The internet offers amazing possibilities for even the smallest entrepreneur to succeed. E-commerce opportunities boomed in the last two years, and that growth shows no sign of slowing. With so many new enterprises popping up online, it’s now more important than ever to stand out in the crowd. Use these nine tips to launch an e-commerce venture a cut above the rest.
1. Square Away Your Finances
Every good business needs solid financials, and online storefronts are no exception. However, owners and entrepreneurs don’t just need good bookkeeping; they need good credit. Securing a solid business credit card with decent terms is a great way to ensure your web hosting, shipping, and marketing campaigns continue uninterrupted from month to month.
A good product is only half the battle; no one can sell products online without a host for their store. In the past, new sellers might have felt obligated to use one of the only available pre-made platforms, such as Etsy or Facebook Marketplace. With the advent of services like Shopify and Squarespace, a custom website and user interface is achievable for even the smallest e-commerce enterprise.
3. Be Social
No brand can succeed in the modern market without a good grasp of SMM – social media marketing. Many new businesses feel compelled to have a presence on every social network and stretch their SMM too thin. Focus on platforms your core demographic is most likely to use, such as Instagram or Pinterest, and tailor marketing copy to match that platform. Remember, your e-commerce business isn’t just there to advertise: it’s there to engage authentically.
Of course, authentic SMM can only take an enterprise so far. Working knowledge of basic SEO – search engine optimization – is essential for organic results direct to your site. Resist the urge to oversaturate your copy with keywords; focus on quality and accurate descriptions, register your sales platform with Google Webmaster Tools, and watch the clicks roll in.
5. Build a Mailing List
An email newsletter and mailing list might seem like a relic of the internet in ages past, but this classic method still works. Use a plugin on your storefront to collect willing customers’ contact information, and you will quickly gain a list of clients guaranteed to be potential customers.
6. Address Cart Abandonment
Most e-commerce sales are lost during the checkout process. Leverage pop-ups, coupon codes, and that handy mailing list to close the sale and bring guests back to the purchase button.
7. CX Options
Consider implementing a CX (customer experience) service to monitor how your brand interacts with customers on the web. Good customer management drives repeat sales and helps grow the reputation of your e-commerce storefront.
8. User Interface
Of course, excellent customer service starts with the user experience on your website. Ensure that your storefront, wherever it may be hosted, has a clean and easy-to-navigate structure on desktop or mobile. Customers should be able to go from the first click to a completed sale in as few steps as possible on phones, tablets, and computers.
9. Avoid Pitfalls
Customers should be able to access your storefront anytime, anywhere, on any device. Many fledgling e-commerce businesses neglect the basics: good product listing, mobile compatibility, and ease of checkout.
With these non-negotiables (and these tips), an e-commerce store can succeed.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Compare Credit