eCommerce businesses have seen significant growth in the last few years due to the COVID pandemic catalyst. Even with the ongoing troubles businesses experience with supply chain delays, consumer demand hasn’t risen. These businesses can potentially experience great success, but many owners worry they could become a part of the looming statistic of a 90% failure rate in eCommerce. Implementing a few of these ideas might be the difference between surviving and thriving in 2023 and beyond!
How to Run An eCommerce Business The Right Way
Research (And Research Again)
Most of the time, when we start anything new, there is a research phase required. First, we gather information on a target market, types of available equivalent products, and their sale success rate. Then, in the end, we want to know our venture’s potential earnings to evaluate whether starting an eCommerce business is worth it.
Research doesn’t stop even after you’ve given the green light for business! Many small startups or eCommerce businesses fail because they do not ensure the product fits well into the market they are created for. To keep your product relevant, you must stay in touch with the consumer’s needs and preferences, which can change quickly due to the time of year or in response to life-changing circumstances.
Customers will pass up even the best-marketed or well-priced item if your product becomes too stale or outdated. Look into popular products. You can expand your offering- but ensure that you launch new products intentionally to ensure success. There always needs to be a well-researched reason to start something new. Otherwise, your business can run into issues impacting your sales even more.
One of the fun aspects of running your own business is the freedom to experiment and try new things when you see something isn’t working. So, if innovation gets you up in the morning, carry this inclination through as many aspects of your eCommerce business as possible!
If your sales start taking a nosedive, try new ways to market and advertise your store and offerings. Run analyses, track how your marketing campaigns can be traced to the increase or decrease of sales, and build the ability to pivot when things stop working. Digital marketing is not always a quick fix, but adjusting your approach as soon as possible is important to counteract previous campaigns’ negative results.
Already have a solid digital marketing campaign, but want to see more engagement or break into a new customer base? Starting an affiliate marketing program might be a great way to tap into new sales opportunities. A benefit of using affiliate marketing is the low cost of getting started while still observing measurable results. In addition, newer eCommerce stores with a low following can gain exposure from customers they might otherwise have difficulty reaching.
Just like research, it’s important to schedule time for regular check-ups on your business operations. Revisiting your business plan can help you look back at the goals set from the beginning of your eCommerce adventure, measure where you stand now, and look forward to the potential for growth in the near or distant future. By consistently tracking yourself this way, you will always know what has happened to bring you where you are. Then you can determine whether to keep that momentum going or re-work goals that reflect the reality of the market and economy.
Within that business plan, a simultaneous process should be scheduled for revisiting your financials. Budgets can go awry depending on how busy or slow your business is, how much more advertising is required to drive sales growth, or whether cheaper, more readily available products overshadow your product. In addition, you may need to explore options for raising additional funds through a business line of credit or small business loan for emergencies. For example, you might need extra funds to keep your eCommerce store afloat during the all-familiar lull in sales after the holidays, or you might need to hire new help if your sales suddenly jump through the roof. Thanks to a viral video posted by an influencer.
It’s important to prepare yourself and your business for as many possibilities as you can think of. But unfortunately, many entrepreneurs might succumb to giving up when something goes wrong. Don’t let this be you! While some things, like a global pandemic, can never be foreseen, many eCommerce businesses face a few common roadblocks.
The worst thing a business can do is become stagnant in a constantly changing world. Flexibility makes your business capable of making quick moves or adjustments as soon as something unexpected, whether negative or positive, comes up. For example, If you have a product that relies on a supplier outside of the country, look for suppliers within your country that you can work with if supply chain issues start to harm order fulfillment.
Knowing the common pitfalls of your eCommerce peers is also a great way to prepare yourself. Learn from the mistakes of others, especially those whose business occupies (or used to occupy) your target market. There are a lot of places eCommerce businesses can go wrong. By taking the time to explore opportunities, run status checks, and prevent lost time by responding well after unexpected expenses, you can run your eCommerce business the right way!