Are you considering starting an eCommerce business? Running any business gives you the chance to manage your own time and make your own way in the world, but when that business is online, the possibilities are endless. Many people at least consider the advantages of selling products via the internet, as when done well, it can be a highly profitable venture. However, there is a difference between an eCommerce business that turns a profit and an eCommerce business that enjoys significant success.
If you are hoping to start an eCommerce business, here are ten key steps to a successful venture.
- Register the business
When shopping online, people are more cautious than ever before. Customers want to know that they are buying from a reputable and legal business, so it is important to officially register your business. When choosing a name for your business, you should ensure that it is recognizable and, ideally, tells customers what you sell. Your website domain should be as close to your company name as possible. You will also need a bank account for your business where payments can be deposited.
- Do not rush your launch
It might be tempting to rush your eCommerce business launch, but this is usually a mistake. Think of the launch of your website as the launch of your storefront and generate interest in your brand in the days and weeks leading up to it. The most important point to remember is that your website should be completely ready to operate before it goes live.
- Decide on your shipping courier
When selling products via the internet, you need a way to send your products to your customers. To do this, you will need to partner with a reputable shipping company that will handle your products with care and efficiency.
- Make sure you have IT support
If your business relies on your having access to a computer so you can manage your website and online payments, it makes sense that your IT system is crucial to your success. When you run into a problem, you could find your business is unable to operate for a period, which could lead to lost sales and reputational damage. Rather than employing an IT professional on a full-time basis, consider using a remote IT support company that will respond quickly when you need them to.
- Put your customers first
There is a misconception that running an eCommerce business does not demand the same level of customer service as running a brick-and-mortar store. In reality, you need to prioritize your customer satisfaction levels, ensuring that customers can use your website easily and quickly and place their order without difficulty. The product should arrive within your specified timeframe, and you should be available to answer queries and resolve complaints efficiently. Online reviewing is a powerful force that can make or break a business, and it is unwise to get a poor reputation by neglecting customer service.
- Invest in your website
Your website needs to be secure, easy to navigate, attractive, and stable, with user experience at the top of your list of concerns. There are professional website designers and developers who will be able to create the best possible website for you.
- Embrace social media
Maintaining a presence on social media by publishing content that is engaging and informative is key to success in the world of eCommerce. This enables you to build an audience of followers (potential customers) you can interact with and promote your brand to. When you create content, make sure it is easy to share, like, or comment on.
- Make your website mobile-friendly
In the past, people could only view the website when they sat in front of a static desktop computer or laptop. Now, most people are using their tablets and smartphones to browse the internet and make online purchases. For this reason, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, i.e., easy to view and navigate on a mobile device.
- Build a marketing database
It is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new customer, so you need to nurture your customer relationships. Customer relationship management software may help you to do this, and you should give customers a way to subscribe to email updates and marketing promotions.
- Keep evolving
One of the most challenging parts of running an eCommerce business is that the internet, technology, and digital marketing are always changing. To stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that you are following best practices, you need to be prepared to adapt and evolve in line with digital marketing trends.