With consistent year-to-year growth in the last decade, eCommerce sales reached nearly $4.29 trillion in 2020 and they are only expected to continue their upward trajectory. For entrepreneurs and retail businesses alike, this opportunity for success sounds as promising as it is exciting.
While it is true that the eCommerce market is poised for recurrent growth in the coming years, it can only yield success if you approach it the right way. That requires an understanding that it takes more than just launching a store and shipping products to grow and scale your eCommerce business. Like with any other business plan, you will need to build it with a focused and unique strategy.
Running a successful eCommerce business requires sufficient knowledge of the market and its digital consumers, which, although unattainable overnight, is more easily achieved when focusing on the right things. Whether you’re still in the planning stages or have taken a step back to evaluate why your sales are not hitting the intended targets, you can use the tips below to guide your eCommerce business to success.
Don’t Rush The Launch
Let’s begin with what will sink your business before you’ve had the chance to build it up. While it’s okay to purchase your domain name and create a “coming soon” page, you should avoid opening your store to the public until you’ve laid out the necessary groundwork.
To begin with, you need to make sure that you’ve covered all legal and operational aspects of the business. That includes getting the best online store insurance to protect yourself from damages, devising a financial plan, and sorting out shipping, returns, and inventory. Moreover, this specialized insurance plan can help protect your eCommerce business from the financial burden of damages provoked by a product you sell which is essential if you plan on using your finances on building up your business and not paying penalties and hefty fines along the way.
Once you’ve laid out the foundation, you need to think about how you’re going to build up from there. To set yourself apart from the thousands of other buildings on the block – and the few skyscrapers – you need to determine your unique selling point. Is it the uniqueness of your product, the quality of your service, or the strength of your brand? Before you enter the market, figure out how you’re going to answer that question.
Optimize Your Website
Your website should, above all, be easily found both in Google search and social media platforms. Make sure you understand SEO – or search engine marketing optimization – and paid ads to optimize your website’s accessibility.
You should note, however, that getting users to visit your website won’t automatically translate to high sales numbers, as you will experience far more walk-outs than you may think. On average, only less than 2% of eCommerce website visits turn into a purchase. The reasons are numerous, but a substantial one is that users bounce if they cannot easily interact with your website.
The best eCommerce websites have fast loading times, easy navigation between pages, legible text, clear product images, a simple check-out process, and are compatible with mobile devices. To ensure a frictionless customer journey, go through the entire process as a customer and smooth out any bumps.
Nurture Customer Relationships
From marketing to sales, to post-sale support, everything that you communicate will affect the quality of your customer relationships.
As online shoppers interact with your website, they browse through your pages, make a purchase, and share with you their personal details. The best way you can use this information is by appealing to your customers on a personal basis. When they browse your page, offer suggestions based on their previous interests; when you send out emails, include offers that are unique to their background; when you ship products, ask for feedback and reviews.
Another way to show your customers that you care about them is to make yourself available for questions or support. Make sure that your contact information is easily accessible – whether it’s an email address, phone number, or a live chat – and offer as much assistance as possible in their journey.
Digital stores are steadily becoming a new marketplace for global consumers, making retailers and entrepreneurs eager to join the competition. However, to become more than just a needle in a haystack, eCommerce businesses must approach this endeavor with a few things in mind.
To avoid making mistakes early on, eCommerce stores should refrain from rushing their launch to lay out the important groundwork, optimize their website for a seamless user experience, and nurture customer relationships at every step of the journey to strengthen their business.