E-commerce has ballooned in recent years, in part due to the pandemic. However, the upward trend away from brick and mortar and towards online was already in progress, regardless of what happened over the past few years. Nonetheless, while this is undoubtedly a boon to businesses looking to expand their presence online and increase sales, it’s an incredibly cutthroat market to get into and succeed in.
However, if you adopt the right frame of mind and arm yourself with the appropriate resources, you will be able to increase your business’s sales and revenue like never before. If you like the sound of that but are utterly green to the world of e-com, never fear, for this post will hold your hand and guide you through the winding maze of the internet and help you emerge the other side with a digital presence that you could never have imagined!
1. Use The Right Framework From The Get-Go
When you first go to set up your brand new online store, you will come up against a barrage of systems and frameworks with which you can build upon. This choice is definitely a good thing but can be a tad overwhelming when you first enter the fray.
For instance, you can choose between the ones you have already probably heard of, such as WordPress with WooComerce, Shopify, Squrescape, et al., or go of the more complex and scary-sounding options. However, while the temptation will be sky-high to simply set up a WordPress site on your host, plonk in a random e-com theme, and put your data into the WooCommerce plugin, it’s prudent to consider your options.
All the aforementioned choices are great when you’re starting, as they are relatively straightforward and can get you up and running in no time. However, you may encounter issues as you expand your business.
Therefore, although the initial setup is more complex, it can pay dividends to start as you plan to continue and use a comprehensive framework like Magento, which is able to handle far more traffic and complicated integrations with ease, including setting up with Amazing and eBay, etc. It’s with noting that Magento may seem impossible to start with.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of agencies that you can hire to assist you in getting everything ready to go. It’s worth increasing your budget for these services because the benefits of a Magento Amazon integration service are myriad.
From helping to create a fully-automated set of procedures once a customer performs an action to making the process of inventory management a breeze, the advantages far outweigh the initial cost and will ensure that you’re ready to scale on your terms rather than worrying about migrating from something like Shopify, etc.
2. Raise Your Online Advertising Spending Significantly
It’s an axiomatic truth that you will never succeed without a hefty marketing budget. This isn’t the 90s where you can build it, and they will come; you must actively take measures and spend money if you want to bring in the vast swathes of customers you so desire. Luckily, unlike the 90s, modern technology and services have made it more convenient to design and execute advertising campaigns that are laser target and will appeal to a specific subset of your ideal consumers.
With the likes of the various Meta properties, Google Ads, and the increasingly relevant Bing Ads, you have more locations to put your products in front of the right eyes. Just be aware that you can lose a significant amount of cash if you are unable to create productive campaigns. However, just like the previous point about frameworks, you can often outsource the task to those who are experts in the process.
3. Foster Positive Experiences With Your Customers To Increase Loyalty
Loyal customers will form the backbone of your online enterprise, but to acquire a raving army of dedicated buyers, you must first engender the right experiences for them to want to return. This can manifest in numerous ways, but the key is getting three things right:
- Have the right product
- Have it at the best price
- Ensure you treat them with respect
Get those points sorted, and everything else will fall into place. If you want to go above and beyond, you can create a loyalty program whereby you offer a range of discounts to those who consistently buy your inventory. However, you will need to get to grips with data to achieve this, leading to the next point nicely.
4. Discover Why Data Is So Crucial To Your Success
If you haven’t already heard it by now, data is the lifeblood of commercial operations. It’s the component that keeps businesses in business and operations operating and will inevitably be the thing that ensures your continued success. At the most basic level, you should integrate something like Google Analytics into your website.
There are, however, far more sophisticated choices available, such as customer relationship management (CRM) suites that can tell you precisely what your customers want and how to give it to them. As always, if you are a complete Luddite, you will do well in hiring a professional who is au fait with big data. However, even if you do hire someone to organize everything, you should learn the basics so you can read the data as it pours in.
There are plenty of CRMs that you can choose from such as Salesforce and Hubspot. They can be overwhelming for new users, however, a quick internet search should already provide you with different ways to learn Salesforce and Hubspot.
5. Build An Email List As Soon As You Begin Operations
Email might seem a little bit “last decade,” but it remains as relevant today as it did back then. Furthermore, it has an incredible ROI, and if you play your cards right, you will see an amazing profit from a relatively small effort. You can use it to inform customers of new product lines, offer cart abandonment discounts to persuade them to complete their purchase, upsell, and more.
6. Consider Implementing An Effective Referral System
Along with your advertising efforts, it could be a good idea to establish a referral program where other people can promote your offerings and earn a commission from every sale. This takes a bit of work, but in some cases, you can offer it through established affiliate marketplaces that deal with paying out commissions and tracking, etc. With the right approach, your affiliates could significantly increase your top line. Just ensure to place stringent terms on who is able to apply so you don’t find yourself in a situation where your affiliates are diluting your brand.
E-commerce can be a challenge to get right, but the rewards are so enormous that it’s almost a no-brainer. As long as you have a plan and realize that taking care of it will be your full-time job, you should reap the rewards over time.