Setting up an ecommerce business is relatively easy and recent technology advancements make it affordable too. Easy set- up doesn’t mean instant success. Ecommerce requires research, sound marketing and faultless customer service to succeed. It is important to consider the following factors when deciding on your ecommerce venture:
Product research — The temptation maybe to sell a wide range of products to reach the maximum number of customers. Think again, in vast competitive web markets, research has demonstrated being different equates with success. A small number of well described products should give you a niche in the market. When customers find you, having unique and specific products will engage them and make them more likely to choose you rather than a store, which carries lots of generic, poorly described products.
Business planning — Aside from researching your product range, you need a strategy that includes goals and investment. Regular review of sales and equally important what doesn’t sell is essential if you are to remain competitive. Pick your review periods carefully, if your sales are seasonally dependent, try to include a cross section of good and poor months to give a true picture of your business. Don’t forget you need to budget for marketing. You may have everything right in your store but the sales won’t happen if no one knows you’re there. Utilize social media especially Blogs, Google+, Facebook and Twitter to get your brand noticed.
Email Sign up — Once you have captured your potential customers you need them to come back to and not forget you, when they want that type of product again. Email newsletters are an effective way of keeping your products in your customers’ minds. Offer a discount on their purchases if they sign up for your email. Once you have your email sign up customers, make sure you keep them engaged with weekly or at least monthly newsletter full of new products, discounts and tips on how to use the products/services to their best effect. Mini blogs are a useful tool to employ.
Customer Service — Your relationship with your customers is the key to your business’ success. You need to have an interactive website with clear contact methods including telephone links. Try to avoid automated systems and ensure your product return services are customer friendly.
Remember to be successful in e-commerce you need to plan, research and communicate effectively.