To establish an online marketplace and successfully live through those first crucial 18 months requires diligent planning and execution. Previously, we spoke about properly managing the Branding, Funding and Marketing aspects of an ecommerce business. This week, we will be trending towards other important factors.
To be honest, I’m concerned about our aspiring entrepreneurs and traditional business owners who form a larger part of our ecommerce community. They are convinced by the idea of making fast money through the seemingly easy mechanism- take orders and ship. Apparently, nothing can be farther from the truth. Just like the dotcom bubble, the ecommerce myth of making quick money will burst.
No doubt, some of the leading companies have set great examples of successful integration of traditional and virtual organizational functions. But then, tricks and tactics that have worked for them may not be suitable for each and every business. The key is to build a supportive business model that can give big companies a tough competition and also keep the market high.
Many times, my team has confronted the same issue and hence we have come forth to make our budding entrepreneurs understand the fundamental truths.
Let us explore the decisive factors that are going to make or mar your ebusiness…
Not knowing the importance of a well-designed website makes you a Rookie!
Only when your ecommerce website development is done in a way that it looks unique and eye-catching, you’ll get noticed. Encourage flexibility and usability of your site; this can earn you those extra Brownie points and distinguish you from your competitors. Your products and its features will occupy a large space of your website and therefore it is essential to maintain a cordial relation between them. Go for a universal look on every page as it eases navigation.
It can be very tempting in the era of dynamic graphical presentation to make your website as creative as possible with all those high end illustrations, pictures, graphic artwork and stimulating visuals. But, will it serve the purpose? You’ll eventually lose on response time. Instead of augmenting your clients or consumer’s experience, you’ll be tormenting them.
Enable sharing ability; give links to your videos, social media pages, newsletters, Industry updates, your achievements and the recent headlines that you have been making. It will build trust and drive engagement.
I’ve collected a few good looking websites for your reference.
Carelessness with customer service means a social media suicide.
We, as humans often crave for that extra attention and if someone fails to give us that, we chuck them! Hasn’t it happened to you that you visited a restaurant and received a very unpleasant treatment? Waiting, latency in order and unresponsive attendants make you irate and then you think of never visiting them again, besides damaging their reputation by the word of mouth and social media.
The same logic applies here as well. Customer service is very crucial for any business and if your customers are not satisfied with the level of service then you need to step back a little and think over again. Ecommerce offers limited scope for your business to interact with your consumers, completely nullifying the personal touch. Therefore, you should invest heavily in increasing customer experience and enforce a friendly approach.
Use ‘Live Chat’ to answer your customer’s queries and acquire a knowledgeable team to assist them instantaneously. Display your ‘Contact Us’ on every single page to be seen easily. Besides, promote your FAQ’s page, obtain feedback from frequent surveys, use your client’s data for good; wish your customers on special occasions, and maintain a detailed product page. If you’ve managed to keep all these factors in sync with your online business then you’ll definitely create your own niche in the marketplace.
Don’t hold back on your Shipping!
Shipping- A factor that has been more talked and discussed than ecommerce itself. Multimillion companies such as Walmart, Amazon, eBay and others have invested significantly to determine the capacity of such an arrangement at a very large scale, where customers at their convenience can order and receive their desired goods and services.
Shipping is a factor that cannot be loosely managed while doing business online. It is very important to have it flawlessly arranged, so that your clients receive their orders in time. For this, I recommend businesses to select a minimum of two channel partners with an extended reach in consideration to your target region. Make sure that your packaging is attractive and branded properly with your logo and design. Provide tracking information source to keep them alert, provide competitive shipping rates and above all give them fast shipping.