Looking forward to starting your own online store? Not sure where to start? Fasten your seatbelts as we deep dive into the world of eCommerce and how can you successfully conquer this Mount Everest.
Starting and running an e-commerce business is similar to driving a car. And you want to make sure that before your car hit the highway, you are prepared for the long drive. Prepare your online store for the super high growth what we are going to talk about today.
E-commerce business is different from a traditional business. Primary reason being, it is driven by technology. Before you embark on the journey to the online superhighway, you must be aware of four critical aspects of this business.
- Shopping Experience
- Customer Service
- Online Marketing
Having a good understanding of these four aspects will take you a long way in making the e-commerce business successful.
A large number of businessmen struggle with the aspect of finding the right e-commerce platform. While choosing an e-commerce platform, following aspects should be kept in mind:
- Reliability: The following are the key characteristics of reliability:
- Performance: If your store has a loading time of more than 4 seconds, you have already lost a substantial amount of visitors.
- Error free: Would you return to a website that shows you a 404 error, every time you try to proceed to buy the product you like?
- Stability: Christmas or Diwali, whatever the occasion be, the site should always remain stable.
- Scalability: What if your website starts attracting 10000 visitors instead of 1000? Will you experience the same quality?
- Future Readiness: With the advent of new tools and apps every day, is your website ready to welcome them with arms wide open?
- Extendibility: Is your store extendable to third party apps which let you customize different services that you want to offer?
- Flexibility: The e-commerce software should be flexible enough to accommodate third party apps and design innovations.
- Competent Technical Team: Instantly available and knowledgeable technical team is an important criterion while choosing the e-commerce software.
Just like a retail store, the shopping experience can make or break the sale. A traditional retailer spends lakhs of rupees on interior designing, air conditioning and making sure that the customer has the best experience. Something similar is required for your online store. The definition of Google shopping experience drastically changes in the online setting. Having a subpar shopping experience can definitely damage your brand reputation and have a grave impact on the sales of your products.
- Built around conversions: Let’s get it clear. The core purpose of your website is just one – to do sales. If your site is not built around the best conversion practices, you are set to lose visitors and sales.
- Rich in content: Since online consumers cannot touch or try your products, you must have detailed descriptions and product photos with different viewing angles to give the consumers the exact idea of what they are buying.
- Mobile ready: With over 41% and growing transactions happening over mobile, one has to make sure that the mobile site is ultra responsive.
- Guidance and decision making: A consumer must never feel lost whilst navigating through the website. There should be a specific call to action buttons to help the customers navigate.
- Plenty of buying reasons: If a consumer is going to your website, he is looking for a particular product and when you show your consumers the right reason and associate it with the product, you just got yourself a closure, buddy!
Since you are not able to see your customer during any part of the transaction, you must know about all the nuances of online customer service.
- The speed of delivery: We know that we just can’t hire The Flash from the Justice League to do the deliveries for us but the speed of delivery must still be done as soon as possible as the speed of deliveries is often perceived as a sign of great service experience.
- Handling returns, exchanges, and refunds: Having clearly defined and clearly communicated customer services places will ensure that you handle returns, exchanges, and refunds swiftly.
- Packaging: Packaging is the key area where you provide the customer with delight, where you can provide an Aha! Moment to the customer.
Online marketing is one of the biggest reasons why many store owners fail to gain traction. It is considered a beast which is hard to tame. Luckily, that’s not the case if you find the right expert. Before you hire a marketing expert, here are a few things you need to know about marketing your store online.
- Internal Marketing: While focusing on getting new customers, we often forget about the goldmine we are sitting on. Our existing customers! Leveraging your existing customers can surely provide a way to build up initial traction for your website.
- Diversify traffic sources: Instead of relying on just one or two channels for marketing, one must mix and match several offline and online media to make a greater impact.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is probably the least expensive and most powerful channel to market to your existing customers and subscribers as it provides a 2000% return on investment.
- Measuring metrics: According to Tom Peters, the famous management guru “Anything that gets measured gets improved“. If you do not know your numbers, you aren’t playing any game. Here are five key marketing metrics you can measure:
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Average order value
Now that you know all the key elements of starting and online store, hire a professional expert to get your e-commerce store on the online superhighway.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you are facing a specific problem, we’d be glad to help.