Many people decide to open an online store nowadays because it seems to be cheap to jump into, easy to run besides a full time job, and cool to tell about it to anyone. The opportunity to get money easily is tempting but there are a few rules of maintaining an online store if you don’t want to just burn money without getting any results.
There are many things you need to take care of. Now we elaborate on how to do your e-commerce steps neatly from the beginning, from getting an idea through setting up the actual online store to make the first sales, including how to behave after the purchase happened. You are going to read about 10 rules that can help you make your e-com dreams come true.
1. Have unique, quality products – work with trustworthy suppliers
One of the most important factors of keeping up an online store is to offer products that people need on your target location. You need to find a niche. Sell items that are not like the ones you can find in every others’ online store.
You can get product ideas from just sitting down and thinking about what is missing from the market where you live or where you want to sell with your business. You can also ask your friends and family what they think would be beneficial to vend. Another way is to search for appropriate forums, Facebook groups or supplier directories, there are many you can find.
However, there is one thing that is better to avoid if you want to be successful in the long run and you want to get sales. Think about marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, AliExpress or many other. Imagine buying from these places as an individual. You don’t like spending much money there because you are afraid of scams, not getting the products, no warranty, cheap quality, and you probably also don’t prefer waiting long weeks or even months for the item you ordered.
The situation is the same when a retailer wants to get products from marketplaces to sell those in their own online store. Your customers need to wait for those bad quality items for a long time and there is just one unnecessary participant in this process, this is you. People can also buy those stuff directly from the marketplace, and that would be cheaper for them. It’s a bad bargain for you. Also, don’t forget about the fact that many other online store owners sell from these places, so there’s no chance to be unique.
Instead of this, it’s better to choose a real supplier from your location with quality products. Believe me, there are many you haven’t known about. In this case, you don’t need to worry about warranty, long delivery time or lost packages, just to give a few examples.
After finding the best supplier that’s service meets your needs, you have to contact them and ask for a data feed file so that you can import their products into your online store with the help of a product sourcing application, for example Syncee that works on one of the biggest e-commerce platforms, Shopify. It’s also important to use a product managing application so that your products can be always up-to-date and so that your customers wouldn’t have to face messages like the item is out of stock, always, because of manual product managing.
2. Work on a reliable e-commerce platform
Working on a reliable e-commerce platform makes your job and life easier. There are many platforms available on the internet now, one of these is Shopify. These places can have you covered all the way.
They are user-friendly, and being all-in-one, turn-key e-commerce solutions. Choose a platform that is stable, rational, resilient, and has a serious development team. If you are not into technical skills and details, you can get every help on these places and running your online store can be so much fun. Install useful applications, focus on selling, and enjoy the secure and speedy service, the easy customization and the presence of payment gateways, with help.
Because of these sites we can say that it’s never been easier to start an e-commerce business.
3. Do marketing right
When it’s about marketing, do not focus on a seemingly incorrect facts like only spending a lot of money without a clue and conversion. There’s no other choice, you have to promote your online store somewhere, somehow. You can’t just sit on your sofa waiting after opening your store.
What ways are available for you?
Facebook – share posts on your profile frequently with the right hashtags, pin posts to your top of your feed, use the Facebook Ads. Share your content in the right time. Target well.
Instagram – share aesthetic images, use the best hashtags, get involved with the world of Instagram stories, and work with paid advertisement too if you have products or a service that is related.
Twitter – The USA has the most active Twitter users. So if your target audience is located there, it would be a good decision to post there too, it wouldn’t take much effort.
Pinterest – Share your product imagery on Pinterest, use this platform to redirect customers to your store with the site’s own service.
YouTube – Create fascinating videos about your best selling or coolest products, share your company’s story there.
LinkedIn – This site is more formal than the others mentioned here. If someone gets in contact with you on LinkedIn, probably there’s a serious intention behind it.
If you have profiles on these platforms, people can check you out in more ways and they can be sure that you have a reliable business who takes care about its service and the customers.
Use Google AdSense, Google AdWords, send newsletters, unique e-mails. Also, don’t forget about affiliate programs cooperating with the best influencers.
After a purchase happened, by the way, you are not done. You have to make sure that your buyers will come back to you. You can do it with remarketing processes, or with efficient, nice, and kind newsletters, surprises. Keep them motivated.
4. Have an excellent customer service
An excellent customer service is one of the most important keys besides quality and unique products to be successful as a retailer. Answer customers’ questions as soon as possible, create a FAQ menu, share your contact details, provide a live chat on your site, and share every important information on submenus like the size chart, delivery time etc. When it’s about communication, always be respectful. If customers have a good experience on how you treat them, they will most likely get back to your place.
5. Build a neat website
People judge by the books cover, people judge an online store by its design. Make sure that the structure and the colors are aesthetic, that you have high-quality images, and that it’s easy to find anything on the website. Try a responsive design to make the user-experience better — that’s what this Cincinnati web design company offers.
If you are searching for a product in online stores, you probably prefer buying from a neat one than from a site that looks cheap and messy.
6. Have good prices
Promoting that you have good prices and discounts can get you to be remembered. Make sure that you will get a nice income with your prices set. Check how your competitors behave, and think about what would be a price that your target audience would accept. Do not set too low prices because that way many people would feel uncomfortable.
7. Provide a short delivery time
If you are working with local suppliers you can provide a short delivery time to your customers. They will like it for sure, and would choose your service instead of others’.
8. Don’t fray customers’ nerves
How can you fray their nerves? With a lot of pop-ups on your website, with sharing 5 useless, gross posts/day on social media, with sending a lot of newsletters without a serious reason but with empty words.
9. Write a blog
Writing a blog is a good way to inform customers about how to use a product, why it is beneficial to purchase. Your posts don’t always have to be about your products themselves, you can write any topics related to your market, to what you are selling. It’s good because your articles can be inspirational and it’s a good marketing tool too, you can use it as an advertising content on your social media sites.
10. Always double-check what you do
Make sure that everything is neat about and around your online store, website and social media activity. You can check things on your own or you can ask your friends, family members or if you have, your coworkers to help you for example if English is not your native language, and your texts need proofreading.
It’s important so that it can be obvious to everyone that you care about your business, your customers, and whatever you do is fine and worth relying on. They can think that if your corporate identity and everything looks good including your website and a fine social media activity, then your products will worth putting money in too.
About the author: Barbara Racz is a content manager and e-commerce adviser at Syncee. Her passion is strong for e-commerce novelties, online stores. She is committed to helping others succeed by her writings.