Selling your product or services on big-name websites such as eBay can be very restrictive in what you can and can’t do. However, building an online store allows you complete freedom over the decisions you make as a business. Whether it be the look and feel of your branding, increased interaction with your customers, or just simply having a business you can call your own.
There’s a certain beauty in owning your own eCommerce store, and as the growth of the industry skyrockets, we’d like to share with you 7 tips to help guide you on the path to success.
1 • Build a brand and make it great.
Why do you instantly think of Google when you want to find some information, instead of the 150-ish other ones out there? Branding. It’s what separates your business from the crowd. The UK eCommerce market made around £140bn in sales in 2020, so you aren’t the only person doing this. That means there’s going to be very little that truly sets you apart from the crowd, branding, however, is one of these. Make it count.
Anchor your name to a specific eCommerce market. Create a brand so strong that when a customer thinks about a certain service or product, they think of you. A brand is more than just a strong visual identity, it’s an all-encompassing subconscious evaluation by everyone that sees it. Everything is considered, customer service, product quality, speed, ease and the list goes on. It’s not enough to design a quirky logo and move on.
2 • Over-deliver to your customers.
Your success in eCommerce is going to be in direct proportion to the value you provide. If you can’t provide value, how can you expect anything in return? No one, for the most part, is successful online without providing a product or service that a customer actually wants. A smart salesperson would never attempt to sell ice to Eskimos, there is no value to the customer.
Providing a fantastic overall service can do nothing but good but your online business, do this and your brand begins to build itself organically, customer loyalty builds like a wildfire. Be like Amazon, make everything you do of a direct benefit to the customer.
3 • Provide a product, but sell an experience.
Find us something you can sell that you can’t buy anywhere else, and we’ll buy you lunch. The odds are there’s an abundance of online stores selling almost exactly the same product as you, you need to stand out for more than just your product. Don’t focus too much what it actually is you sell online, but instead, focus on the way you sell it.
Do you truly understand your customer’s needs? Is buying online from your business simple or a chore? What about returns, how stressful is it to send a faulty item back to yourselves? It’s questions like these that formulate the overall shopping experience.
What was the difference between HMV (the music retailer) and iTunes? One business was selling music albums, the other sold an experience. The convenience of finding and listening to any song you could think of, wherever you were, whenever you want. iTunes sold the experience.
4 • Captivating web design 👌
You’ve only got one chance to make a good first impression, and when you’re surrounded by hungry competition, you need to make it good. Colours, font, imagery and overall usability of a website are just some aspects to name a few that affect a potential buyer’s decision. Sales in its simplest form, it the art of persuasion. It’s down to you to entice the user to choose you.
Unless you have a significant amount of spare time on your hands, in order to build a profitable eCommerce experience, you should look to seek help from professionals. Web designers understand the intricacies of exactly what an online store needs in order to perform correctly. If you wanted an extension built on your house or a new tattoo, would you go at it alone or leave to the experts?
5 • Get seen on search engines.
You can’t compete in your industry if no one can see you. Search engine optimisation is the magical art of ranking on the first page of Google, an often-overlooked area of incredible importance for newcomers to the eCommerce industry. You could have the single greatest product on earth, with the most exceptional customer service the world has ever seen, and the most innovative web design in the market – but if you’re SEO isn’t up to scratch it’s a lot of hard work for nothing. A strong organic search campaign will help you stay in the competition in the long term.
6 • Learn from your mistakes and evolve.
You’re going to get things wrong and fail at some aspects along the way, it’s how you grow. But you must accept this will happen in order for your online business to move forward.
Detach your emotions from the business and act logically, being reactive rather than proactive is a recipe for disaster, mentally and financially. Learn from your mistakes, learn to look at them as a lesson rather than a burden. You can profit in two ways, financially or educationally. You can’t learn everything on blogs and youtube.
7 • Be fast.
Time is money, literally, in the world of eCommerce. I’m talking about the speed of your website. Not only is speed a critical ranking factor for Google (which is a strong enough argument alone), but the potential damage a slow website can cause is costly.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors visiting your website who exit after the first page, a site with a 2s loading time has an average bounce rate is 9%, whereas, after 5s, it has skyrocketed to 38%!
I’d probably still be writing this tomorrow if I listed all the statistics associated with web speed and sales conversions, so if you want to know more either give us a call or do a little research. But make sure when working with an eCommerce design agency, they understand the importance of page speed and how much it affects sales.
And finally... Act.
Ideas without action are just ideas, they’re essentially pointless. You’re never going to be able to say you confidently know everything you need to know to succeed by sheer studying. So act, the hardest part is taking the dive and getting started, we believe in you!