Are you planning to set up an e-commerce store? Perhaps you’ve been creating art, crafts or clothing on the side and want to use your skills to earn extra money. Or maybe you simply hope to learn more about the internet and logistics. Either way, there are certain tactics and principles that will improve your chance of success.
The good news is that it’s a great time to get into online retail. E-commerce boomed in 2020 as the pandemic drove people to buy more things online than ever before, with 9 out of 10 global e-commerce companies seeing double-digit revenue growth.
So where do you get started? Here are six tips that will help you get a slice of the e-commerce pie.
Focus on customer service
Customer service can make or break any business. But when a customer can’t see or handle your products before buying them, and could easily find another seller in seconds, it pays to do everything you can to reassure potential buyers.
Provide clear pricing and shipping details and make sure your purchase journey is smooth. Buyers will also expect quick and clear communication around delivery, so it’s a good idea to set up automated emails.
It’s important to test your website heavily pre-launch to make sure everything is working as it should. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and take various journeys to buy a product, fill out a contact form and so on.
What’s more frustrating than a broken or malfunctioning e-commerce store? It’s important to test, test and test again to ensure your online store is working as expected.
Maintain your website
On a similar note, running a successful e-commerce website isn’t a case of setting it up and leaving it. Things go wrong over time and bugs appear, so it’s wise to constantly maintain your site in the same way you would a physical store.
You could manage this process yourself or outsource it to a specialist e-commerce agency. Regular maintenance can also help you spot optimisation opportunities.
Nail down logistics
As we’ve touched on above, customers can get stressed about shipping if the process doesn’t go as they expect. After all, they’ve parted with their money and, so far, have nothing in return. This makes it essential to nail down your logistics and find solutions that work for your product and your user.
As you grow, outsourcing shipping to a reputable logistics company will make the process quicker and less stressful.
Work on SEO strategies
E-commerce is rarely as simple as setting up an online store and waiting for visitors to flood in. You’ll need to find various ways to attract customers, and search engine optimisation (SEO) can be the most sustainable and cost-effective over time.
In simple terms, SEO involves increasing your website’s visibility on search engines through technical setup, optimised content and backlinks. If you’re successful, search engines will present your website to users who search terms related to your products.
Build your brand on social media
Social media is another crucial channel for e-commerce businesses to target in 2021. As well as building brand awareness and engaging with customers, platforms such as Instagram now allow users to buy products directly through the app.
You can create highly targeted advertising campaigns, as well as developing strategic partnerships with relevant influencers. Whatever your tactics, if your e-commerce business isn’t on social media, you’re missing out.
E-commerce success is by no means guaranteed. But by following the tips outlined above and being committed to constant optimisation, you could soon build a slick, money-making machine.