They say timing is everything, don’t they?
For instance, in cricket, hitting the ball after it has struck the stumps is pointless.
Online business is exactly the same. It would be crazy to start an e-commerce business selling VHS videos today as everyone uses DVDs or streams.
Making a comprehensive business plan and doing proper due diligence and research will avoid making such timing errors – but, although the timing is crucial, it isn’t the only factor to think about.
If you own an online store, one of the most important things to watch out for is trends. Ecommerce business runs on trends. What’s in? What’s out?
So, how do you find out?
Google handles most of Australia’s search queries – a staggering 94% – Bing gets just over 3.5%, with Duck Duck Go and Yahoo making up the rest. This is why a great place to start your own e-commerce business adventure is by using a site like “Google Trends” or “Exploding Trends” to check out what goods, services or ideas are gaining traction – ideally, way before the competition.
Once you’ve identified your target product and market, you can assess your online marketing options. If you’re not familiar with how e-commerce marketing works, it might be worth engaging a digital marketing company to do the legwork for you.
A competent digital marketing agency will know its way around search engine optimization and social media marketing. This will save you hours of trial and error with different digital marketing strategies, which may or may not work.
Digital marketing companies who can find their way around search engine optimisation are worth their weight in gold.
The right digital marketing campaigns, whether on social media platforms or using content marketing, can make millions in a very short space of time using digital strategy best practices and savvy advertising.
One of the best ways to find search marketing services is to join an entrepreneur site, Facebook group or discussion forum, and ask for recommendations. You can also peek at other sites and groups in your niche and see who has the best digital marketing strategy, find out who is responsible for it, and see if you can use their internet marketing services yourself.
Online marketing services vary wildly and the conversion rate optimization of your digital marketing service should be one of the first areas you check upon. You can have the best-looking website, Instagram or Facebook page, but if it’s not being found or converting, you are throwing your social media advertising budget down the drain.
Properly driven digital marketing and social media management can be a game-changer for any E-commerce line which gets results.
One of the most difficult areas for growing e-commerce platforms is that of data protection solutions. Your host’s servers mostly take care of the cloud data protection and have a high degree of security, but that still leaves your local data vulnerable.
Holding such local customer data – credit card details, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers – demands modern data protection protocols being in place. Aside from the possibility of being sued for negligence if data is revealed to 3rd parties, it makes sense to have reliable data protection for your own peace of mind.
Data retention also encompasses things like disaster recovery and backup recovery, should there be a major problem. Once your e-commerce store is set up, business continuity is a key consideration in your planning, in the future.
Developing leadership skills is important. Leaders need risk management, interpersonal skills, and soft skills to encourage staff and maintain the development of the business.
Communication skills are also paramount if you are to look after your team members effectively. For example, one of leadership’s top roles is to make sure that during periods like the Covid pandemic, staff mental health and well-being are front and centre.
Not everyone is a born leader and for some, management is a nightmare. If you struggle in this area, there are many online leadership courses or you can take. These online courses cover all aspects of leadership; from resource management, emotional intelligence and professional development, to workplace relationships.
You develop critical thinking, and hone your management skills, even on the short courses that are out there. An advanced diploma or graduate diploma is a more comprehensive take on management courses, covering project management and human resource management as a strategic leader, in greater depth.
All of these areas of study lead back to the main purpose of any business – customer service.
An e-commerce outfit without a hot customer service team and decent CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) is doomed to fail In today’s fast-paced business environment.
Building customer service teams is essential for any small business which wants its customer relationships to be ongoing.
Cross-selling and further sales through upselling are the lifeblood of any small business online. CRM systems ensure that marketing automation and contact management for your sales team make this as easy as possible.
Satisfied customers leave great reviews and testimonials, and these are builders of authority helping to make your business authentic in the eyes of new customers. This kind of customer-led marketing is essential for social media, where a critical review or negative comment can spell disaster for any product or service.
Get the CRM solution Right and the rest will follow.
Live chat and chatbots are another way of making sure that your customer service is efficient and helpful. Customer support and information data can be used to improve your website, frequently asked questions, emailing and other sales tools.
Whatever your e-commerce businesses are selling; from cheeses to used cars, to small compressor units, joined-up management and customer service will be the key to your success or failure.