Before you even start building your e-commerce platform, consider these sound words of advice
BEAM 1 Mar, 2017
This article was first published on e27
E-commerce offers a wealth of opportunities. The potential for growth for digital startups leveraging e-commerce platforms is huge. However, it just has to be tapped the right way.
While there are several tactics that can help you nurture a new online venture, there is no exact road map that can be followed to achieve instant success. That’s because e-commerce differs from conventional selling. You have to adapt to its complexities, and you often learn by trial and error.
Another challenge involves constant technological updates. Whenever the next great thing comes along, do you adopt it, or do you stick with what you have? Whatever the hurdles, the huge growth prospects make online selling a lucrative proposition for entrepreneurs. You can make the most of these opportunities by adopting some fundamentals as a part of your business strategies.
Here is a good mix, if you want to succeed in your e-commerce endeavour:
To say that the online selling space is huge would be an understatement. However, with e-commerce becoming very competitive, you will need to differentiate your platform or marketplace, in order to set yourself apart from your competition. The success of your startup will depend on the niche you will explore. Come up with a unique idea for a marketplace, or a unique approach to addressing existing problems.
An e-commerce business starts with building an online store. Choosing the right platform for your e-commerce store development is the best way to strengthen its foundation. The platform should provide user-friendliness, customization, scalability, responsiveness, security, and usability to your store. You should identify the challenges and do some research to decide the platform that suits your requirements.
Defining the target audience and reaching out them are the key parameters of success for an e-commerce business. Here, your marketing strategy should involve the use of data and analytics to determine the best way to target your audience, the best messaging to use, and the right mediums for promoting your content.
Social media marketing can be integrated with SEO and content marketing for greater reach. As buyers share their reviews and testimonials on social channels, they act as your brand ambassadors. People tend to rely more on word of mouth rather than promotions and advertisements. Therefore, harnessing the power of user generated content and social media can be an effective way gain new users without much marketing spend.
Creating an appealing website is important, but providing a personalised experience is even more vital to effective user engagement. This means curating content and items in order to present only what’s essential and important to each user. Data and analytics also play a significant role in this context, as these enable consumer behaviour tracking, which can help you adjust marketing strategies on a per-user basis. Subscriptions, e-mailers, and customer support will create a direct relation with the buyers and help foster brand loyalty in them.
Discount offers and deals are a good way to promote sales for a startup, but going over the top with them is not advisable. Deep discounts may, in fact, ruin the image of the brand as it signals desperation. On the other hand, avail big marketing opportunities like holiday sales to increase the revenue and promote the brand.
Going omnichannel is another strategy that is effective for boosting the growth rate of your online startup. Investing in a mobile app for your online store opens it up to a wider audience as consumers today prefer to browse and shop on their smartphones. Additionally, you can leverage smartphones’ built-in features to enhance the online-to-offline experience, with functionalities like push notifications, location-based services, and click-to-call tools with robust mobile apps. You will also need to provide a streamlined and fast checkout process to reduce cart abandonment.
As an e-commerce startup, do not just think about growth, but also about scalability. Planning for the future is essential, as you would have to make some changes to scale up to your growing enterprise. These changes may relate to the size of transactions, shipments, international logistics, and cross-border payments. Similarly, speed, security, and structure of the website should be scalable to give a smooth user-experience as it grows over time.
There is immense competition in the e-commerce space today. Setting up an online store is not the biggest challenge, but sustaining and achieving growth is. Following these smart business strategies can, however, be an excellent support to help you take your startup to the next level.