If you are looking for new opportunities for your e-commerce business during these tough times, this no-frills podcast with our Founder and CEO, Li Lu, along with CEO of Encompass Business Technologies, Gurmeet Judge, will give you some advice and tips on how to seize opportunities to help your business grow. The podcast covers two main topics including how to achieve your highest potential as an e-commerce business owner in North America, and information on e-commerce businesses in China.
How can businesses expand into North America?
There are several brands out there that are very well established in China but are looking to expand their business into North America. However, they struggle with developing a strong brand presence and being able to connect with customers, which is why, as Li mentioned, it is important to localize the brand into the Chinese language and culture. Minimizing cultural differences as much as possible helps attain a smoother online selling process.
How do you build emotional connections with customers?
If you are trying to advertise a phone plan in North America, a more emotional approach would attract more customers. Instead of focusing on how many minutes of phone calls are available, or focusing on the technical features of this plan, building a connection by telling customers that they can make international calls to their family members back in China makes them feel very understood in a way that someone is fulfilling a need of theirs that is very dear to them.
How can companies benefit from social media influencers?
Social media plays a huge role in the success of an e-commerce company today. Before 2020, most sales came from online advertisements, but now social commerce has become more prominent with consumers looking for products or brands that they can genuinely connect with. People want recommendations from influencers that they follow on a regular basis. Influencers can test products live as their followers watch them unbox. They make consumers feel like they are a part of the experience, and in turn the consumers are more likely to purchase the product. Influencers can give their followers suggestions and communicate what they truly feel about a product.
How do you choose which social media platforms to use?
Not only do influencers play a role in social selling but also the social media platforms you choose to advertise on as an online business. A key factor to keep in mind is to focus on where your audience is. Your audience always comes first, so if you are targeting a specific demographic who has a stronger presence on Snapchat for instance, do not try to convert them to Instagram. Present the information on a platform that they spend most of their time on.cWhen using your social media platforms to create stronger brand awareness, make the most of the technical features offered by different apps. Go live on your platform, put links on stories, and make it easy for customers to buy products from you.
Is having a physical store still important?
While having a strong online presence is a contributing factor to the success of a business, a physical presence is just as important. The best way to achieve the best of both worlds is to have an integrated shopping experience where you can create the perfect opportunity for a consumer to experience the product before buying it. Let’s take the example of an entrepreneur running a massage chair business. The business owner can make the most out of their physical store by creating a spa-like, tranquil environment where customers feel at peace and at their utmost relaxed state. Building emotional connections and creating a heartfelt experience will make a customer want to buy the product even more and having a fun, creative, and interactive experience at a physical store will make consumers want to visit the store. It can also attract several influencers who may take pictures or even go live in these physical stores, which is great publicity. The key is to get creative, and make this an enjoyable experience that will make consumers come back for more!
How can you make a customer happy when they visit your physical location?
In order to create an exquisite in-store experience, understanding why customers visit your store is crucial! Are they looking to buy items for themselves, or as gifts for others? Are they coming to explore new products, or get discounts and offers? Really get into a consumer's head to understand the reason for their visit. As well, knowing how this product will benefit them and what the role of this item is in their life will help you create an environment that they can’t resist.
What are e-commerce businesses like in China?
Let us now dive into what it’s like running an e-commerce business oversea
s, specifically in China. Many business owners are hesitant to go into the Chinese market because of the excessive competition that exists. They do not want to take the risk of having to stand up against several well-established brands present in China. Another reason is the need to meet demand, and as Li stated, the Chinese market is 100 times larger than the Canadian market. There are many cities in China and the needs of the local people vary from place to place. It is important to connect with the rural people, explain things in a way that they will understand, and tailor an advertisement to their wants and needs.
A little background on our CEO and Founder, Li Lu
Li started LL BrandLab with the hitch that if she could work so hard for someone else, she could very well do it for herself and create a company to
help numerous businesses with their growth and sales. With a background in Business Strategy, Marketing, and International Business, Li’s marketing strategy is rooted from a business standpoint. She firmly believes that every penny a business invests needs to generate results. Despite establishing a successful business, one of the biggest obstacles she came across was the uncertainty around starting up a business, and there were many times where she told herself “I don’t know what will happen next month.” But over the years she came to terms with the fact that the uncertainty never goes away and the key is learning how to deal with it so that it does not stop you from reaching your highest potential as an entrepreneur.