Have you been thinking about starting a business online? Stop thinking and do it! Ecommerce is one of the most booming business models on the market today and it’s the perfect time to start.
With millions of potential customers all over the world and all in one place, eCommerce is the potential opportunity that can help you achieve the dream you have for your company. And all you have to do is use these strategies to make a successful start.
Center your business around your customers
Every shop owner knows that the customer is always right (even when they aren’t). But that doesn’t just mean giving shoppers the products and services they want to buy from you. It also means listening to what they have to say, improving their experience and framing your store around your customers.
Begin by speaking to your customers. Send quick surveys via email, see what they’re saying about you on social media, or simply talk to new and repeat customers on the phone.
Ask them what they like and dislike about your store. If you get a lot of answers criticizing the same thing – change it. If you receive a lot of answers praising the same thing – promote it. It’s a win-win situation.
Get customers to sell for you
A brand is only as strong as the reputation it upholds. And a good reputation doesn’t just mean repeat customers, it also means new customers who hear great things about your eCommerce website.
To make the most out of positive customer feedback, make it visible on all platforms. Add plug-ins that allow customers to rate and review their experience. It can affect as much as 70% of consumer decisions. Also, add success stories and testimonials on your website, and make sure to promote it on social media.
Have a good payment process in place
Payment is an important aspect of the user experience. The time to check out and pay is when customers can really get frustrated with eCommerce websites. If the steps leading up to the purchase are not up to their standards, they can change their minds and leave the store. That’s why you will need to figure out how to collect payment.
The process needs to be simple, suitable for everyone and secure. It shouldn’t be longer than five clicks, and you should provide payment options via various credit and debit cards and online wire transfers. The best way to achieve this is to opt for enterprise payment solutions that reduce errors, automate the processing of large numbers of transactions, and prevent fraud. Offering a flexible and secure payment solution that is PCI DSS compliant instills trust in your customers and makes them ready to hand out sensitive personal information during the purchase.
Take advantage of SEO
SEO is one of the best marketing tools for eCommerce websites. In fact, 30.5% of traffic comes from organic search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. That means 4 in 10 people find their next online purchase using a basic search engine.
Now, that’s a potential you should take advantage of. Invest the time and effort to research the keywords your target audience is searching for. Implement them on your website, start getting backlinks from reputable sites and create a quality strategy using the latest SEO tricks.
Promote and influence using social media
Social media is another marketing arena that has the potential to grab serious attention among buyers. It’s such a major influence on the buying decision that 84% of ecommerce shoppers in the US review one social media page at least before making a purchase.
And not only will a strong social media presence help you influence your target audience, but you can gain additional traffic from it. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and other platforms can increase brand awareness, create a quality brand image and let you rise above the competition.
Keep the business plan simple
Keep it stupid simple. It’s a time-honored business model that helps businesses succeed to this day. From the name of the store and simple website design to a .com domain and simple third-party shipping, it’s always good to keep things simple.
That doesn’t mean there is no work involved. Your business plan should have clearly defined business goals, both short and long-term. Weekly and monthly milestones will help you stay focused on running day-to-day operations hands-on, while a yearly or even three-year plan helps you keep an eye on scaling the company.
And when you start off, it should include a financial plan as well. That will help you figure out how much money you will need initially and makes it easier for you to search for funding. A forecast helps you set initial sales expectations once you get things off the ground while tracking finances helps you stay on top of the budget and your investments.
It’s the perfect time to start
Take action right now. The eCommerce market reported a combined share of $2.3 trillion in 2017, and there is room for your business since the figure is expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2021. You just have to take care of your customers, make smart marketing and business efforts, and success is all but guaranteed.
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