If you’re considering launching an e-commerce store, you should know that it’ll be a bit different from owning a brick-and-mortar business. For example, there are no cash registers in the online world, so most of your sales will go through credit cards.
You’ll also have to deal with shipping since your products will not be in a storefront for customers to walk in and purchase. However, there are some things you can do to give your e-commerce business the best chance of success. Below are six tips to consider when launching an e-commerce store.
Put your customers first
Customers are the reason you’re in business, so making them feel like they matter is vital to keeping them returning for more. Ensure that your customer service team handles questions and concerns quickly and politely, responding to emails within 24 hours at minimum (ideally sooner).
Your company’s overall reputation will rise if it has an established system for handling customer issues, so don’t skimp on this aspect of running an e-commerce business.
A great way of ensuring that you’re providing excellent customer service is by getting feedback from customers regularly—you’ll find out what people love about doing business with you and what you could improve.
Develop a user-friendly website
Your website is the first step to reaching potential customers. It needs to be user-friendly, fast, and easy to navigate. If customers can’t find what they are looking for on your site, they will most likely leave and go elsewhere.
You should also make sure that it works well with mobile devices so that all visitors have access regardless of the type and size of the device.
To ensure your e-commerce business is successful, you need a well-designed website that looks professional and inspires trust in the products you are selling.
Your goal should be for new visitors who come across your site for the first time to easily navigate the layout without any confusion about how things work throughout each page/section of content available within each section (or “category”).
Choose the right e-commerce platform
Take some time to research and understand the e-commerce platform options available. You want to choose the right platform for your business, so consider its flexibility, usability, security features, and customer support.
Ensure you have a good team
When you start your e-commerce business, it’s easy to think that you know everything there is to know about running an online store. But the truth is there are many areas of expertise and knowledge needed, and hiring the right people can make a big difference in how your company performs.
Hire software developers with lots of experience working with databases and code and who know how to optimize websites for speed using caching techniques and other methods. Remember, the success of your e-commerce business will depend on how good your software is and how fast it can load pages, so it makes sense to hire people who know their stuff.
In addition, make sure everyone on your team has the right skill set for what they’re doing at any given time. Have each employee specialize in just one area rather than being able to handle multiple tasks at once. Doing this will help keep things organized better overall.
Use social media
When used correctly, social media can help you reach your customers and promote your brand. It’s also an excellent resource for getting customer feedback, finding new customers, and building brand awareness.
If you already have a Facebook or Instagram account, it’s time to start posting regularly. If not, now is the time to create one. It may take time before sales start coming in yet. But do not give up. Instead, be consistent with your regular posting to familiarize people with your brand and make them eventually interested enough to make a purchase.
Use actionable analytics
When you have a small business, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts. You can’t possibly do everything at once, but you also want to make sure that what you do will move the needle for your business significantly.
Here is where actionable analytics come in: they allow you to turn data into action. They give you insight into the areas where your e-commerce business needs assistance and how those areas are performing.
This allows you to determine what changes you need to make for these areas of your business to improve.
Starting your own e-commerce business isn’t necessarily difficult, but it’s not something for the impatient or uninformed. Before jumping in, you need to have a good idea of what you’re doing and the right tools to execute your trade. After all, knowledge is power when you’re spending your hard-earned money.
There’s no set formula for success, but hopefully, these six recommendations will put you in good stead to start your business on the right foot.