The decision to start an e-commerce business should not be taken lightly. Sure, it might seem like online stores are opening left and right, but running a successful company is no small feat. To ensure your business achieves success and stays ahead of the pack, here are some tips you must not neglect when it comes to e-commerce.
Choose the right platform
When you decide to start an e-commerce business, one of the first things you will need to figure out is whether you are going to rely on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon or make your own website. Amazon, for instance, offers programs like Fulfilment by Amazon that is cheap and simple to use. However, you will be paying a fee every time you sell an item. On the other hand, in the long run, creating your own platform will get you a bigger ROI and will help you build your reputation and credibility. Before you make your decision, see which of these options fits in better with your goals.
Work on the user experience
In order for your business to be successful, you need return customers. This is why you need to focus on user experience and make your website as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Simple navigation is crucial seeing as how people will leave if they can’t find what they are looking for, so in addition to the categorized approach, include a search option as well. Besides the visual aspect, your website also needs to be fast and without lags. Make your checkout process speedy and simple, without registration if possible. Moreover, have a review and feedback section where your customers can tell you more about their experience.
Take care of your inventory
To be able to take care of your customers’ needs, you need to be aware of the state of your inventory. Implementing warehouse management software and various pieces of equipment will allow you to stay on top of the items in your storage facility. Having the right equipment can help you in many ways, from telling you how many pieces you have left to expiration dates of certain products. Furthermore, training your employees to properly handle all machinery and teaching them how to avoid office hazards is crucial for preventing workplace incidents. Last but not least, see whether you’ll have your own fleet and organize it efficiently.
To attract people to your website, you need an online presence. That means you need to start developing your brand and what better way to do that than social media, right? Creating a profile is free and will allow you to connect with your potential customers on a more personal level. Furthermore, in addition to chatting with people, you can also utilize the ads that social media come with. Also, don’t forget about email marketing. Sending your customers various promotions and catalogs will also catch their attention.
Provide quality customer service
Another key factor in maintaining customers is providing them with quality service. Regardless of what you sell, you can rest assured that people will contact you looking for help. To inspire loyalty, you need to make yourself approachable, so allow them to contact you over the phone, email and social media, and implement a chatbot to quickly give them a reply. Additionally, include an FAQ section on your website where they can find answers without having to contact you. Finally, this should go without saying but business owners and managers tend to ignore the fact that people working in customer service should be friendly and helpful.
Optimize your website
Optimizing your website is another aspect you cannot neglect. First of all, SEO – and especially local SEO – is something that is vital for an e-commerce business. This will make your company easier to find online. Then, optimizing for mobile is also essential seeing as how more and more people browse and buy items over their phone or tablet. Lastly, voice searches are on the rise as well, thanks to Siri and Alexa. Voice search key phrases are a bit different than regular keywords, so think about presenting them in the form of questions.
The success of an e-commerce business will achieve depends on several factors. However, the most important thing that you, as the business owner, have to focus on is creating an excellent experience for your customers and providing them with support when they need it.
Mike is an Australian IT support professional. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.