The online one is certainly rather huge and very loud. You can get information on almost anything within seconds and at just the click of a mouse. There is information on how to maintain customer loyalty and you can find out exactly how to run an e-commerce business without ever having done it previously.
As we see the advances in the technology, it brings us new e-commerce features which include advanced inventory management, custom APIs, and a wealth of information that can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
The landscape of e-commerce is growing every day and is not showing any signs of slowing down. So in order to help you grow your online business, here are five tips every business owner should follow.
- Activate social media
The amount of time that social media requires can be tricky for e-commerce business owners. Nowadays it is said that being successful in social media can help boost brand awareness and sales, but if we want the benefits of social media, we need to be active 24/7. Since there are only limited hours in a day, it is very beneficial to have a strong social media presence but every owner does not have the time.
It is not necessary for you to be active on every social media platform but at least one should be done very well. It might be that you have chosen Facebook as your primary social media platform because of its strong advertising mechanics and huge customer base. The allotted time to social media should be used to generate a space for customers to exchange and share, and any announcements about your brand should be posted. A strong social media presence in any one platform will go a long way in developing a brand following.
- Offer free shipping
Free shipping offered to customers is a small step to start to build relationships with your target audience. Many e-commerce companies offer free shipping over certain purchase amount or on some special items. It does not matter what the policies of your company are, the value of free shipping is clear to the customer. Shoppers make purchases with enthusiasm as it is very enticing.
Moreover, free shipping can minimise the amount of shopping carts that are abandoned in your store. It happens so often that shoppers are discouraged with the additional shipping prices or popup costs whenever they are in the checkout phase. Free shipping can turn a casual shopper into a lifelong customer in the long run.
- Share customer photos
Customers cannot touch and feel your products when you are working with an e-commerce platform. In such case, there is heavy reliance on reviews or photos to ensure that the customers are making the right choice. It is because of this reason that it is important to share customer photos and experience on social media and on your site. Prospective customers would like to see the experience of real people using your products.
When you share photos, it will allow past customers to feel more like they are more involved with your brand. Customers will feel more inclined to share information about your store to their friends and family if they see their pictures posted on your website.
- Outsource, outsource, outsource.
Sometimes, as an e-commerce business owner, there is a feeling that we have to be everything at once.
For long term success it is very important to outsource work. It is not necessary for you to be good at everything. Simply by setting up and running your online store, you have already proved to yourself that you are quality project manager. You can ask for help if you are not good at something. You should know when to outsource, whether it is advertising, web design or payroll, so that you do not burn out and can focus on what you do best.
A company can stay nimble with the help of outsourcing. In case if the work done is not up to standards or the scope of the project changes, it is much easier to cut ties with a freelancer or consultants than a full time employee.
- Incorporate feedback
Gathering feedbacks from customers is one thing that can never be outdated. The state of your business is reflected by the customer. It is important to find out what they want and like.
Some e-commerce platforms have programs or features that will enable you to gather and display customer reviews. Apps like Yotpo can help you integrate customer testimonials in your product pages. Questionnaire tools like Survey Anyplace and Typeform can also be helpful in assessing customer needs and perspective.
In order to shape your brand and marketing, customer feedback is a gold mine. Do your ads please your current customers? Are you approached with more questions after visiting your website by your customers? Where are you losing customers in your sales process? You will be better equipped and be able to implement changes with right feedback, in a way your customers will appreciate.
- Set up your Payment System
In the early days of starting an ecommerce business, it is hard to have large number of customers. But, how quickly that changes will surprise you. Before you know it, you will be having a string of customers purchasing your products. That is the reason that setting up your payment system is really important.
A secure checkout with an SSL certificate (a digital certificate responsible for authenticating your website’s identity and encrypting sensitive information sent to the server). This is a minimum must have and also it is very crucial to not store any credit card information of your customers on your website.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards compliance (“PCI Compliant”). This lets customers who are shopping at your site know that your ecommerce business is in compliance with minimum security standards of the Payment Card Industry and that their payment information is safe.
7. Be Mobile Friendly
At least one purchase was made by 82 per cent of the mobile users in the previous year. In addition, it is expected that mobile e-commerce will reach up to £626 BILLION in 2018. Capitalising on this money spending trend when you are starting an e-commerce business by making sure your business is mobile friendly.
The easiest way is with a website theme with a shopping cart or e-commerce solution that uses responsive mobile-friendly design.
8. Get the Word Out with Digital Marketing
Search engines will attract the majority of traffic to your site, but for that to happen the search engine should be able to find your site. Taking the time to make sure your store is search engine optimized (SEO) is time well spent when starting an ecommerce business.
Compelling content and customized domain addresses are the key for effective digital marketing.
Choosing these methods and implementing them will help you in the growth of your e-commerce business and develop a niche brand.