This article was written by Lori H Morris
Every entrepreneur has a deep desire to start a business and let it run on autopilot. eCommerce is the best way to run a business that works for itself. Transform your small eCommerce business into a successful one with these successful tips.
1. Treat your passion as a business
If your eCommerce business was born out of a hobby, or something you do in your leisure time, take your passion to the next level. Start thinking about it as a hobby and think about it as a functioning business. The first mistake business owners make in entrepreneurship is thinking their business is too small to call itself a business. That’s not the case at all. Strategically think about how you can grow your business
This starts with the following:
- Developing a business plan for growth. When you have a plan in place, you can work on achieving it.
- Getting funding for your new business venture. Speak to investors, or visit the bank for a loan. To launch your hobby into a business, you’ll need capital.
- Create a marketing plan. Every business, big or small, has a marketing plan. Start marketing your product or services today. It’s the first step to business growth.
2. Opt for a good eCommerce platform
Since you’re a business owner, you need in-depth vision to identify any potential issues before they arise. Evaluate different types of eCommerce platforms for an online business because it will be the basis for your whole operation. You need to spend times to look for the best website hosting for small business to fit your needs.
When you’re choosing software, you need to consider scalability, security concerns, marketing tools and usability. However, here are some other things to consider:
- Pricing and payment
- SEO and mobile friendliness
- Customer service
3. Identify who your customers are
The first rule of any business is to know and understand your target customers. You need to know their habits, their interests and how they spend their free time. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of ignoring this vital step in business. As a result, it wastes a lot of time and resources in creating marketing strategies.
Consider working with coupon websites to reach your target audience. This strategy works if you identify your business motives, target audience and have a clear product offering.
This is the stage in which you will identify what marketing resources will produce the best ROI.
You can also consider the following when digging into your customers need:
- Starting with existing data
- Mapping the customer journey
- Interviewing customers
- Conducting customer surveys
- Analyzing your competition
4. Make the checkout process easier
Do you want to sell more of your products online?
Make sure that your customers aren’t getting frustrated and abandoning their carts. If the checkout process is tough, they may buy from another eCommerce website instead.
Simplify the checkout process to make it easier for anyone to buy from your website. You can do this by eliminating the requirement for a user to set up an account, and reduce the number of pages someone has to click through before purchasing.
Create a default and inexpensive shipping option that automatically shows up on the purchase page. Auto-fill should be used to fill out forms faster.
It’s also a good idea to save the shipping, billing and payment information for the customers.
Make sure there are a few ways for customers to make payments for their orders and include common payment options such as Amazon and PayPal.
You can even consider the following ways to improve your checkout process:
- Make checkout mobile-friendly
- Consider using a progress indicator
- Avoid using membership or login
- Put security features everywhere
- Request less but essential information only
5. Make your customers brand ambassadors
Are you looking for a way to add some credibility to your business?
Well, you can achieve that with a positively glowing testimonial from a previous customer. You should share and collect reviews and testimonials regularly thus encouraging sales from your site’s visitors.
Upon receiving a testimonial, find a way to share it with your customers. The more they know about your business, the more likely they’ll purchase from you. Customers are the best asset for your business; leverage them accordingly.
In addition, here are some extra things you can do:
- Go the extra mile to make a stellar impression on clients – even small, personal gestures will cause a ripple effect.
- Listen to customers complaints – show them you care about your customers’ feelings and desires.
- Offer rewards – Reward your customers. This will make them think more of you
6. Take advantage of free trials
Take advantage of any free trials on apps to find the best ones for your needs.
As a new business owner, experimentation should be part of your process. Continue to use apps that are most useful for your business, especially once business gets busier.
7. Implement a rigorous marketing process
Consider various marketing methods for your business.
Aside from using social media, pitch your products to popular magazines and other blogs. Leverage email newsletters to keep your subscribers in the know about your business offerings.
You’ll get the best exposure from search engine optimization. Make sure your web pages are optimized for keywords to increase your organic traffic. The higher your website ranks on search engines, the easier your customers will find you.
Here are some tips to improve your eCommerce marketing effort:
- Content marketing strategy – Create a content strategy to build your audience and get targeted search traffic
- Build authority – Use your eCommerce stores as an authoritative platform for customers discussion
- Focus on local branding – If you have a brick and mortar store, you can focus on local branding and marketing
- Stay up to date on industry news – Make use of latest industry news as content to share with your customers.
- Upselling / cross-selling products – When using it right, upselling and cross-selling techniques are effective. Hit your visitors with relevant product links.
Running a lucrative eCommerce business is possible when you employ the right tools and tactics to grow your business. All it takes is some hard work and strategy to make it grow.
Lori H. Morris is a digital marketing specialist and content writer for a Toronto web development company and specializing in marketing, SEO and social engagement.