Knowing how to start selling online doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to run it successfully, and sustain it for the long run. Like any other business, the e-commerce industry has its challenges, and if you’re not aware of them, it might strike you by surprise along the way.
Being aware of these 5 challenges will give you an advantage if you’re planning to sell online and prevent you from making costly mistakes while building your e-commerce store.
Let’s Dive In.
“People don’t care about your business, they care about their problems.. be the solution to their problems”
Choosing The Right E-Commerce Platform For Your Store
With several e-commerce platforms available, deciding on the right one can be a tough decision to make, and choosing the right platform is one of the most important decisions you can make, as this can make or break your business.
I’ve made a list of things to consider to help you with this process:
Is it easy to set up?
If you want to start selling as soon as possible, I’d say a better choice would be to go with a platform that offers a visual builder like WordPress or Shopify. The cool thing about these platforms is that they offer plug-and-play features for E-Commerce unless you want to build your platform from scratch with code, which can take months to develop.
Is the platform SEO friendly?
If you’re not going to be found on Google, you might as well not exist, unless you’re fine with spending thousands of bucks on marketing each month. Be sure that your platform offers support for SEO integration and strategies.
Is it mobile-friendly?
Most of your customers are going to use their mobile phones to shop on your online store, and if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re going to block 80% of sales coming in.
Can it integrate with third-party systems and marketing channels?
Does the platform have the ability to integrate with several payment gateways and sales channels such as Google shopping and social media platforms? Be sure to check this out.
Very Important: Is the pricing of the platform within your budget?
Be sure to do proper research on the pricing of the e-commerce platform. While most e-commerce platforms are fairly cheap, they do charge you for each sale you generate through your online store. The more you sell, the more you pay. Some platforms are free, but they require some technical skills.
Be sure to do proper research before committing to an e-commerce platform. You would of cause want your website to be user-friendly, SEO-ready, and mobile-friendly, not only for you but for your customers. Let’s take WordPress for example, it’s the most popular, and ticks off all the boxes, and you can start selling within days.
“Your website is your greatest asset. More people view your web pages than anything else” Amanda Sibley
Create An Effective Marketing Strategy.
When you’re in the process of developing your online store’s marketing strategy, there are a few things to consider such as:
How to drive traffic to the website:
- Will you be investing in Google paid ads? Are you going to invest time into organic ads? Blogging?
- What kind of offers are you going to come up with to keep your customers engaged?
- Coming up with great offers to make your customers come back, again and again, is what will make your store flourish.
How will you grow organically?
- Investing in SEO is by far the best digital marketing strategy out there. Why? Where do they head off to whenever someone wants to try or buy something new? Google. Landing on the first page of Google will win your customer’s trust. But the one reason that out-weighs the others why businesses want to rank on the first page of Google, is to spend less on paid ads while getting better results.
E-Commerce stores are only successful if they can grow their traffic over time, and most money is made by recurring customers. That is why it is important to invest heavily into SEO and come up with mouth-watering offers to keep your online shoppers engaged.
Content Quality Is King.
One of the most important parts of having an online business is making sure that your content is interesting and relevant to your customers. If your content is not engaging enough, or just bland boring, and not relevant to the prospect, they’re not going to take up your offer and you’re going to have a hard time converting them to sales.
You’ve probably heard the phrase: content is king, no. Quality content is king. What’s the point in having content if there’s no value in it. Keep this in mind when creating content: You want them to want more from you.
Here are a few guidelines you can follow to create awesome content:
- Write about topics that both new and existing customers would engage with. Content for existing customers keep them engaged, while new content draws new customers in.
- Humans have a short attention span. So keep it short, readers can easily get bored and run off to your competitors.
- Write conversational content. Use words like you or you’re to create a personal connection between you, your customers, and your products.
- Make your content interactive: Include links to videos, reviews, and more information about the product or service where they can learn more about it.
The biggest question behind every campaign should be; “What is the goal?” Jason Rinquest
Follow Up Continuously.
Email marketing is by far the best follow-up system as it allows you to communicate with your customers and not lose track of them.
If a new customer just made their first purchase off your website, sending them an email a few days later is a good way to convert them in to recurring customers. You can do this by thanking them for their purchase, then by sending them a coupon code for a product related to their purchase.
It’s important to stay in touch after they have purchased on your website. Constantly following up with them can be annoying, but no following-up can make them feel like they are not valued customers, damaging your relationship with them.
An abandoned cart email is a great way of following up if you’re going to send them a coupon code to give them a little push to complete the purchase. This technique has helped many successful e-commerce stores and it’s a win-win for both parties, you get a sale, while they get a product at a great discount.
Have A Shipping Strategy.
Having a product to sell is one thing, but knowing how you’re going to ship it is another. You need to have a clear understanding of how your products will end up by your customer.
Will you be making use of a courier service, or will you ship it yourself? Do you have control over the package once it leaves your premises? This information is vital in terms of business costs and customer service experience.
If shipping isn’t something that you want to stress about, consider linking up with a courier company that specializes in shipping services.
As with any other business, selling online takes a lot of practice. Gain as much knowledge and experience as you possibly can and be patient with yourself. The more strategic work you put into your website, the better your results will be shortly.
“Some of us sell to businesses, but we all market to people” Elle Woulfe