Are you one of those individuals looking to run an online business from your laptop?
The e-commerce world presents a ton of opportunities for people wanting to sell products on the internet. It has been predicted that by 2018, the United States will position itself as the second-largest e-commerce market.
If you need help with building an ecommerce store and gain success in business, you must understand a few important things first. That way, you can avoid careless mistakes and have a victorious launching that will set you off in a positive direction.
Here are 5 things you should take note of before you begin.
1. Clearly define your target market.
Knowing exactly whom to promote your products to is essential. In fact, this is the first and most important aspect you need to be sure of. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to assume that your products are for everybody.
Since you don’t have existing customers yet to base your market research on, a practical strategy would be to study your competitors and thriving e-commerce brands. What kind of products do they feature?
You will also need to check the world’s largest ecommerce retailer, Amazon, to find out the best-selling products. Also, read product reviews to capture common customer pain points.
Do not purely rely on web research to understand who your target consumers should be; collect data from customer surveys. Not everyone you meet may have the time and willingness to fill out your forms, but certainly, it’s worth a try.
3. Consider various effective promotional strategies.
When you’re starting a new business, you need to get the word out as effectively as possible. Explore all possible marketing techniques to achieve maximum results in less time. A diversified marketing plan works best.
The good news is that you won’t run out of ways to position yourself for e-commerce success. Consider the following marketing methods:
- Be active on Instagram – E-commerce site owners prefer Instagram since the platform allows them to showcase images of their products. Pick a consistent theme or style for your product images. Post regularly. It will help to connect with Instagram influencers.
- Run retargeting ads – Not all new visitors who arrive at your site buy immediately. Some are just looking for prospective offers only to leave later. Retargeting ads bring back these customers by showing relevant products even when they’re on other sites.
- Enlist your friends and family – Start word-of-mouth marketing by asking the people you know to help spread the message about your new website. A lot of newbie site owners do not consider this, but it definitely adds up to your online marketing methods.
4. Be customer-centric.
Every e-commerce business thrives if it puts its customers at the centre of everything it does. This is what customer-centricity is all about.
Many businesses claim to be customer-centric without really considering what it means. No matter the customer touchpoint, be sure that your website, products, content, and customer service team are geared towards providing great experiences.
For example, if you apply customer centricity to your products, optimize your offers in a way that truly meets their needs. Ask yourself, “Are my products high in quality? Can customers easily use them?” These are just some of the factors you should think of.
Of course, to be customer-centric, you need to start somewhere. The deeper you know your target customers, the better you can serve them. Always be gathering data about your market. Read current industry trends to know what works and what doesn’t.
5. Optimize your website for people and search engines.
How do you drive the right prospects to your e-commerce website? Simple: By leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
If you have little idea of what SEO is, it involves multiple strategies to position you at the top of search results. People arrive at websites by looking at the results they find on the internet.
To optimize your site, you need to look into every detail – from your site structure to the quality of content you create. Here are some simple ideas to help you get started:
- Improve your website speed – In 2010, Google announced that it now considers page speed as a ranking factor. Since the size of your images is one of the things that slow down your site, reduce them but pay attention to their quality. We suggest that you save them as JPG.
- Do keyword research – Consumers look for products online by typing in certain terms into Google’s search box. Research what these keywords are. There are tools you can use such as the Google Keyword Planner or Long Tail Pro for long-tail keywords.
- Avoid placing too many main categories – While keeping the categories of your e-commerce site organized, be careful not to put too many of them. This will help search engine spiders easily crawl your pages. A balanced number of main categories (2-7) also prevents confusion among your customers.
6. Don’t give up quickly!
More often than not, aspiring e-commerce business owners give up too early in the process. Business success doesn’t happen overnight unless it’s because of pure luck.
Entrepreneurs lose out because they do not have a clear picture of where they’re going. If you can visualize and map out your overall goal, you’ll know which improvements to make and what areas to focus on.
You might also need to consider hiring a virtual team to help you complete tasks as your e-commerce site grows. Fortunately, outsourcing has become a viable tool for thriving online businesses nowadays.
As long as you’re focused and dedicated, there’s no reason not to see your e-commerce business move ahead soon.