Since the launching of juggernaut Amazon, online retail has become increasingly popular, and many businesses are choosing to offer their goods, and services online. The idea of the eCommerce industry offers promise to growth, sustainability, cost, and excitement concepts. Research has proven that now is the best time for you to consider taking your business down the eCommerce route. Though eCommerce sales in the United States are astonishing, and upwards of $300 billion, it’s important that you understand what you need to do in order to ensure that you’ve built a solid foundation. These key tips can help you do just that.
Slow, and Steady Wins the Race
As a first time eCommerce entrepreneur, you don’t want to rush the launching of your business, or website without ensuring that your foundation is set, and everything has been tested. Make sure that you’ve created a solid business plan and model by understanding the inner workings of your inventory control, shipping methods, social media activity, and paid advertisements.
Before your go-live, remember to test everything to the best of your ability. A poorly functioning website could be what causes you to lose a potential customer. You can test your eCommerce website by navigating the page from a consumer standpoint, adding, and removing items to, and from the cart, and completing the checkout process. Once you have tested the functionality of your website, double check with the host of your domain to ensure that it can carry the weight of high traffic if your launch is expected to draw in a heavy flow.
You can always add a coming soon landing page to your business store as a way to generate leads, and entice potential consumers with what’s to come.
Always Remain Social
Online retail stores rely highly on social media, as the vast amount of users who are doing their shopping online also manage social media accounts. When you’re building the voice for your business, your social accounts can help you do this, on top of promoting the products, and goods that you’re offering. Understanding your target audience before you launch your business is a great way to know which social platform you should be using to engage with your consumers.
Looking at the opposite end, your customers are going to want to be heard. Put yourself in their shoes, and think of how disappointed you would be if you went to purchase a product online, and couldn’t see any reviews. Ensure that you are implementing an option on your site for your consumers to be sociable with one another. Allow them to submit reviews, and testimonials based on your products, and companies. Also, consider incorporating follow buttons that make it easier for your customers to follow your social media accounts.
Make Your Store Mobile Friendly
The numbers for the amount of users who are doing their online shopping via their cell phones, or tablets have increased dramatically. Making your store mobile friendly is imperative if you want to ensure the success of your eCommerce store. Many of your potential customers are going to come in through online searches, or your social media, and if your site isn’t optimized to efficiently run from a mobile device, you could really risk the loss of a customer.
Run a Smooth Supply, and Demand Chain
Delivering on expectations is key when you’re running an eCommerce store, and paying strict attention to your supply, and demand helps you do this. Ensuring that you have a higher stock of the products that are the highest in demand can make it so that you’re not risking losing potential customers by hanging an out of stock sign. You wouldn’t want them to go elsewhere to find what they need, right?
Now that you are supplying the demand, fulfilling the promise of safe delivery is just as important. The consumer transaction doesn’t completely finalize until after they’ve received their product. So if it’s showing up damaged, late, or with missing parts, or items, your customer relationships are going to be in jeopardy.
There are always going to be mistakes, but by paying attention to your supply, and demand chain, you can limit these mistakes, and allow your business to retain the customers that it’s getting. With your chain running smoothly, you can rest easy knowing that your customer satisfaction is what’s going to drive in new customers, and keep the ones you already have.
Utilize Consumer E-Mail
E-mail can be an extremely beneficial tool when running an online store, and giving your customers more options for getting involved with your business. Allow your consumers to sign up for email notifications from your stores, and use a direct marketing approach to turn current, and one-time consumers into potential reoccurring customers. Use the emails to send out notifications of a new product launch, an update to the store, future products, or sales.
There is always going to be a strong learning curve in business regardless of if you’re a new entrepreneur, or seasoned. Times change, trends change, and people change. Following along with the few simple steps that have been outlined above help you to keep up with those changes, and teach you that achieving, and sustaining long-term success with your eCommerce store is hard work, but completely doable.
How do you feel about eCommerce sites that don’t offer a mobile-friendly way of purchase? Do you prefer to do your shopping online, or in a retail store? Have you ever had anything you ordered come in damaged, or as an incorrect order?