5 tips to make any eCommerce business a success
Congratulations! You’ve just started your own online store selling purple gizmos. You’ve got suppliers lined up and you’re ready to take orders from customers. The trouble is, you’re not the only purple gizmo store on the Internet. In a crowded marketplace, how do you go about making your e-store a success?
Every online business is different, but here are five things you can do to make any eCommerce business a success.
Tip #1 — Check your user experience
If your website or sales portal is attracting visitors but your conversion rates are low, user experience (UX) might be the problem. It’s surprising how many online businesses manage to set up web pages that are over-crowded, difficult to navigate, and badly designed. Sometimes they lack basic information, like a page on shipping options.
A good UX is essential to hitting your sales targets. You can use paid tools like UserTesting, ClickTale, or UX Check to uncover problems in your design, or you can review your own website from Google search to product ordering — better yet, get your grandpa to do it while you sit and watch. Fixing the problems in your UX will boost your order rate and stop customers from slipping through the cracks.
Tip #2 — Solve your eCommerce shipping issues with minimum fuss
A lot of new businesses make the mistake of putting eCommerce shippingat the bottom of their list of priorities after orders, payments, and everything else. But this is a recipe for disaster. At best, you waste time looking for the cheapest way to ship your goods — time that you don’t have when you’re busy building your business. At worst, poor shipping service leads to mishandled packages, incomplete addresses, lost orders, returned goods, dissatisfied customers, and mounting overheads.
Finding the right logistics services can eliminate these worries and protect your bottom line. Tip: our platform can do everything from printing your labels to automatically identifying the best value options for your small business shipping needs – for free. Check out our rate calculator to get started.
Tip #3 — Delegation is the secret to being successful in eCommerce
When you run a small business, it sometimes feels like you have to be an expert on everything: not just the purple gizmos you sell in your e-store but also scheduling, marketing, web design... the list goes on. But the secret is not doing everything yourself. It’s finding the right people to do the right things.
Let’s say you’re good at finding suppliers, but you have no idea how to build a website. You could teach yourself how to build a website using something like Wordpress. But even then you still have to figure out how to process credit card or PayPal payments and keep your data safe. An easier option is to use a portal like Shopify or SquareSpace with a built-in sales function.
Another option is to go to a freelancing website like Fiverr or UpWork and hire a designer to create the exact website you’re looking for. You can hire freelancers to design your logo, manage your calendar, do marketing research or write product descriptions for your website for anywhere from $3 to $200 an hour. The key to successful outsourcing is to delegate the right task to someone who can do it more cheaply, quickly, or better than you can do it yourself.
Tip #4 — Image is everything
Ever click on a product photo on eBay only to find that it was blurry, out of focus, or only showed the front of the item and not the back? The Internet is a visual medium, and when it comes to online sales, image is everything. In eCommerce, customers can’t get a feel for your products by directly picking them up and looking at them in store, so you need to provide them with the highest quality images that you can afford to produce. Whether you’re importing product photos from a supplier or creating your own, it’s crucial to ensure that you show your items from multiple angles and in as much detail as possible.
You can take decent product photos even with a camera phone, but don’t just stick it on the kitchen table — create your own home studio by setting up a white paper background and shooting items in indirect daylight. There are lots of tips online if you google “home product photography.” And as your business grows, you can hire a professional photographer or scale up with a state-of-the-art in-house photo studio. The sky’s the limit.
Tip #5 — Giving people what they want will make your eStore a success
Purple gizmos are great. People love your purple gizmos. But let’s say what they really want is more product options — they want to be able to choose between mauve gizmos, lilac widgets, lavender thingamajigs… Or they want to pay with PayPal but you only accept credit cards. Or they want to buy the gizmos with the USB cable that connects them to the matching widgets. What gives?
The biggest mistake you can make when running a small business is to structure it around what’s right for you. Instead, you need to be thinking about your clientele. What kind of products and services are they asking for? What do they think you could be doing better? And what do they like most about your business?
You don’t increase your eCommerce customers by selling things they don’t want. You build a successful eCommerce business by getting customers to trust you and fulfilling their needs. Ask yourself what they want and do your best to give it to them. Success is within your reach!
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