Key Steps To Success For eCommerce Businesses
The world of eCommerce is growing every day, with more and more merchants taking their business from physical to online shops, keeping up with the changing times. This is a smart business decision, as by the year 2040, as much as 95% of shopping will be facilitated by eCommerce.
However, since the eCommerce market is so popular, it can be hard for small businesses to compete with the giants of eCommerce. To do this, you need to know all the steps that lead to eCommerce business success.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the steps you need to take that will make your store successful enough to either put your online business for sale or keep running it yourself.
Pick the perfect niche
Many people decide they want to open an eCommerce store because it has a lot of potential, but don’t have all the details figured out yet. Before you rush into making a website for your store, you need to think of the perfect niche that can be successful.
It’s good to pick a niche you’re passionate about and have a lot of knowledge in. The next step is to do market research on your niche and the potential products you want to sell. Even if you believe there is a market for those products, that might not be the case.
Some things that need to go into your research include:
- Whether there is a market for your niche. To find out if your eCommerce store has the potential to be successful in the long run, conduct keyword research. See how often people search for products in your chosen niche and which keywords they use in those searches.
- Size of the market. If there are too many eCommerce vendors already in that niche, you’ll have a hard time finding success in it. On the other hand, don’t pick a niche that has absolutely no competition because that means there is simply no demand for it.
- What customers don’t like about the niche. For every niche, there are some things customers don’t like about the products. Do research online and see what kind of complaints customers have about some of them. You will need to find a way to resolve those issues and offer a better version of the same product.
Build your website to be customer-centric
Choosing the perfect niche is only a small part of eCommerce business success and the website you create to sell your products is just as important. Keep in mind that building the perfect eCommerce website isn’t for you but for the people who will visit it, so it needs to be customer-centric.
To create a customer-centric website, you need to put their comfort first and have features that will ensure their shopping experience is enjoyable:
- Easy navigation. Online shopping is supposed to be easy. If an eCommerce website has overly-complicated navigation, your visitors will just leave the website instead of finding a way to navigate it. Make your navigation simple and ensure customers can find everything in two or three clicks.
- Minimalistic design. Less is more when it comes to website design, especially for eCommerce websites. If you have too many elements and a design that’s too complex, website visitors will see your website as unprofessional and even untrustworthy.
- Responsive design. Mobile optimization needs to be a priority for all eCommerce websites, as many people use their smartphones to shop online and that number is only increasing. The worldwide mobile commerce share in eCommerce is expected to reach 9% by 2021.
Send out cold emails
Cold emails have a somewhat bad reputation nowadays and are seen as an outdated tactic that doesn’t work anymore. This kind of misconception has caused a lot of businesses to abandon the practice, but that’s actually a big mistake.
It’s important to mention that while most people think that cold emails are spam, they definitely aren’t. At least not if the sender knows how to write the perfect cold email. A cold email campaign can be a great way of getting your business off the ground and growing it.
Of course, to achieve that, you need to apply the best cold email strategies such as:
- Using your personal email account. One of the best ways to show your email isn’t spam is to make the email feel as personal as you can. This includes using your personal email address to send out all emails and signing them with your full name and the name of your business.
- Addressing the recipient by name. Personalization works both ways, and when you address the recipient by their first or full name, the email is more likely to be opened. Emails with personalized subject lines generate higher open rates and are generally received much better.
- Creating a connection. Every cold email attempts to make a connection with the recipient, but very few succeed. One of the easiest ways of creating a connection is to say why you emailed exactly that person. For example, you work in the same industry, you read their blog, you have similar interests, and so on.
- Making the email about them. Instead of rambling on about who you are and what your business does, tell the recipient what you can do for them, and focus on what matters to them. An email that’s crafted from the recipient’s perspective has a much warmer tone and a better chance to convert the reader.
Set up social media channels
To succeed in the 21st century, your business needs to have a social media presence if you want to see your eCommerce store grow. Marketers know very well how powerful social media can be and 73% of them believe that social media marketing has been somewhat or very effective for their business.
Here are some tips on how to use social media to grow your business:
- Create accounts on multiple platforms. Just one account on a single platform won’t be of too much use for you. Do research on your target audience to find out which social media channels they use and create your business accounts there. The most popular choices are usually Facebook and Instagram.
- Don’t just advertise. If you only post promotional content, your followers will become bored very fast. While it’s good to advertise occasionally, post other types of content that are educational and entertaining. You can also organize contests and giveaways.
- Reply to all comments. Show your customers you’re always there for them and want to develop good relationships by replying to all comments. Thank your followers for positive reviews and express the desire to solve any issues whenever someone has a complaint or a negative comment.
Starting an eCommerce business and building a website for it is the easy part, but getting it to succeed is going to be an uphill battle. With so much competition, you will sometimes need to work harder to achieve your goals.
However, don’t let all of that discourage you. If you follow all the steps you’ve just learned about, you will have a very successful store with a lot of loyal customers. At the end of the day, all of that hard work will definitely pay off.
Dave is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. In 2012, he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries.