In recent years, online shopping has become an everyday, routine thing for a lot of people. The youngest generations are spending their childhoods online and will be growing up with online services, shopping and transactions being a part of their lives. Hence, in the years to come, ecommerce businesses will undoubtedly continue to grow. In 2016, retail ecommerce sales in the US were standing at 360 billion a year, and some projections suggest that, in four years, this number will rise to as much as 630 billion. Starting an ecommerce business or taking your already developed business online is definitely a good idea. However, there are a few things you should pay special attention to if you decide to go this way.
This advice works well for virtually every business. There are a lot things that can go wrong when setting up an online shop, so make sure everything is in order. It’s not a bad idea to ask around for advice – hearing experiences from people who already run a similar business online can be very valuable. Take your time so you can find the best ecommerce platform for your business, or to build a proper and reliable website without paying too much for it.
Also, be patient with developing the product and your marketing strategy, and don’t rush into anything before sorting it all out. If you’re too impatient to start, you can use this wave of enthusiasm to create a bit of a hype. This is especially useful if you have an interesting and creative product, or if you already have a well-developed local brick and mortar business. In this case, informing people beforehand that they will soon be able to buy your product online can give a fine initial boost for your ecommerce efforts. Just remember to wait with opening the shop until you’re absolutely sure you got everything covered, no matter how big a hype you create.
Make it about the user
Everything in your organization should be adapted to needs of your customers. The competition is huge and just one small hint of being careless to the buyers can chase them off. Your website needs to be quick and responsive, and your checkout process must be simple enough. Shipping has to be as fast as possible, as we live in the era of extreme impatience. Offering free shipping can also be a big plus for your business. Finally, think about user-generated content, since user reviews, thoughts and other material coming from your customers can substantially improve your conversion rate.
Use visual content everywhere – on your website, social networks, blogs, or anywhere you choose to advertise or sell your product. Whether it’s just a photo of the product, a vlog about your company or an infographic about trends in your industry, employ visuals as much as you can. This can radically increase your sales, conversion rates and CTR. Following latest technological developments, creating visual content has become quite easy and inexpensive. Nowadays, it’s really easy to shoot and edit a video yourself, and finding companies that offer high-quality ecommerce photography services online is not too difficult either.
It was already mentioned that competition among ecommerce companies is massive, and it’s not about to get smaller any time soon. As your potential customers usually cannot try or test your product personally, and thus can’t make a difference between you and your competitors, you’ll have to think about other strategies to attract them. Try optimizing prices to be low enough to draw people’s attention, yet high enough to bring in some profit. Balance these two things out, because the price is still the decisive criterion for many, especially for those who buy stuff from you for the first time.
Making your website or app mobile-friendly is a must. The trend of using smartphones to buy online is going to be on the rise in the forthcoming years, and you might find yourself completely irrelevant in a few years if you don’t adapt to this fact. Even today, you could lose a lot of money if you don’t go mobile, since a big chunk of ecommerce revenue today comes from this source.
Of course, there are more factors that will affect the success of your ecommerce business, above all your online marketing strategy. You should use all the conveniences offered by online advertising, and how exactly you will use them depends on your branch, goals of your business and your target audience. In any event, this is the business of the future and every year will bring new things to the table. Make sure you follow the trends and listen to customer feedback at all times.