If you’re interested in starting your own online e-commerce business, you should know that this type of venture poses unique challenges.Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar company, an online business has to stand out in a sea of competitors in order to succeed.
It also needs to have the right balance of cost and design so that it doesn’t go bankrupt before it even gets off the ground. But don’t let these hurdles scare you away! An online business can be just as profitable as any other venture as long as you are prepared. Here are 10 tips to help get your e-commerce business started on the right foot:
Offer Free Shipping
One of the first things to consider when starting an online business is whether to offer free shipping. An online business needs to be profitable and offering free shipping can definitely hurt your bottom line.
However, not offering free shipping can hurt your sales, and can actually end up costing you more than if you had just offered free shipping. If you do decide to offer free shipping, look into the cheapest option for delivery. This way, you won’t have to pass along a significant cost to your customers. You can also offer free shipping to only particular regions, such as offering free shipping to customers in a specific state. This can help further cut down on shipping costs.
Keep Consumers in the Loop
Once you’ve got your website ready to go, it’s important to keep your customers up to date on any changes that occur. If you make any changes to your business model, such as raising prices, changing your return policy, or updating your payment options, make sure you let your customers know.
Customers like to know when things change and if you keep them in the loop, they are more likely to stick by you. Keep your customers up to date with other information as well. If you are running a seasonal sale or a special promotion, make sure customers know about it. Customers like to know what current deals are available, especially if they are on the fence about a purchase.
Keep in mind that communication doesn’t end on your website. Make sure you are engaging with your customers on social media, as well. Customers like to see that real people run the business and social media is the best way to accomplish this.
Use a Good SEO Platform
Any e-commerce business starts with a website, and a big part of any site is its SEO. The better your SEO, the more likely it is that your website will rank well on search engines. This means more traffic to your site, which translates to more sales. If you don’t have any experience with SEO, it might be worthwhile to hire a professional.
Having a professional take a look at your website and make recommendations can save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. They can also help guide you in other areas, such as website design, so your site has all the right elements to rank well.
Don’t skimp on Quality control
One of the most important things you can do when starting an online business is make sure you have quality control in place. An e-commerce business is all about having a high-quality product that customers want to come back for again and again. If you start off with poor-quality products, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you are reselling products, make sure you are buying from a reputable source. If you are designing your own products, make sure you are making them to the best of your ability. Invest in quality control tools and make sure every step of the production process is thoroughly checked.
Go Mobile-friendly and Responsive
A good e-commerce website is one that is both mobile-friendly and responsive. Customers today use mobile devices for everything, including shopping. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you are missing out on an important segment of the population. Customers will simply click away from your site and search for another retailer that is more convenient for them.
Similarly, your website should be responsive. This means that it will look good regardless of what device the customer is using. A responsive website is great because it means one website can serve all customers, regardless of which device they are using to access the internet. Make sure your website has been professionally designed and is easy to navigate. We’ve already talked about how communication is important with your customers. Making your website easy to navigate helps accomplish this.
Leverage Influencer Marketing
Another great way to boost your e-commerce business is to partner with influencers. You have likely already heard about influencer marketing, as it has become a pretty big deal in recent years. An influencer is someone who has a significant following on social media and/or an engaged audience on a platform like YouTube.
When partnering with an influencer, you can either give them a product in exchange for promoting it on their platform of choice, or you can pay them to promote your product. The latter option is referred to as influencer marketing, and can be extremely effective. If you are interested in leveraging influencer marketing for your online e-commerce business, you can use a platform like Tap Influence to make the process easier. Tap Influence connects businesses with influencers, so you can find the right person for your business and product.
Advertise and Grow your Audience
In order to get customers to your website, you need to get their attention. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do this. You can use social media, paid advertising, or even create your own content on various platforms. One of the most effective ways to get customers to your site is with paid advertising.
There are tons of different platforms you can use to advertise your e-commerce business, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Google. One thing to keep in mind when using paid advertising is to make sure you have a budget and a plan. You don’t want to keep spending money on advertisements that aren’t bringing you any return. Instead, make sure you are tracking your results and adjusting your plans based on what works and what doesn’t.
If you’re looking to start your own online e-commerce business, you will need to make sure you have a few key elements in place. Make sure you offer free shipping, keep your customers in the loop, use a good SEO platform, don’t skimp on quality control, go mobile-friendly and responsive, leverage influencer marketing, and advertise and grow your audience. With these tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to building a successful online e-commerce business.