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The Marshall Plan: Finding the Right E-Commerce Sales Strategy

(August/September 2018) posted on Thu Sep 27, 2018

In this online world, an informative, user-friendly website (and store) is more important than ever.


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By Marshall Atkinson

Let’s talk about e-commerce. These days, if at least a good portion of your sales strategy isn’t focused online, you may be dead in the water. That’s a fact.

The problem is that it’s a very crowded and noisy place already. To stand apart from the herd, you need a solid 

strategy that will give you the traction to compete. It may mean rethinking how you bring your ideas to market, or even the core list of customers you are trying to win over.

Here are some concepts that can help guide you when building your e-commerce plan.  

Find a Community

No, I don’t mean the neighborhood in which your shop is located. Those geographic borders used to be a primary 



way custom shops defined themselves, but they’re pretty meaningless today.

It’s much easier to go to market if you narrow down your prospect list a bit. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, what if you singled out a specific niche? What if your shop became the king of selling shirts and gear to German Shepherd owners, Civil War reenactors, scuba divers, or Cajun gumbo cooks?  

You are probably already in a community, but you haven’t really thought about it. What hobby or interest do you have that you are knowledgeable and passionate about – something for which you already know the lingo and esoteric humor involved?

That’s a community that you could build a chunk of business around. You may be able to take that passion and build an e-commerce product experience that will be unequaled.  

Create Content

After you have nailed your community idea, the next thing to do is create content that will be seen and enjoyed. Remember, the internet doesn’t exist without content. If you want your e-commerce sales strategy to take off, you need visitors to your site.  

One principle to keep in mind is called the “90-9-1” rule. It’s simple. Online, about 90 percent of the people you target will read or use content. Approximately nine percent of those people will also like, share, retweet, comment, or repost.  


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