In 2018, there was more than $504 billion worth of E-Commerce sales in the United States. By 2023, this figure is expected to reach $735 billion, representing a nearly 50 percent increase over just five years. The E-Commerce industry is alive and thriving. Naturally, businesses of all stripes are looking to get in on the action.
There are numerous benefits that can come from opening an E-Commerce store. Not only can your business reach millions—potentially billions—of internet users, but you can also significantly reduce many of your operating costs. With the right E-Commerce marketing strategy, your business will be able to increase its incoming cash flows and have a positive impact on your bottom line.
But while these potential benefits may be obvious, successfully running an E-Commerce enterprise can still be quite challenging. As the marketplace becomes more crowded and the digital competition continues to increase, it will be incredibly important for your business to adhere to a fundamentally sound strategy.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things to keep in mind when opening your first E-Commerce store. By building a solid foundation and making just a few key changes, your business will be well on its way to achieving its E-Commerce goals.
1. Don’t Assume you can Handle Everything on Your Own
One issue faced by many new business owners is their assumption that all tasks can be handled on their own. Even if they have had no experience running an E-Commerce store in the past, countless business owners will attempt to do so without any outside help.
While doing things yourself can potentially save some money, you’ll likely end up with an E-Commerce store that is less than perfect. This can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line over time. If your store requires more than a single landing page, you may want to consider hiring an outsourced E-Commerce specialist. They’ll help you create a user-friendly platform and prepare your books for the future.
2. Take Your Time Before Launching the Store
If you want your E-Commerce store to be successful, you’ll need to put in the necessary time and effort. Though you are certainly excited to begin raking in the profits, rushing to launch your store can create a variety of long-term problems. Instead of simply launching your store as soon as possible can, create a beta version and make sure that it is something your target audience will enjoy using. Investing extra effort upfront will pay substantial dividends over time.
3. Make Sure All E-Commerce Storefronts are Mobile Compatible
In 2017, mobile E-Commerce sales accounted for 34.5 percent of all E-Commerce sales and this figure is one that is surely increase over time. With more than one in three sales taking place in the mobile space, it will be very important to make sure that your platform is mobile compatible.
It may help to create a “simplified” version of your E-Commerce platform that will be easier for mobile devices to support. You’ll also want to confirm that all images, links, and functions are fully operable on both Apple and Android devices.
4. Compare Multiple Platforms Before Making a Final Decision
While Amazon generally dominates the E-Commerce space, other platforms—such as Shopify and Magento—can offer small business owners several unique advantages. These platforms are excellent for organizations trying to establish a sense of independence and control while operating in the E-Commerce space. Before deciding which platform is right for your business, take some time to compare your available options. Looking at things such as features, the typical user experience, and other essential details will help make it much easier to make your final decision.
5. Boost Your Store with SEO Marketing
For your store to be successful, you will first need to find ways to get people through the “front door.” Considering that an overwhelming majority of people find E-Commerce stores via a search engine (such as Google), search engine optimization will be very important.
SEO marketing can help your business appear on the first page of Google and improve its sales. Focusing on things such as keywords, readability, and offering useful information will make it easier for your business to leap ahead of its competitors.
6. Incorporate Social Media Elements
Another common way people find an E-Commerce platform is through social media. Establishing a firm presence on multiple social media platforms will help increase your reach and further reinforce the legitimacy of your business. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are three of the most commonly used social media platforms. By posting regularly on these platforms, you’ll be able to remind your target audience about your business and ultimately direct their attention to your actionable E-Commerce site.
7. Build In-Depth Data Bases
These days, running a successful enterprise online is all about collecting in-depth, reliable, and valuable data. Tracking your customer’s activities—where they click, how long they stay on each page, etc.—will make it much easier for you to determine which components of your site are performing well and which components still need some improvements. Collecting other information, especially geographic and (when available) demographic information, will also make it much easier to develop a targeted approach. Featuring cookies on your E-Commerce site has essentially become an industry standard.
8. Test your Platforms on a Regular Basis
Even if it “seems” your site looks good and that everything is ready to go, it will still be important to test your site on a regular basis. One of the surest ways a potential customer will leave the store is if the site or a portion of the site isn’t working. Hiring a professional to test your site will likely be worth the investment. However, actions such as clicking on the links, exploring your store, and making sure everything loads correctly are all things you can occasionally do on your own, too.
If you’ve decided to create an E-Commerce world, you’ve entered one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy. In order to remain competitive, you will need to make sure your store is as fit and operational as it can possibly be. By keeping these simple things in mind, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your E-Commerce objectives.
Further reading – “How to Start an Online Business in 8 Steps“