The online world has been evolving exponentially over the last decade. So much so, in fact, that it has changed the face of the way people do business worldwide. It has impacted the way businesses operate from marketing strategies, business processes and logistical processes. But one of the biggest evolutions of the digital age is the introduction of eCommerce.
Over the last decade, eCommerce has become one of the biggest sources of competition to the traditional brick and mortar stores. In fact, the industry has developed at such an explosive pace that research has shown that by the end of 2019, online retail will amount to $3.5 trillion. In fact, by 2025, it is predicted that online sales might overtake that of the normal brick and mortar retail. And, with the evolving and improving state of technology, as well as an increase of consumer trust and interest, this may happen sooner than expected.
So, if you are thinking of jumping on the online bandwagon, and creating an online empire for yourself, now is the time to do it. According to Training Connection, a traditional computer and business skills training company, there are certain online skills people need to learn before considering setting up an Internet-based business.
There are a number of steps that you have to do right before the dollars start rolling in, and this is where we come in. Below, we will take you through a few guidelines on getting your business off the ground and making yourself an eCommerce success.
Start With Your Website
Let’s start with the basics. The first thing you will need to do is get yourself a website. Now, this may seem somewhat redundant and obvious, but you will need to make sure that the website that you start with will be able to grow with you and your business. Many companies start off with the simpler, cheaper option, thinking that it will be simple to expand it as they do. The problem with this is that it is more expensive and a lot more tedious in the long run.
You have several options for creating a website for your business. The first option, which could be a great option if you are planning on establishing a successful and profitable business is buying a website. There are a number of websites for sale globally that could kickstart your business. Not only are they already established, taking out the hard work of development and the hours of site creation, but they already have established traffic. Essentially, you will be acquiring the business, and molding it into your own. This could possibly be the more expensive route, and you will need to adapt your brand to what has been established, but for a busy entrepreneur, this could be a good route to take.
The second option is to create a site from scratch. You could choose to develop it from the ground up, which once again, could be a costly and long exercise. However, this site will be tailor-made to your unique needs and brand. Lastly, you could use an already established platform like WordPress to create your site. Using their various templates and tools, you can create a site to suit your needs. The downfall here is that should your business expand exponentially, you will be stuck with the limited features of what the platform has to offer. Don’t let finances stop you from creating the perfect website that caters to your clients’ needs. You may think that only the priciest option will get your business to the big league, but a lot of effort goes a long way. If it really comes down to it, there are several places where you can ask for business loans, so read up about SBA loans and decide whether that’s going to help you build the best website possible.
Map Out Your Goals And Strategy
The next thing you need to look at when you start a business is your business plan. You will need to ensure that you have a unique and sellable product to gain attention. But, in addition to that, you will need a strategic plan to get your product out onto the market. Having a business plan is key to setting out marketing strategies, financial goalposts, and weekly, monthly and annual expectations. If need be, hire a professional business plan writer to ensure that your business plan is professional and highly marketable for investors and partners.
Not only will this define your business going forward, but you will be able to provide it to investors, partners, sponsors, and even potential long-term clients. Make sure that your template is editable as you will find that your priorities and goal posts will move as you go along. You will also experience a shift in marketing tactics as you grow. The eCommerce industry is all about learning and as you experience it first hand, you will adapt and add features to your strategy.
Define Your Brand
The last key aspect of your brand new site is your brand. It not only sets you apart from your competitors but establishes who you are to your clients. Research has proven that branding establishes recognition and familiarity with your customers. The right branding will also promote engagement and a sense of loyalty and trust with customers.
Start by choosing the right name for your website. Make sure it relates to the product or service you are selling. Also, try not to make it too complicated. Your customer is faced with hundreds of brands and products on a daily basis, so you will want to be remembered as much as possible. A catchy and well-thought-out name will also allow you to rank highly on Google, which is vital for search purposes.
Map out your brand carefully and meticulously before simply launching your site. You will need to know who your target audience is to ensure that everything you are creating will be relatable and will reach out to them. Your wording and content will need to appeal to the customer, as well as ensure your SEO ranking is considered. Images and colors need to be carefully picked and added to ensure uniformity as well as relation to your product and website. Lastly, your branding will need to be uniform across every channel, as well as conveyed by your staff and customer services.
In today’s marketplace, good customer service is crucial if you want to compete effectively.
The key aspect to keep in mind is that your customer needs to be surprised and delighted at all stages of dealing with your site. By creating a solid, and well-thought-out foundation, you will be able to build up a sellable and successful brand and business. Good luck, and keep in mind to keep track of the changing aspects of eCommerce. Watch your competition, and keep ahead of the pack, and lastly, go out of your way to meet your customer needs and expectations. Moreover if you want to learn more business skills that’ll help your eCommerce business, visit Training Connection and sign up for a hands-on business skills training.
Video – What is E-Commerce?