Knowing how to start an e-commerce business doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to run one. The e-commerce industry has its own unique challenges, and without knowing these challenges in advance, they may take you by surprise as you build your business. Knowing these challenges in advance, however, can give you an advantage when starting your e-commerce business and can prevent you from making unwise decisions that could lead to costly mistakes down the road.
Here are five things to know before you start an e-commerce business.
Choose The Right E-commerce Platform for you
Choosing the right e-commerce platform is one of the most important parts of starting an online business. With so many different platforms available, the decision process can be tough. How do you decide which one is the right one for you?
Here are a few things to consider:
- Is it user-friendly?
- Is the shop set-up easy?
- Is it SEO friendly?
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- Does it have the capability to integrate easily with other systems and marketing channels?
- What forms of payment are available?
- Is the price to maintain the platform within your budget?
Before you commit to a platform be sure to do your research. You’ll want your website to be user-friendly not only for you but for your customers as well to run smoothly and successfully. Shopify, for example, is very popular among business owners because it checks off most boxes. There is also plenty of Shopify SEO help that’s available should you need some advice or direction.
You Must Have an Effective Marketing Strategy
When developing your business’s marketing plan, think about: How will you drive traffic? What kinds of offers will entice consumers to buy? How will you improve your site’s SEO? Having a helpful e-commerce SEO guide can be really helpful in getting you on your way.
Online businesses are successful if they can create steady traffic over time; ultimately all revenue comes from repeat customers who love what they’re selling. That’s why it’s so important that you build a brand people want to engage with every day—not just once.
Content is Vital
One of the most important parts of starting a business online is making sure your content is always relevant and interesting. If your potential customers can’t find any interest in what you have to say, they probably won’t take up your offer and become a customer. Keep that in mind when writing content, create high-quality articles that are not only informative but also engaging so people will want to read more from you.
Creating great content for your website should be easy with these tips:
- Write about topics that appeal to both existing and new customers. Content for existing customers helps keep them engaged while new content creates interest for potential buyers.
- Write short, readable pieces instead of long ones; readers get bored easily.
- Be conversational – use words and phrases like you or you’re when talking about e-commerce business tips because it creates a personal connection between you and your readers.
- Make it interactive – include links or videos to provide additional information on topics mentioned in your post or help drive traffic to other areas of your site where they can learn more about related topics
Have a Good Follow Up System in Place
Email marketing is a good follow-up system because it allows you to have consistent communication with your customers in a way that ensures you don’t lose track of them. If a new customer has just made their first purchase, sending them an email after about a week is a good idea—it gives you a chance to thank them for their purchase and also offer them something else they might like, such as a coupon code or sale notification.
It’s also important to stay in touch once you reach out; constant follow-up can be annoying, but not following up can lead your customer to think that they aren’t valued by your business, which will only damage your relationship with them. For example, an abandoned cart email is an example of a good follow-up especially if you can offer them a discount code to entice them to make the purchase.
Know How to Ship Products
As you’re deciding which products to sell, consider how they will be shipped. Whether it’s by air or ground, you need to have a clear understanding of how and where your products will end up on doorsteps. Are you shipping them yourself? Who are your carriers? Do you have any control over what happens once your packages leave your warehouse? This information is key for planning ahead in terms of costs and customer service.
If handling shipping duties isn’t something you want to worry about, consider partnering with a company that has its own established network. This could help save time and energy so that you can focus on what matters most: running your business.
As with anything else, running an e-commerce business takes time and a lot of practice. Be patient with yourself and try to gain as much knowledge as you can by networking and researching.