Reaching Customers: The First Step to Success for an E-commerce Business

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essayist. Lecturer. Poet. NOT A BUSINESSMAN.  

In an earlier post on our blog, I laid out a simple framework for success in e-commerce: find customers, serve customers and keep those customers coming back. In this post, let’s take a detailed look at the first step: finding customers.

Many small businesses don’t start out thinking about this explicitly, relying on Emerson’s idea that a good product mystically draws customers.  In reality, this just isn’t the case, especially in ecommerce. You are trying to find your customers on the internet, and fighting for their attention against all of your competitors and against the attention-grabbing universe of hilarious cat pictures. When they get tired of looking at those, your customers can always go to Walmart. The process of customer acquisition doesn’t just happen on its own…

Reaching Customers: The First Step to Success for an E-commerce Business 

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