With the eCommerce industry booming there is no wonder the last few years have seen a surge of new eCommerce entrepreneurs paving their way into the market for their slice of the pie.
However, setting up a successful eCommerce business is not as easy as some may think.
The difference between success and disaster comes down to the crucial little details that must be set in place in the early stages before you can even think about launching.
Here are the strategic secrets that will help get your eCommerce site up and running while handling everything the right way.
Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Partner
You are an expert in your product and you know how to promote it far and wide to your target market.
That’s all a great, but knowing your product well and knowing how to promote it is one thing, but handling things most efficiently when orders start rolling in is quite another.
This can be a challenge for eCommerce startups.
Thinking purely about the product and promotion and not thinking further ahead to the logistics of packing and posting in an efficient way is a problem. You need to think it all the way through.
Therefore looking into partnering up with a fulfillment partner before things really start to take off is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your business.
Building a relationship with a reliable and efficient fulfillment service provider will mean that when you have successfully launched your business, peaked interest in the market and the orders start rolling in, you are completely prepared logistically. Research reputable
Building a relationship with a reliable and efficient fulfillment service provider will mean that when you have successfully launched your business, peaked interest in the market and the orders start rolling in, you are completely prepared logistically.
Research reputable eCommerce order fulfillment from Red Stag Fulfillment and similar companies to make sure everything is in place for when your business really starts to take off.
Keep your Cards Close to your Chest
While it’s incredibly tempting to launch your new website as soon as possible, it is much more advisable to keep your cards close to your chest until everything is perfectly set into place.
Rushing the launch of your website before all the finite details are established could result in the collapse of your new site before it has even taken off.
It’s reasonable to want to build a little intrigue and excitement in the market with a ‘Coming Soon’ page, surrounding your pre-launch marketing, but try to hold back from launching your completed website until everything is fully ready.
You only have one chance to launch your site, so any technical problems such as pages being slow to load or faulty payment systems will mean that customers will leave your site pretty quickly and never return.
The initial teething problem can damage your reputation and seriously stunt your opportunity for establishing a loyal customer base.
Focus on the User Experience
One major problem that all eCommerce site owners face is the disconnect that customers feel when looking through products online.
A website can’t offer the tactility and interactivity that a physical shop can offer their customers while browsing through products.
That means that eCommerce sites need to work twice as hard to create a stimulating and persuasive user experience for their consumers.
Building beautiful sites that people will enjoy spending time browsing, offering competitive pricing, providing in-depth and in time descriptions, and customer reviews will all go a long way in creating a positive online shopping experience for your customers.
Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment
Customers abandoning their online shopping cart is a big problem for eCommerce sites and one which has warranted a lot of attention from researchers looking for ways to overcome it and find solutions.
One of the best places to start is to make sure your checkout process is as simple, safe and non-demanding as possible.
Keeping the payment process simple means you will prevent people from getting confused and frustrated and giving up.
Making sure the pages load quickly will also prevent impatient buyers from giving up and moving on to another site.
But most importantly of all is that customers must feel that the checkout and payment section of your website is completely safe and that their payment details are protected.
If any consumers get even a sniff that something doesn’t seem quite right you will lose them immediately and they will never return.
So this is a critical area to get right and established before you launch your company.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Again, we know how tempting it is to launch your site as soon as possible.
After months of careful product planning, brand development, website building, and market research you can feel desperate to finally get your lovely new site off the ground and into the market.
However, another integral part of the process, before you can launch, is carrying out extensive testing.
Investing in testing and analytics will pay dividends long term as you can be confident that your site is fully functioning and providing a strong shopping experience for your customers.
So before launching find out what is working and what is not before you even think about pressing that launch button. Yes, you are going to have to test more than once.
It’s always a good idea to create a little buzz in the market before you launch your new business and social media is the best way to do that.
Social media will become the mouthpiece for your company, so decide on the personality and the ‘voice’ of your brand and start peaking interest in the market just before your launch.
Establishing a personality for your brand means that you can communicate with your target demographic in a way that will resonate with them and help build a connection.
Knowing who your target market is and then thinking about how you can talk to them and appeal to them, is key to the success of your business. Social media marketing can be a steep learning curve for any entrepreneurs that have not previously worked in that field.
However, there has never been more information available to guide and educate you on how best to use social media platforms to promote your business.
Don’t Neglect Mobile Versions
So now you have your websites looking fabulous, fully tested and analyzed and you are confident that they are now fully functional and ready to go.
But there is one last step before we can finally bite the bullet and go live. And that’s going mobile. With so many consumers connecting to sites from their mobile phones, there is no excuse for new eCommerce sites not to put equal focus on the mobile version as the desktop version.
With so many consumers connecting to sites from their mobile phones, there is no excuse for new eCommerce sites not to put equal focus on the mobile version as the desktop version.
As a matter of fact, it’s a must if you want to reach out to most of your potential customers out there.
Making sure your eCommerce site is primped and primed for mobile users is not as difficult as it sounds, however.
Most website builders nowadays naturally have an option for tweaking desktop and mobile versions separately from each other.
You, or your web developer, will be able to work from the desktop version and just make some adaptations to make sure the layout, design and overall functionality are optimized for mobiles.
Look out for little details like large photo files as they take much longer to download on mobiles, than they do on laptops so make sure you are replacing larger image files with much smaller, mobile friendly versions.
With the above tips, you will be ready and raring to go and well on your way to guaranteeing your success as a new eCommerce entrepreneur.
As you can see it’s all in the detail and forward planning. By just exercising a little patience and a lot of planning you can be confident that your eCommerce site will grow and prosper in no time at all.
Guest article edited by Sylviane Nuccio