With over 100,000 serious ecommerce businesses earning money on the Internet, the prospect of selling online has never seemed more attractive.
But what does it take to win in this market? In this post, we’ll look at how to make an ecommerce venture successful.
Understanding the customer
As with all commercial ventures, knowing what the customer wants is paramount. Be sure you position yourself correctly. Are you a high-end seller or targeting the mass market?
Be sure to make it easy for customers to find what they want. Simple but clear navigation is key, and you can give your site a modern aesthetic by using design techniques like infinite scrolling.
Give your customers a good cross-channel experience to engage them, and increase the number of points at which they can see your brand. If you are running Facebook adverts, use the video feature to grab attention. If you produce an e-newsletter, triple-check the links to make sure there are no errors and to reduce the risk of losing customers as they go from touchpoint to touchpoint.
Fulfilment and delivery
It might seem like the last stage in the journey, but it’s really the most important as it’s often how customers decide whether to buy from you again.
That’s why it’s important to invest in the fulfilment stages of your supply chain. Your fulfilment house – an outsourced firm you can use to source and ship your products – should be a reputable company with good reviews.
Communication with the customer is key here, too. Take a little extra time to inform them of every stage of their order, such as dispatch dates.
Don’t let your business get a bad reputation through shoddy customer service – or, even worse, no customer service at all!
You should have a variety of methods on offer, including phone and email. Contact details should be prominently displayed in all communications with your customers. This includes on email correspondence, as well as in the footer – and ideally also the header – of your website.
And with the rise of cloud-based systems which allow you to outsource your support function and provide round-the-clock assistance to customers without directly employing staff, there’s no excuse not to have a customer service system in place.