The incessant improvement of technology has brought about many changes, especially in business, which is no longer bound to a geographical location and has spread to a world we are able to experience online. Now you can swiftly make your own website with no required knowledge in programming, create an online store and reach your target audience without leaving the comfort of your home.
On the one hand, these couple of steps to success seem simple enough, but on the other, there is much more to the process than just putting the products and services up for sale and waiting for potential customers to stumble upon them. You need to attract consumers, get them interested, make them stay and choose you over the competition, as well as get them to return for another purchase. Having an online business will definitely provide the work-life balance you have been longing for, but you need to put in some time and effort to achieve it – and here’s how to do it.
Why Get Into E-commerce in the First Place?
Undoubtedly, shopping online is becoming increasingly popular. 80% of internet users have made an online purchase at least once, and around 50% have done it more than that. The majority of people find it far more convenient to browse products online, since they can compare prices in a matter of seconds, read about other people’s experiences related to the service or product, go through hundreds of offers in no time at all, have their goods delivered to their doorstep and most importantly, they are able to get all the necessary assistance right then and there.
From the perspective of the entrepreneur, online marketing has proven to be one of the most efficient ways of advertising. Furthermore, having your store online cuts costs that the usual brick-and-mortar shop would have, and one is able to do business from pretty much anywhere in the world.
Know Your Business
There’s not much point in going through the trouble of setting up a business, online or otherwise, if you do not possess the knowledge required to make you confident and efficient in your operations. Take some time to learn the ropes of management so you can get the best out of yourself and your work. Hone your skills in administration, risk and project management, and communication to build a strong foundation for what is yet to come. You will definitely continue learning about business throughout your entire presence on the market.
Set up Shop
Building an e-Commerce business can’t begin without an e-Commerce website.
The crucial thing here is to focus on the user experience, i.e. make your online store comfortable, easily manageable and enjoyable for your potential customers. Easy navigation should enable your users to find their way to the desired product without stress. They expect things to be simple and informative from browsing to checkout. Many people today prefer to do their shopping via their mobile devices, so make sure your website translates well onto a smaller screen. Of course, you should pay attention to the visual appeal of your site, and more importantly, to having fast-loading pages. If a page takes more than three seconds to load, you are more than likely to lose your customers.
Once you’re satisfied with your website, it’s time to get people to visit. If you are a beginner, the easiest and cost-effective ways of doing this are optimizing your site for SEO and creating content. Optimization in terms of SEO means that your site will rank higher in search results.
Content is crucial when it comes to gathering your audience, so make it interesting and useful. Informative and entertaining post with popular keywords will not only help your website’s position, but will also attract and keep your customers coming back for more.
Social media is the core of your business since it gives you great insight into the lives and preferences of your customers. Even if you have a social media manager, it is advisable that you keep track of it yourself as much as you can. By being present on social media platforms, you are raising awareness about your business by offering product reviews and testimonials, not to mention exploring your advertising options.
This is also a channel through which you can drive traffic to your website and thus increase the number of visitors. Always remember, social media content gets shared, commented on and viewed more than your blog posts, so make your social presence count.
Have Exceptional Customer Service
Your customer service
needs to be up to code. It can, and will, literally make or break your
business. Being responsive to your customers’ needs and inquiries will create
an image of a reliable, friendly business model and healthy corporate culture.
Visitors to your online shop will feel at ease while shopping and browsing, and
they are more likely to stick around and purchase more than they originally
intended. Word of mouth is still at the top of the list when it comes to
advertising and a good recommendation goes a long way. Be sure to make your
contact information and support easily accessible to your visitors
and provide fast and accurate service.
Businesses online might be a new dimension of commerce, but the core principle always remains the same – good quality, friendly and swift service. Once you get the balance of these vital elements right, you can sit back and enjoy watching your business thrive.