While statistics may be capable of revealing a lot about a certain industry, they are often just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, while it is true that 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online and that 67 percent of millennials prefer e-commerce websites to actual stores, this does not mean that an e-commerce is a fail-proof business idea. Although lucrative, e-commerce is just like any other line of work, and in order to succeed, you need a proper game-plan, solid logistics, and enough endurance to see it through.
In order to help you out, here are the top five e-commerce tips that beginners in this industry might want to consider.
1. Start building return customers
According to numerous surveys, repeat businesses are incredibly advantageous for two reasons. Firstly, people who bought from you once are likely to do so again, provided they were satisfied with the quality of your service. Secondly, people who already made a successful purchase are likely to be much more courageous for their next purchase and willing to spend even more. In order to generate more repeat business, you need to start building a network of contacts. We are talking about gathering emails, getting in touch with people on social media, and other similar ideas.
2. Handle the logistics
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that the consistency and reliability of your business mostly depend on your logistics. In order to constantly provide your customers with products of the same level of quality, you need to have trusted suppliers. Apart from this, you also need to ensure the goods are always delivered on time, which is where your choice of freighting and delivery services comes in. In case your main supplier is from somewhere abroad, let’s say NSW, Australia, you will have to find someone well-versed in domestic storage, customs clearance and regional distribution laws. In this fictional scenario, the safest option would be finding a renowned customs broker from Sydney.
3. Focus on your categories
For a new business, the key to success lies in being able to turn impulse buying to your favour. Here, you will have a dilemma about how to form your categories. On the one hand, being too specific may prevent your customers from seeing what else you have in store that might interest them. However, making huge categories might make it impossible for them to find what they are looking for. The perfect middle-ground probably lies in creating a system of filters that will allow them to narrow down or expand their search with a single click.
4. Test, test and test again
Finally, no matter how insignificant of a change you make, you should always test your platform. While an idea may sound great from the outside, you never know how a minor change will tamper with the delicate system you have created beforehand. Luckily, a simple A/B testing is a safe and reliable way to check in a controlled environment how these alterations might act.
5. Create a network of contacts
In the first section, we described just how important it is to create channels for reaching your clients. The same goes for professional contacts. While someone from the outside may assume that people in your industry are your direct competitors, they would be surprised just how many beneficial cooperation ideas can emerge from these professional relationships. Aside from reaching out to other e-commerce retailers, you might also want to get in touch with niche-influencers and people of authority in your line of work.
With these five tips alone, you will already be well equipped to outperform even some of the larger e-commerce websites. Nonetheless, those who are looking to improve some more shouldn’t stop here. Creating unique content and offering free, next- or same-day shipping can also be useful e-commerce tips for you to consider. Alas, there are too many honourable mentions to fit on any list.
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