Social media and influencer marketing are effective ways to reach and engage your target audience, increase brand awareness and generate traffic and sales. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to showcase your products, share user-generated content, run competitions and giveaways and interact with your followers. You can also work with influencers who have a large and loyal following in your niche and can promote your products to their audience.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The platforms and channels your target audience uses and prefers, as well as the type and format of content they consume and share
  • The goals and metrics you want to achieve with your social media and influencer marketing, such as reach, engagement, traffic and conversions
  • The budget and resources available to you for your social media and influencer marketing, such as time, money and tools
  • The influencers and partners you want to work with and the terms of the collaboration, such as remuneration, expectations and results

Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Later and Loomly will help you plan, create, schedule and manage your social media content and campaigns. To find and connect with relevant influencers in your niche, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and AspireIQ. You can also use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create eye-catching graphics, videos and animations for your social media posts.

Strategy 10: Create video content

Video content is one of the most engaging and popular forms of content on the internet. According to Statista, online videos had a reach of 92.3% among internet users worldwide by the end of 2023. Video content can help you showcase your products, demonstrate their features and benefits, tell your brand story, inform your customers and entertain your audience.

To create video content, consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and message you want to convey with your video and the action you want your viewers to take after watching it
  • The style and tone you want to use for your video content and the emotions you want to evoke in your viewers
  • The length and format you want to use for your video content and the platform you want to distribute it on
  • The equipment and software you need to produce and edit your video content, e.g. cameras, microphones, lights and tripods

Leading video content type worldwide Q2 2023, by usage reach (Statista)

There are many free or low-cost tools to get you started with video editing, such as Capcut and iMovie. You can also use platforms like YouTube and Vimeo to host and share your video content with your audience.

Strategy 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the process of providing support and assistance to your customers before, during and after their purchase. Customer service can help you increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention and generate positive word of mouth and referrals. According to a report by Microsoft, 95% of customers say that customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a brand.

Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The channels and methods you use to communicate with your customers, such as phone, email, chat or social media
  • The speed and quality of customer service, e.g. response time, resolution time, accuracy and professionalism
  • The feedback and ratings you collect and analyze from your customers, such as surveys, reviews and testimonials
  • The training and education you provide to your customer service team, such as skills, knowledge and tools

Providing excellent customer service is not only a way to satisfy your customers, but also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal and lasting relationship with your customers.

Strategy 12: Automate your ecommerce processes

Running an ecommerce business in a competitive market is a big challenge. And with limited resources, every hour counts. The good news is: automation tools can help you streamline all kinds of tasks - from inventory management to order fulfillment, accounting, customer service, digital advertising, reporting and more. This saves you time and resources so you can focus on more important things like scaling and growth.

Modern automation tools such as Zapier or Shopstory go one step further: they make it possible to automate tasks without a single line of code. Unlike traditional scripting-based tools, code-free automation is more reliable, less error-prone and doesn't require developer support. We did a comparison between Zapier and Shopstory to help you choose the tool that's right for you.

What's more, you can connect and automate workflows across different apps and platforms. While Zapier offers integrations with a variety of apps, Shopstory is designed specifically for ecommerce owners and marketers. With Shopstory, you can create cross-channel workflows with your favorite apps like Shopify, Shopware, Google Ads, Meta, ChatGPT and others. Take Shopstory's Labelizer Flow, for example, which dynamically categorizes thousands of products by performance, or flows that optimize your Google Ads and improve product descriptions via ChatGPT.

Interested in marketing automation and would like to find out more about our Shopstory software? Then perhaps you'd like to read our white paper "The Future of Automation in Ecommerce & Marketing" or follow the link below to learn more about our software:

Interested?

Simply fill out the form and download the full white paper.

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