The growth of e-commerce shows no signs of slowing down, with 23% growth year over year according to research published by BigCommerce and Square. The same study found that 51% of Americans and 67% of millennials would rather shop online than in-store, and 36% of Americans’ shopping budgets are spent online. While this is clearly a huge opportunity for the owners of online businesses the crucial question is how to make a product stand out. Additionally, online sales are beginning to outpace sales figures from brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers now make 51% of their purchases online, up from 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014. E-commerce really is the future of how the world will shop, and represents an incredible potential for those involved in the sector. Some stats you should know 55% of Americans begin their product searches on Amazon. The top online purchasing categories in 2018 were fashion at 61% and travel at 59%. 61% of shoppers report leaving a transaction due to extra costs, such as shipping fees. Today, eCommerce influences up to 56% of in-store purchases. Where transaction value is concerned, mobile commerce grew from $50.92 billion in 2014 to $693.35 billion in 2019. As many as 18% of local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours. 57% is the global average of online shoppers who make purchases from overseas retailers. On average, 26% of global online shoppers purchased FMCG products in 2018. With this boom has come exponential growth in e-commerce businesses, making competition fierce. How, then, do you stand out from your competitors? One of the best strategies for success is to up your marketing game. With traditional shop-front stores, these businesses received customers thanks to foot traffic, drive-by clients and signage. An e-commerce business is different: no one will come across your store by accident. This means that you have to bring them there. When it comes to e-commerce it is important to remember that small brands are not just competing against one another but also against companies like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba.com. This is why marketing and branding are so important. In this article, I am going to look at some of the best ways to take your marketing to the next level and with it your business. Social media matters Many experts advise focussing on social media, specifically on Facebook. Here, you will see a typical return on investment of 152%, with much greater ROI possible. Facebook is great for promoting your brand to new audiences, whether you sell software, sneakers or fine jewelry. It is not uncommon to have a return over 700% on your ad spend. These benefits, however, will not become a reality without time and effort. It is important to have extensive testing for the optimal use of Facebook ads, and also to give them time to see the positive effects. Having a page is not enough: business owners should be actively posting, responding and marketing special offers and promotions. Finally, it is vitally important to increase an e-commerce website’s “social signals.” This means the total shares, likes, and overall social presence of a website. Social media is not only great for marketing, but also for your website’s SEO. Social signals are paramount in these respects and will make all the difference to your marketing strategy and thus business success. Influencers and Reviews Finding the right influencers to head up your word-of-mouth strategy is very important. Influencer marketing generates twice the sales volumes of paid advertising – for the simple reason that people trust other people more than they trust ads. The most important trick, he added, was to pick the right ambassador for your product. There is no point in paying someone to promote your product who doesn’t actively use it. The success of influencer marketing lies in genuine reviews and opinions. Audiences are quick to pick up on insincerity and this will not only make marketing ineffective but could even be damaging to your brand. Working in a similar way, product reviews are also an essential tool to make prospective customers trust your business as was responding to reviews as this has been shown to cultivate trust. Promotional emails Research shows that 44% of customers admitted to clicking on promotional emails and actually following through to make a purchase. A good rule of thumb is to send four emails in the first month after a customer signs up for more information. After all, they signed up for a reason so you should get in touch to remind them of that. You could base each of the emails around one of the top four reasons customers love your products. A good looking website Websites are another important aspect of your marketing strategy. It is worth investing time and money to make sure that your website is as attractive as possible for prospective customers. As an e-commerce business owner, it is critical to make sure that you have the best eCommerce platform for your needs, as this is to as this is what will make them competitive. Remember that quality images sell. In the e-commerce world, customers are not able to see or touch a product as they would in a traditional bricks-and-mortar store. Therefore high-quality images are essential for closing the sale. E-commerce business owners should make sure that their website is easy to navigate and that returns and privacy policies are easy to access. See this list of the best e-commerce platforms for a small business like real estate (buying or selling property), for the top platforms to help you to achieve this. Additionally, having the best possible security has shown a return on investment. Research suggests that around 70% of shoppers abandon their cart because they didn’t have faith in the transaction process. Finally, it is essential to make sure that your site can be accessed from a mobile phone. Mobile apps are now indispensable to online retailers.M-commerce sales will account for more than half of all eCommerce sales by 2021. Given the number of potential customers who can be reached through their phones and mobile apps, mobile commerce really is the future of e-commerce.