Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Building your own ecommerce business is as exciting as it is challenging. Know the tips and tricks on how to run a successful eCommerce business.
Many entrepreneurs share the desire to establish a business that not only generates a lot of profit but also presents them with the opportunity to have more freedom by having it run on autopilot. And eCommerce is one of the few industries that tend to cater to this kind of approach. With that said, the road to growth isn’t without obstacles.
Many challenges come with running an internet store. And if you want to reach your goals, there are a few things that you should know. To this end, here are a few strategies and techniques for having a successful eCommerce business.
1. Treat it like the business that it is
One of the reasons why some eCommerce ventures fail to achieve success is that they are treated more as a hobby and something enjoyable to do in one’s spare time instead of the business that it is supposed to be. And it isn’t hard to fall into the trap, especially if you’re not earning a lot of money out of it yet.
However, you won’t be able to do so if you continue with the same approach. If you’re looking to thrive and flourish as an online store, it must be treated with the same level and care as a Fortune 500 business. In this way, you’ll put more thought into the decisions that you’ll make and be less susceptible to making mistakes.
2. Find the right software and platform for your online store
As an entrepreneur, it is your job to look into potential problems before they rear their ugly heads and cause your business trouble. And for many eCommerce business owners, the platform and software that your enterprise requires must be carefully assessed to ensure that it not only fits your business model like a glove but also your budget.
For example, if you're looking for simplicity and efficacy over customizability for your internet store, Shopify is an excellent platform to use. And the Shopify profit tracker and other third-party applications can give you the advantage that you need to edge out your competition.
3. Simplicity is the key
Selling products online is all about streamlining the experience for prospective customers. If the process for checking out is too complicated, then it is likely that they’ll get frustrated and leave their carts empty. And you’ll miss the opportunity to make a sale. As such, it is vital to ensure that every aspect of your website is easy to use.
Take the opportunity to optimize it for mobile as well. Always remember that the key to the hearts of your customers is keeping everything simple. The easier it is to browse through your web pages and buy from your site, the more likely they’ll commit to a purchase.
4. Prioritize the user
The greatest shortcoming of any eCommerce business is the fact that it is unable to offer its customers the ability to feel, smell, touch, and see its offerings first-hand in the same way that traditional brick-and-mortar stores do. While there is still no solution that exists to solve this issue, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t make up for it in other ways.
For instance, you could potentially offer consumers better prices on the desired products. You can also present them with special promotions, discounts, and even free shipping to get them to make a purchase.
5. Make sure everything works
An eCommerce business lives and breathes from the technology that powers it. There’s hardly any point in setting up an internet business if the website doesn’t work as intended. From slowdowns to dead links, and technical issues that users run into will keep them from becoming paying customers.
Because of this, it is crucial that you make sure everything works through extensive testing. This might push the launch of your business back, but if you don’t carefully assess and evaluate the site now, it may lead to problems that may cause losses for you later on.
6. Leverage your social media presence
It is hard to find an online business today that doesn’t leverage its social media presence because the platform serves as an effective marketing tool that can drive more traffic to your website. So if you aren’t using this digital channel yet, you must do so now. Staying active on this platform might be a lot of work, and it truthfully is. But doing so will allow you to reel in more customers than you would have had otherwise. And as a result, increase the sales of your online business.
7. Search engine optimization is essential
It is not a big secret that the majority of consumers rely primarily on search engines to find what they need online. And if you want to create more awareness and exposure for your eCommerce business, it makes sense to adopt SEO techniques.
As its name suggests, search engine optimization generally refers to strategies and processes that help websites achieve higher rankings on search results when specific keywords are used. And by making use of these techniques, you’ll have a better chance of improving your internet presence.
8. Check your competition
There’s a reason why competitive analysis is used by businesses across many industries: it works. Not only will it help you gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals. But it also presents you with the opportunity to learn new practices and strategies that you can incorporate into your eCommerce business. While there’s no denying that it does require a fair bit of time and effort, looking into your competitors can help you grow your online business significantly.
9. Make use of email marketing
Email marketing remains as useful and effective today as it was in the past, especially when it comes to eCommerce businesses. After all, this strategy won’t just allow you to grow your followers. But it will help you stay relevant to your existing customers by keeping them continuously engaged with your company.
So if you’re looking to grow your online store, make sure you incorporate email advertising into your campaign. It will go a long way in helping you achieve success in your endeavor.
9. Keep your business up-to-date
It is always a good idea to keep your business up-to-date, be it in marketing or technology. There may be new trends that could potentially improve the efficacy of your advertising efforts or the efficiency of your online operations, after all. And this can make all the difference in helping you gain a competitive edge over other internet stores and generate more sales in turn.
10. Partner with other businesses
For many buyers, committing financial resources to a brand that isn’t known can be tough. However, you can generate positive exposure for your eCommerce business by partnering up with better-known brands. The companies that you choose to establish your credibility through don’t need to be the most well-established enterprises either - so long as they have a following, you’ll be able to elevate your customer base with a collaboration or a joint venture.
11. Offer support
One of the most common issues that many consumers run into when purchasing from eCommerce businesses is technical in nature. And if you want to win more customers and get more sales, you must be willing to offer troubleshooting support. From email to live chats, having some form of support for any technical problems that come up will not only help users complete their purchases. But it will also show them that you value their experience with your brand which will improve the chances of turning them into repeat customers.
12. Provide more payment options
No eCommerce business can operate without receiving payment for its offerings. And if you don’t present customers with the payment options of their choice, they may not make any purchases at all. It is because of this that you must give them their preferred methods of online payment. Doing so will make it much easier to convert users into customers than it would have been otherwise.
13. Take advantage of online review sites
The online ratings of a product can have a massive impact on the brand’s reputation more than people realize. In fact, some sources state that over ninety percent of users defer to internet reviews before they decide to make a purchase. Simply put, they trust this feedback as much as they do their own personal recommendations and because of this, you must take advantage of online review sites.
One way to do this is by encouraging all of your customers to leave their comments and insights about your offerings after they’ve made a purchase. In this way, they’ll feel like your business values their input. But more importantly, it will allow you to get more customers.
An eCommerce business can be a financially rewarding endeavor if done right. And by keeping everything simple for your customers, making sure that you use the right platform and software, and manage it well, you’ll help your venture grow into a thriving business.
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