Starting a business, regardless of whether it is an online store or a traditional physical one, is a complex process, and you have to take into consideration many things. There are specific details that differ depending on whether the business is in the online environment or not.
For this to be clarified, we will focus on highlighting the essential aspects that must be considered for an e-commerce business to grow. In 2021, online companies are in constant growth. In the time post-COVID-19, it is predicted e-commerce will grow by more than 20%. The main reason for this increase is the fact that consumers value the convenience generated by a business that sells goods or services online.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, given that more people opt for purchasing their desired items without having to go to the physical store. For this reason, technological innovations are developed to improve the overall user experience of consumers.
It can be challenging starting a business, let alone driving it further. However, as difficult it may be at times, especially in the initial stage, with consistency and constant research, you can stay on top of the market and meet customers’ demands.
If you have an e-procurement application you may consider having a coupa punchout setup where buyers can browse your web-based catalog.
Invest in marketing
Marketing is a crucial aspect for any type of business, but even more so for an eCommerce platform that only exists in the online medium. Without marketing strategies implemented, the business, especially a new one, will have difficulties reaching the target audience correctly and staying relevant. The focus should be on your business’ inbound marketing that attracts your audience with relevant content to match their demand.
Apart from the traditional ways in which you should advertise your business, like direct mail or printed ads, you might want to consider influencer marketing or content marketing. The latter is curated and created by the company itself and on the official accounts of the brand if it’s on social media networking sites. With influencer marketing, you build the opportunity for your consumers to interact with a person who is also a consumer, but it has a large follower-base. Therefore, they are able to reach the target audience more effectively and build a more direct relationship with them.
Integrate website with social media
For an e-commerce business, your shop is the backbone of your company. If the shopping experience is not seamless, then the existing customers will not fulfill the purchase. Plus, this won’t incentivize new customers to choose your brand, given they are looking for convenience on top of product offerings. So, it is of the utmost importance you provide a website that is not only easy to navigate but is visible across all your social media platforms.
Moreover, integrating the website with social media is an effective growth strategy. This way, your customers will be able to access the website with the press of a button or right from a post made on social media. For instance, Instagram’s shoppable posts direct the customer to the page where they can actually buy the item. Shorting the time is an advantage for both your business and the consumer. This strategy can also increase the traffic organically to the brand’s Instagram account.
Think about packaging
While marketing and creating relevant content to target your consumers directly is an indispensable aspect, it isn’t the only one that needs prioritizing. E-commerce businesses can grow to deliver their items across the country and even internationally, so how you pack your goods is also crucial. With well-thought packaging, you maintain your brand’s image, as it is vital you convey the brand’s identity through all the virtual means – from the digital presence, quality of the products, and packaging appearance.
Therefore, how you design your packaging can influence your brand, as this can elevate your product and put it in good light. What’s more, it supports the development and your branding strategy. So, you might want to make it “Instagrammable”, cohesive with the entire brand image, and practical. For instance, you could attach a high-quality sash ribbon to the personalized box with the embossed logo.
Excellence in customer service
For your e-commerce business to grow, it is imperative you provide excellent customer service. Because you don’t have a physical store, it can be challenging to respond to your customer queries in a timely manner or promptly offer them any information. Therefore, it is vital you invest and implement strategies that facilitate the customer’s experience.
To accomplish this, you might want to ensure the business has a cohesive multi-channel availability. This way, your customers can contact you on the platform of their choice, and it gives them the opportunity to express their thoughts. Such a strategy not only will it meet your target audience’s needs but it can also exceed their expectations and assure their loyalty.
Besides this, it is crucial you prioritize innovation in customer support and embed self-service automation on your website. This way, you won’t need to worry about the more minor queries customers might have. The strategies you implement that support well-established customer service will help the business retain its loyal customers.
Strong product inventory management
Given that your business operates digitally, you will need to have a highly organized distribution center and solid and effective product inventory management. From how you stock and arrange your products, transportation methods, and the technologies you use to facilitate stock keeping and management, this aspect of the e-commerce business is crucial for the seamless running of its operations.
Among the technology software programs you could use to maintain good management of your product inventory and stock include mobile scanners. By allocating a stock-keeping unit or SKU code for each product and having such software, you can keep track of all your inventory more effectively. What’s more, you can avoid any errors when it comes to inventory counts. Technology like this ensures that the stock is managed better and more accurately. If your distribution center and warehouse are managed correctly, your business won’t be affected by delivery delays and negative reviews, so this aspect of an e-commerce business is crucial.