The whole world has been affected by the pandemic in 2020, and while some countries are recovering well, such as New Zealand, larger and more densely-populated parts of the world are still under lockdowns, not to mention the ongoing social distancing rules, and a number of other regulations limiting human interactions.
With that in mind, more brands are quickly switching to eCommerce in order to stay afloat, and even the ones who have yet to kick-start their businesses are opting for online selling rather than brick-and-mortar opportunities. It makes sense, especially for vast countries such as the US and Australia, where populous cities are looking to cut down on in-person contact. Knowing that global eCommerce sales are projected to reach $6.54 trillion in 2022, it’s only natural for companies to ensure their position in this accelerating industry.
To help you launch your own eCommerce business successfully in 2021, here’s the ultimate list of steps to keep in mind that will help you build the right foundation.
Choose a lucrative niche
First things first: do you know what aspect of eCommerce you’d like to be in? Because this is such a broad industry, too many businesses fail simply because they lack the focus. Make sure to pick a niche that is appealing to your target demographic, especially if you’re limited to selling locally, and choose a niche that you can genuinely contribute to with your expertise.
Research your target audience
No business can be relevant without understanding its target audience properly. To build a solid website in line with your customers’ expectations and to make sure your brand truly provides a relevant product to the market, you need to conduct thorough market research and create buyer personas to elevate your marketing and your branding efforts.
Keep in mind that, while this is a step you’ll need to take before you launch your store, you’ll also need to continue researching and learning about your demographic over the months and years to come. Their preferences will change, trends will come and go, but for your eCommerce brand to persevere, you need to keep learning.
Build a stellar website
Your website is your main outlet to communicate your brand purpose and the main source of income for your business. As such, your website needs to work seamlessly and meet the necessary criteria for user experience and search engine ranking. In highly competitive regions such as Australia, with almost 70,000 online businesses available, your website needs to stand out. With the right technical features, design, all the way to your product selection, your eCommerce business should build an authentic online footprint.
With that in mind, more companies are turning to professional eCommerce website design in Sydney in order to be able to compete and build a memorable, highly functional web presence. A well-built website with beautiful visuals, fast-loading pages on all devices, and easy-to-navigate categories has the necessary market advantage. You also need to make sure your site has proper ongoing maintenance for SEO and customer experience optimization alike.
Master the art of marketing
With a brand that you’ve tailored to your target demographic and a website that perfectly embodies that brand, you now need to get the word out. Digital marketing is by far the most powerful arsenal of tactics any eCommerce brand can utilize to reach more people, grow its reputation, and earn a top spot in search results.
Whether you’re selling exclusively to your local demographic in Australia, for instance, or you sell to a global audience, make sure to choose channels where your buyers spend their time. From hand-picking the optimal social media outlets, all the way to advertising in the right places, you’ll slowly build up your relevance not just for search engines, but also for your target demographic.
Ensure security for your customers
Although eCommerce has become the norm in the world today, and most people have at one time or another bought something online, you still need to cater to the most basic needs of your customers, including their need for security. With growing cybersecurity threats and increasing capabilities of hackers, eCommerce brands need to invest in cybersecurity to retain their reputations, but also to make customers feel at ease.
You need to make sure that every customer touchpoint is protected with optimal encryption solutions, but beyond that, make sure that you present your security seals prominently on your site. That is the only way your customers will know what exactly you’re doing to keep their data secure and safe, and what steps you’re taking to be in line with the industry’s latest security standards. Use payment providers and gateways that instill trust, which will add another layer of security to your shopping process.
As promising as the eCommerce world might be, your business in this industry needs to be built with structure and growth in mind. Competition is and will remain fierce, and these essential tips will help you get your business off the ground, but your ability to maintain and continue investing in your shop will require dedication and persistence. Stay true to your goals in 2021, and you’ll give your eCommerce brand a greater chance to succeed.