Technology has never been in a more accessible place than it is right now. With some simple equipment and knowledge, anyone can start a business or storefront online.
However, just because anyone can enter the space does not mean everyone will find success and create a long-lasting business. Many steps go into making a profitable online business, and the space is continually changing to adapt to recent trends. Getting into the ecommerce business is not easy, and the road ahead is bumpy and unsure, but there are methods new businesses can use to get their foot in the door. There is no single surefire way to make a new ecommerce business take off, but below are a few universal ways anyone can get started and some critical information to help new businesses make the best decisions.
Make It Easy For Customers
The best way to guide customers through a complete online sale is to make the process as easy as possible. Once you claim your website, you must put your brand’s touch on the site while making the site easy to use and unobtrusive. Customers do not want to fight with an awkward site layout or navigation system just to find the first product they might want. Even once customers make it to checkout, you should resist the urge to put up roadblocks that may cost you a sale. Collecting customer information is valuable to any business, but not if it comes at the expense of sales you would have otherwise secured. You can give customers the option of making an account at checkout but do not require it. You will need a customer’s email and physical address to ship their order, so be glad you got that data and do not require more, or you risk pushing customers away.
Put Effort Into Shipping
Shipping is the stage of checkout where most customers walk away without buying anything, and the reason is often due to shipping issues. Amazon standardized 2-day delivery, but smaller businesses cannot compete with that offer without some help. Talk with your carrier companies to see if there is a partnership or affiliate option so you can offer more shipping choices and prices to your customers. Even if you can’t adjust shipping rates, you can work with larger companies to make your life easier. You can print FedEx shipping labels from your workspace and get the order on its way rather than using a dropbox or post office.
Multiple Types Of Marketing
It can be daunting to ask a new small business to market across different platforms with different methods, but that is the best approach. Online businesses will not get far using one marketing method on one platform as different customers prefer different ads. Direct response marketing, social media posts, paid ads, newsletters, email blasts, and physical mailers are all marketing methods that successful online businesses use in different instances. SEO marketing takes time to produce results, but other methods like social media posts can return results much faster. The difference in marketing strategies means you should be planning a long-term and a short-term strategy using the best tools for your goals.
Set Yourself Apart From The Pack
As technology makes its way into more hands, more people will start-up ecommerce businesses, and the noise ceiling will continue to grow. If you want your new business to succeed, you need to find a way to separate and differentiate yourself from your competition. Whether you find a niche to service, your marketing catches the eye of social media, your value proposition is noticeably higher than similar businesses, or you find another way to stand out, you must work to keep your business in customer’s minds. Identify what makes your business unique from the competition. If you can’t find it, then create it, whether it’s custom packaging for your products, exceptional customer service, or unique messaging. Embrace what makes your business unique and use that to drive your brand forward, so you are not one of the many forgotten businesses that fail from lack of exposure rather than poor service.
Starting a new ecommerce business is an exciting adventure, but it takes a lot of hard work and research to make it work in the long-term. Make your site and or store easy for customers to use, put effort into making your shipping system better, take advantage of various marketing types for different goals, and embrace what makes your business unique to set yourself apart from the other businesses trying to make it into relevancy.