Tuesday 30th June, 2020
Online retail is booming and with over 24 million ecommerce sites around the world, you might begin to feel a little intimidated by the competition. But, this doesn’t mean you cannot develop the right strategy and grow your online business into something real. While you might have an interesting idea or have created a product you believe will be in high demand, there’s a lot more to building an ecommerce business than just knowing what it is you want to sell.
Treat your business like an investment
While it might feel like an online business is less ‘serious’ than a bricks and mortar store, to make it successful will require just as much effort. If you treat your business seriously and pay attention to the details at the beginning, your customers will clearly see that you’re not a fly by night company and that you mean business.
Don’t just create a logo and brand name, get it registered officially with your country’s relevant business accreditation service. After that, open a business banking account so you can keep your personal and business accounts separate. If you’re not skilled at accounting, consider hiring a cloud accountant to help you out each month so that your business books are well kept. Doing this will give you the power to make important decisions for your business because you’ll know all the most important financial information.
Focus on the entire customer experience
It’s not enough that your prices are competitive and your products are in stock, you need to seriously consider the experience your customers have throughout their buying journey. How are they finding your website? If you’re marketing through social media, is the message clear on what your business is about and what makes you unique? Once a customer arrives on your website, are they able to effortlessly navigate your website or do they easily get frustrated because they don’t know where to find anything?
One of the hardest lessons a startup business owner has to learn is the ability to take constructive criticism. Before you launch, ask your friends and family to do dummy tests on your site and to give you feedback on where they feel you could improve. Take this feedback seriously and make the relevant changes. Then get new people to test and see whether you’ve managed to improve. Don’t stop this once you launch. Your site will never be perfect and if someone takes the time to share an opinion with you, it’s important you take heed of it.
It would also be wise to include various payment options on your site and offer a generous return and refund policy. This works well to enhance the user experience and could affect the chance of a customer bringing you repeat business.
Deliver relevant user-focused content
Nothing affects bounce rates as much as users who don’t understand what your business does. Forget about fancy jargon and stick to simple copy that explains clearly what you’re about and what you’re selling. Your customers shouldn’t have to do the work to figure this out themselves.
When it comes to modern SEO, user optimised content is becoming increasingly important. Your job is to create content that is tailor made to your users and addresses any need, concern, or issue upfront, succinctly. If you can say something in one sentence, then don’t try to say it in a paragraph.
Your search strength can also get affected by simple things like a slow loading website. One thing you can do to avoid your website from loading too slow on servers and having increased bounce rates, is make sure the images you use are small and saved as web-ready files. Also, a responsive, secure website that offers a seamless experience on mobile too is of utmost importance, especially as people shop through mobile devices more each year.
Don’t sell only to people who look like you
While you might believe your products and/or services would only be relevant to customers with similar interests to you, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not expanding your target market. Test various types of users and continue to test until you can clearly identify who is and isn’t interested in what you’re selling.
A good way to do this is to utilise word of mouth marketing through your inner circle. Get your friends and family to speak about your products to their audiences. By doing this, you can be sure to touch on various types of people who come from a number of different backgrounds.
These are just a few of the elements you should consider when starting an ecommerce business, the most important of which is to treat it like you would any business and take pride in what you’re selling. The dividends will surely pay off.