The e-Commerce market has exploded in the last 10 years, with an estimated 40% of Worldwide Internet users making purchases online. Advances in technology mean it’s never been easier to set up an e-Commerce business, but getting the right building blocks in place is crucial to success without the bricks and mortar.
Know Your Business
Whilst it’s easier than ever before to set up an e-Commerce business, the market is also bigger than ever before. Your unique selling point needs to be clearly defined in order to stand out. No one should know your product better than you, and your USP is your competitive advantage over your rivals. If you don’t know what it is, neither will your potential customers.
Shop Front Success
Your website is your shop front. You need to use it to entice customers in. Getting this right is fundamental to generating sales. Keep things simple; let your customers easily find what they are looking for, and give them a confidence in your product and payment transaction. The UK has the highest online shopping penetration in Europe (Statista, 2014) so your website needs to stand out on the busy street – A street which is now global.
Put yourself out there and scream from the hilltops. Getting the marketing strategy right for your product can make a huge difference to your sales. Start with your social media presence. Use it to gain a presence in the field, and interact directly with customers and potential customers. Use it to build relationships and a reputation that will get you noticed.
Make sure that you are making the most of digital marketing. Spend your money wisely, use analytics to see what is working, adapt, and repeat.
Tell a story; e-commerce can also be about good content. If you push out content that is relevant and interesting, people will be more likely to listen. Make it easily digestible and easily shareable to lead more traffic to your site.
Don’t forget about your existing customer base either… the legwork has already been done. Follow up with promotions through email marketing, and use effective retargeting to those who haven’t converted.
Don’t Forget the Bottom Line
In an E-Commerce business the website has to be able to fill the traditional role of the Sales Assistant. It needs to not only entice the customer to buy, but also to upell. Incentivise your audience to increase the number of items purchased per transaction.
The beauty of E-Commerce is the lower overheads, and access to a global audience. However, it’s a fragile business, so tread with care. Don’t spend thousands of pounds on a website before you’ve got any customers, test the market before you invest in a great deal of stock…be sensible.
E-Commerce is an exciting, ever changing space to be in, and a bit of hard work and perseverance can go a long way with the right approach. There is a world of information out there. Do your research, and reap the rewards. Get the basic building blocks right, and start your company on solid ground for a chance to grow.