It is no secret that e-commerce is the preferred method of shopping for the vast majority of consumers in today’s day and age. Being able to shop from the comfort of your own home at a time to suit you and with goods from all around the world at your fingertips, it is easy to see why so many people use e-commerce to find what they are looking for. This means that setting up an e-commerce business can be a rewarding and lucrative line of work, but it is also highly competitive, and you will need to know how to succeed in such a challenging marketplace. Read on for a few tips for succeeding in the e-commerce market.
In order to succeed as an e-commerce company, you first need to carry out market research to understand your competitors and to define who your targets consumer is. You will then need to use this information to develop a unique selling proposition (USP) which will help you to stand out from the crowd and succeed.
Next, you need to have a brilliantly designed website which is easy to use and kept up to date. A well-designed website will entice the user and encourage them to look around so it is vital that you take steps to plan the layout of the website which can be done with a flow diagram – discover more about this here. The product pages should contain multiple high-quality images and contain all of the relevant product information that the consumer needs to know.
You also need to make sure that the website works well on mobile devices and that users will be able to buy a product on their device. An increasing number of consumers are using their devices to shop as opposed to on a PC, so you need to make sure that it is possible and easy for them to purchase products on mobile.
Smooth Buying Experience
Following on from this, you must make sure that the process of adding an item to the basket through to the email confirmation is as smooth as possible. This will paint your organization in a positive light and communicate to the buyer that you are a trustworthy and professional e-commerce company.
It is also important that goods are shipped quickly and particularly in a day and age where consumers expect next day delivery. A customer will rarely return if they have a negative experience when it comes to shipping, so take extra effort to ensure that deliveries are timely but also handled with great care.
It may seem counterintuitive but offering lower prices than the competition is an effective way to entice consumers to your business and away from competitors. People will generally always opt for the cheaper product if the quality is the same, and if you can win a large number of customers, then this will make up for the lower prices.
Create A Strong Brand Identity
Brand identity is what distinguishes you from the competition, and this is particularly true if the products are similar. Creating a strong and likeable brand identity will ensure that it is your company that springs to mind whenever the consumer requires a product that you can provide. Strong brand identity will involve a memorable name, a catchy slogan, an eye-catching logo and a pleasing color scheme which is consistent across the website, social media and any form of communication.
Reviews & Testimonials
It is easy to say that you offer the best products on the market, but it will be a lot more convincing if this comes from an existing customer. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, ratings, and testimonials on the website and on specific products to persuade potential customers to buy.
Marketing is crucial when starting out, as this is how you will boost brand awareness and compete with bigger names in the industry. Search engine optimization, PPC, content marketing, and other internet marketing practices can help small companies to increase their online presence and direct traffic to the e-commerce website. This can be an expense, but it is a vital step in announcing your brand and bringing in customers initially.
Social media is another powerful tool that an e-commerce company can use to grow their network and increase brand awareness. Be sure to post regular, relevant and informative content across multiple social media channels and engage with your target audience. Respond to any questions or comments in a professional and timely fashion.
When first starting out, a great way to announce your brand and appeal to a wide user base is to run a promotion on social media. Offering a free product for every like and share will expose your brand to a huge group — giving away a product for free will not be a huge loss when you generate an enormous amount of traffic to your website and build a much larger network. In addition to this, running various promotions and sales throughout the year at relevant times can have a huge impact on traffic and sales. Black Friday, Christmas, and Cyber Monday are a few examples, but you can also take advantage of peak sales in different countries and regions to fully capitalize on the boom during these periods.
Be sure to make customer service a priority, as this is important to consumers when shopping online. People like to feel like they are dealing with another person and not a corporation, so always be friendly and professional and carefully listen to what the consumer has to say whether it is on the phone or online. This should also result in positive reviews which other consumers will certainly take note of.
There is room for great success in the e-commerce market, but it is also fiercely competitive, and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Follow the above advice to establish a high-quality e-commerce model that will put you in the right position to succeed and stay ahead of the competition.