The digital age has given business owners the opportunity to run their enterprises exclusively online. No office rental, no leaflets, no magazine advertisements and no need to hire a team of local employees. Sound too good to be true? If you’d like to get in on the booming market of eCommerce, the following nine secrets will help to get you set up for long-term success.
Get Your Finances in Order
As with any kind of business, it’s important to get your finances in order before starting out. Check your personal accounts and make sure you have enough funds to cover your personal expenses while your company is in the start-up phase. It’s always a good idea to set up a business account from the very beginning and keep your personal and business finances completely separate.
If you want to go on vacation or you want to get a new car, you can take out a personal loan that’s just right for your situation instead of dipping into your profits. Likewise, if you need to pay a developer to work on your website, consider getting a business loan instead of using your personal savings. If you do not have any experience with accounting and financing, hiring an accountant may be the single best investment you make.
Running a successful eCommerce company and driving traffic go hand in hand. Many business owners overlook this fact and expect customers to randomly find their site on Google and make a purchase. There are plenty of options available when it comes to driving traffic to your site. You can run paid social media campaigns, set up a campaign on Google Adwords, attract customers with content marketing, take advantage of influencer marketing or invest heavily in Search Engine Optimization. Take some time to consider the pros and cons of each strategy and determine which option would yield the best results for your product.
Be There for Your Customers
You don’t want your customers to feel isolated when it comes to shopping with you. Make your presence known by putting contact details on your site. Include a phone number, snail mail address and an e-mail address on the contact page and be sure to encourage your customers to get in touch with you should they have a question. Customer satisfaction is a major factor in business success so it’s not enough to just post the details – set up a system so your customers receive a quick reply to their queries.
Give Detailed Information
All customers will agree that it’s very frustrating to visit a website with the intention of buying only to find very little information about the product. The whole purpose of your website is to make sales and prevent customers from having to visit a brick-and-mortar store so you want to create a positive consumer experience. Providing detailed information about each product you’re selling is essential so don’t skimp on product descriptions. Also, be sure to include an ‘About’ page where you can tell your story about how you got started out in business. It will give your company a face and an identity to connect with.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re losing money. Big statement to make but it’s true. You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your customers so don’t fill those seconds with a messy layout, slow load times and missing information. If you don’t know how to make your site mobile responsive, it’s best to hire a website developer who can ensure everything is running optimally.
It can be difficult to succeed without building strategic partnerships with brands and people who have influence and brand equity in your marketplace. Keep your eyes open when it comes to potential opportunities and, once you are starting to realize the benefits of partnerships, don’t shy away from helping other brands where possible.
It can be difficult to keep focused on one product or range of products when creating an eCommerce business. There will be plenty of opportunities to branch out once your site is established so stay focused early on and you’ll reap the rewards of doing so later on. On this topic, take some time to think about your product and how you can zone in and capture a niche market. While the number of customers in that market might be less, the potential for gaining a loyal following is much greater.
Split-Testing Is Essential
There’s no reason not to split test in the world of eCommerce. The process is as easy as dragging and dropping some elements on a page to find out which ones lead to conversions and which elements fall short. Take notice of the smaller details and you’ll be able to increase sales with reasonably little effort and money investment.
Invest in Learning
The world of eCommerce is constantly evolving so it’s important to stay on top of new advancements. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, invest in courses on SEO and marketing, and be sure to use each experience you have in your journey as a learning opportunity.