With its reduced running costs, simplified marketing and hassle-free shopping, eCommerce is seen by many as the future of retail, representing a win-win situation for consumer and business owner alike. That does not mean, however, that launching a business in this field is entirely straightforward, and eCommerce SMEs come and go with alarming speed.
This is, in part, due to the fact that developing and operating an eCommerce business is very different to running a traditional retail outlet. To help you succeed in this increasingly crowded sector, keep the following tips in mind.
Optimise your website pre-launch, not after
In a rush to get things moving, many new eCommerce organisations will buy their domain, put up the basic framework of the website and then start trading. The logic here is that as they’re paying for the hosting and have the products ready to sell, they are losing money by not opening for business. Things that will optimise their web presence, like SEO, social media accounts, landing pages and advertising, can be developed and added while they trade.
This is a huge mistake. Once your website is active, your target customer will be making instant judgements on your business based on how it looks and what it says about you. Think of it as opening for business on the local high street while there’s still a construction team hammering and sawing right there in the middle of the shop. It makes you look unprofessional and can turn off customers.
Choose a reliable fulfilment service
Given the ‘virtual’ nature of the eCommerce shopping experience, the manner in which you actually get your products into the hands of your customer is all important. If this is mishandled in any way, you will quickly get a reputation amongst your demographic as unprofessional and unreliable. So, take the time to find an experienced, trusted eCommerce fulfilment team with sufficient warehousing and storage facilities to take care of this vital arm of your business.
Always be hands on with social media
The days of SME entrepreneurs outsourcing their social media brands to third party ‘experts’ are numbered. In fact, they may already be gone. Social media offers you an unmatched ability to monitor and interact with your target market, allowing you to understand how they shop, what they are looking for in your product and how they feel about your competitors. You or somebody else in the business needs to have a hand on this crucially important element of the company.
For all its advantages, eCommerce can be a very complex field to enter. Keep these tips in mind and give your business the best chance of success.
Parcelhub helps over 500 eBay, Amazon and eCommerce store owners save time and money on their parcel shipping. Click Here to learn more.