It is one thing to have an idea of a niche you wish to service with an ecommerce company, but it is a whole other task to build a strong foundation on which your site can manage and maintain growth.
Many ecommerce sites that start strong are done so through the power of a great idea. The only problem with this approach is that the idea is the root, not a strong business plan or vision for the future. Ecommerce is always changing, and the various site features, products, and marketing techniques you use may change as your website grows and adapts to customer feedback.
Below we will take a brief look at establishing a foundation for your fledgling ecommerce company.
Start with a Well-Built Website
When an entrepreneur wants to set up a brick-and-mortar retail store, they must find a location that suits them. Does the area get lots of foot traffic? Is the neighborhood safe? Is the rent affordable?
But when you work in ecommerce, location hardly matters because everything exists in cyberspace. So, a number of different questions arise. Will the website be secure enough to process payments and customer information? Will the website be able to handle excessive traffic, images, pages, and video? Is the web or domain host affordable?
While some ecommerce sellers choose to build their e-store from scratch, it is arguably more affordable and beneficial to leverage an ecommerce platform. What is an ecommerce platform? Basically, it’s a prefab solution to launching an ecommerce store. It handles everything you need – including checkout pages, business tools, security features, etc. – so you can focus on selling products online, rather than fumble around with a bunch of tech mumbo-jumbo.
And since these platforms are managed by the provider, you can reach out to their support team in case anything breaks. Which is preferable to troubleshooting your own e-store.
Choose a Product Worth Selling
Ecommerce is always changing, and the various site features, products, and marketing techniques you use may change as your website grows and adapts to customer feedback.
The next thing you are going to want to consider is the viability of your product offerings. While selling novelty T-shirts is cheap and easy, it might not provide the profits your e-store needs to stay afloat. Why? Because the markup and margins are so thin, even if you sell a lot of shirts. Conversely, if you choose to sell high-end electronics or expensive furniture sets, you will likely sell less merchandise overall, but enjoy heftier markups.
For these reasons, many ecommerce sellers prefer to sell a mixture of high-cost and low-cost products. The high-cost products require longer sales funnels than low-cost products, but usually yield a higher return on invest per sale. Low-cost products, on the other hand, often trigger impulse purchases which can be a boon for your e-store.
The point of this section is not to talk you out of selling a particular set of products, but rather to make you think about what you are selling and whether or not it’s worth it to your overall profits.
Focus on Customer Experience
When it comes to establishing a firm foundation to your ecommerce company, you must consider the people actually paying you to stay in business – your customers!
Yes, customer service and positive customer experience are essential to your overall success. But do you know how to keep your shoppers happy? It’s a loaded question to be sure. But really it comes down to three things: ease of use, reliability, and courtesy.
Ease of Use
If things take too long to load, images are crummy, or the customer experiences a lot of broken links, they are less likely to buy from your ecommerce site.
Is your website built with the customer in mind? It should be! Doublecheck your website’s navigation to make sure that pages are easy to find and easy to use. The same thing goes for your website load times, high-res images, and website interlinking. If things take too long to load, images are crummy, or the customer experiences a lot of broken links, they are less likely to buy from your ecommerce site.
If your products are of high quality and your shipping is on-time, buyers will be more likely to buy from you again. It’s just that simple.
If your ecommerce brand is quick to remedy customer complaints and is engaging and friendly on social media, shoppers will reward you with purchases. If not, then you risk losing business.
In the end, the foundation of your ecommerce company depends heavily on your website, your products, and your customer interactions. If you keep these three categories in mind, you’ll be in a good place to grow your business. Good luck!