5 important points when starting your eCommerce business

 

A successful eCommerce website can bring many benefits to your business: we all know that. Yet, running an eCommerce business is not only a matter of conducting online operations and offline logistics. Launching your eCommerce business also requires quite a lot of brainwork about your company, its business model, your customers, and their needs. To help you on this rewarding journey, our experts deliver here 5 essential steps you must take to set your eCommerce at the top of the ladder.  

Invest in a business plan  

It may seem like common sense but researching your industry can go a long way for your business health.  

  • Who are your main competitors? How are they operating their online sites? What is their unique value-add? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their eCommerce platforms?  
  • Who is your target? Are there enough potential customers to make your business profitable?  
    • For B2C, some data points you must consider are their age, location, interests, language, spending patterns. 
    • For B2B, you should investigate the size of the companies that buy from you. Also, pay attention to information about the titles of the professionals who make the buying decisions.  

Once you have a clear view of your market, go ahead and start writing your business plan. This communication document is essential to win banks, suppliers, distributors and partners over. It will also help you make intelligent decisions towards satisfying your current customers and attracting new ones.  

 

Build a proper eCommerce model 

When setting up an eCommerce business, people usually think of “top of the iceberg” steps, such as registering your business, choosing a domain name, designing the website, etc.  

But the best online shopping experience doesn’t only come from a beautiful interface. The way your eCommerce platform works and connects with offline stores also influences your customers’ experience.  

This is why “omnichannel” has become the most popular marketing model recently. You should definitely find an expert in eCommerce solutions to support you in building these platforms.  

 

Weigh in shipping options

Logistics is a great part of any successful eCommerce. As much as customers love buying things online, they hate waiting to get them. Shipping impacts both your customer experience and your profitability. Give it some thought!

Within your shipping policy, pay attention to 2 elements:

  • Shipping cost, for the customer and for you. Here are the classic alternatives.  
    • Free shipping. Even if shipping is free for your clients, someone still has to pay for it. To make free shipping work, consider:  
      • increasing your prices to partially cover shipping costs 
      • encouraging your customers to spend more to get free shipping, by setting a minimum order amount.  
    • Real-time carriers rates. Generate live shipping options by integrating your eCommerce platform with a variety of carriers. This way, your customers pay for the delivery service they want.  
    • Flat rate. This works when your eCommerce offers a consistent line of products, around the same height and weight. 
       
  • Shipping delays. Speed is now central to customer experience. According to the 2018 State of eCommerce Delivery, 55% of consumers want a one-hour delivery in metropolitan areas. Same-day shipping will thus become more prominent.  

 

Identify your Key Performance Indicators  

Measure your eCommerce performance and success with KPIs. Identifying them is the hard step. To do so, you need to translate your business objectives into measurable indicators. For example, if your goal is to convert 30% of your website visitors, you can choose these indicators: conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, number of pages seen.  

KPIs will mark the important milestones of your online business’s success. So use them as a guide whenever you need to make decisions. Monitoring the performance goals will also help you evaluate how far your online business progresses in sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction. 

 

Market your business  

Last but not least, make your business visible to as many people as possible. A relevant marketing strategy will help you reach your audience and engage with them.  

Map out your customer journey to connect with your audience through various channels. Touchpoints often include social networks, email, SMS, advertising, and online stores. Design targeted initiatives that drive shared experiences, reviews, and referrals online.  

 

As you may have already heard: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Remember these 5 points when launching your eCommerce business to set it on a successful path.

To go further, you can read our article summarizing what you need to know to understand eCommerce, including terms to know, benefits of an online store for your company, and UX & marketing suggestions to take your eCommerce next level.

If you want to start your eCommerce business today and improve your customers’ experience through the best technology and digital marketing solutions, our experts are willing to help. Contact us at www.sai-digital.com/contact-us/