With around 380 websites being created every minute, creating a successful e-commerce platform seems like an impossible fate. People are flooded with websites every day on their computers and mobile phones, how do you ensure that yours is special enough to be clicked on?
Thankfully, the opportunity for e-commerce growth isnt slowing down. In fact, amid the corona virus crisis its only getting more important as even more people head online. According to Statista, e-commerce sales are reported to grow up to 85 percent from their 2019 totals by 2022.
Every great business starts with a great idea – but careful, as you may already know even the most perfect idea won’t be successful without careful planning. Heres some tips to get you started:
1. Big names arent always the key to success
Many new e-commerce entrepreneurs may be under the impression that they need large retail sites to get behind them in order for their product to be successful. While signing agreements with big names like Amazon or Ebay may make you the big bucks, it doesnt mean they do your marketing for you. Theres a number of low cost or even free online tools to set up your own platform, if you´re going to do all your own marketing and communication you may as well be making all the money from your own sales.
2. Differentiation is everything
How do you convince potential consumers to buy your product when they have so much other choice? Consumers love sorting through the trends and finding the perfect product to spend their money on. So what makes your product the next best thing?
The key is to think different. Outside the box. Does it offer a unique selling point or competitive advantage? Is it environmentally friendly and more sustainable than your competitors product? The best way to find your target market and niche consumer is to get to know them: what do they really want from the product? What do they value the most?
3. Marketing & more marketing
Effective marketing can be the make or break of any e-commerce business. You may have the best ideas and the coolest product, but how will you make any sales if you dont promote your message? How will people know your product even exists? You may turn to bootstrapping or outsource these tasks, just make sure you have a clear idea of your target market and where they shop. Use a clear cut message and ensure your consumers know exactly what you can offer them. If you have a limited budget, get creative!
4. Be creative
This takes us straight on to tip number 4. Creativity is key. Just think of the billions of websites out there, dont get lost in the internet! Whatever industry you are in you will no doubt be competing with some big names. You might not have their marketing budget but you do have a unique idea and perspective which you can use to your advantage. The important thing is to understand your buyers: where do they go for fun? What are their online habits? What platforms do they use? Do they have any specific interests?
5. Get a dependable supplier
Having the right kind of supply chain for your business is everything. This starts with asking potential suppliers the right questions. Many products come with regulatory guidelines, so are they equipped to do this in your industry? What kind of quality control do they use? Can they keep up with the intended deadlines?
Communication is important as well as keeping a plan of action ready for unexpected changes.
6. What about scalability?
Planning for the future is very important when designing your business plan. Scalability should always come first. Finding the right supplier or wholesale facility to work with you on that is key. For example, the website platform you choose should be able to handle a spike in demand if orders increase. If a website is slow because of high traffic consumers will get frustrated and may turn to the competition for a quicker service. Make sure you have a plan in place in case you reach global audiences, too. Does your website accept international currencies, or offer shipping outside of your country?
7. Packaging is part of the experience
Loyal consumers are important to any company and those who love your brand love to be completely immersed in the experience of it. You may not have a physical store for your loyal consumers to marvel at, but you can still offer this multi-sensory and touchable brand experience as an e-commerce. This is where packaging comes in.
Packaging shouldnt just be functional – it should be personalized and trendy. Some companies have opted for biodegradable options if their consumers are looking for a sustainable touch. Others use scented bags and personalized notes. The moment of opening your brands product should be a beautiful experience for all consumers so an extra investment in packaging will go a long way.
8. Dont give up
Building a successful e-commerce site isn´t easy – but it is worth it. Launches dont always go as planned and they´ll be unexpected bumps a long the way. If you find in the long term that something isnt working, switch it up! Its part of the learning process. Try consumer surveys and see what your new customers want from you. Maintain a measurable business plan with frequent goals and reevaluation of your strategies. Find new interesting ways to tell your brands story and share your message, keep a look out for new consumers and find a steady supplier to work with. But most importantly, dont give up!