7 Minute Read.
Businesses always question both their strategy and channels when it comes to digital marketing. We cover the basics and go into detail on how you should be building up your e-commerce business. Be warned, as it won’t happen overnight.
In recent times, it has become clear that the world needs online purchasing options for pretty much everything. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the need for online shopping has become even more pronounced. In general, as the world recovers from the pandemic over the coming months, it will become even more important to be able to service your customers effectively and efficiently online.
We thought we would help you along the road to making your e-commerce business stand out, gain more engagement and work smarter. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what to do to get the most out of e-commerce in your sector. And, particularly for those who are just starting in e-commerce, we will show you how to accelerate what you’re doing. This should put you ahead of the curve much quicker.
If you are already an e-commerce brand or organisation that is struggling or looking to get into the sector, it’s always worth or while doing some research to get you started off, so what typically is e-commerce?
Getting To Grips With E-commerce Can Be A Struggle
Learning the basics of e-commerce.
E-commerce typically refers to electronic commerce or transactions conducted via the internet. Every time a company or a person buys or sells something online, they are then engaging in e-commerce. The term also comes from activities like online auctions, internet banking and online ticketing which is descended from.
We first have to take you back all the way to 1994 when a man named Phil Brandenberger made the first internet e-commerce transaction as he purchased a book on the internet for $12.48. In theory, this would set the internet alight and path away, for now, the most wealthy companies in the world. The rise of companies like Amazon and Alibaba in the mid-1990s changed the face of retail and selling products to any place on the globe. It is clear that the e-commerce sector is tough for competition; however, each has a sector that can be mastered.
Let’s explore some of the ways that you can get ahead of the competition to build a successful e-commerce organisation from any location or corner of the planet.
The Key Is To Make Your Customer Experience Exceptional
Make sure the customer is always prioritised.
Before you’re even finding customers and making sales, you should be focused on making sure that each customer will get the very best experience possible. It has to be ingrained in your ethos, and how you work. Getting this part right before you ring up your first sale is absolutely a clear component of a successful e-commerce operation. And if you’re starting, adhering to true customer service excellence will accelerate your growth.
This requires a uniform approach. And you must understand that the customer experience does not stop once that customer has received their goods. In fact, that is arguably when the customer experience is actually just beginning. After they have taken delivery, keeping up great customer relations means asking customer satisfaction questions, offering discounts, and generally making a customer feel that they now belong in your ‘club’.
Some small tips that we would suggest:
– Work on making sure that your customer experience is completely personalised. The recent explosion in customer data means that customers are fully aware that you have their data. They expect you to use it to make their customer experience more personal and authentic.
– Make the mobile experience perfect. Gone are the days when customers used to ‘finish’ shopping on the desktop after researching on mobile. Everything has to happen now on mobile, from research to payment. Make the mobile experience one that they rave about to their friends.
Your Business Model Needs To Be Rapid, Speed & Agility Is So Important
You’re going to need to make sure that your business can handle large orders.
This next way to accelerate growth is simple. With Covid-19 being such a disruptive force, many brands have found that they had to deal with more online orders. This should have been bread and butter stuff for e-commerce stores, but they still found it hard, especially when orders started piling up. A great e-commerce operation relies upon offering responsive and personal customer service. However, when orders are piling up due to a pandemic or just because growth is happening, keeping it personal and delivering orders is a difficult balancing act.
This is where agility comes in. Being focused on fulfilling orders and managing an operation should never mean customers suffer. In fact, customers are now looking to eCommerce companies for a personal level of service. The e-commerce brands have to respond by thinking outside the box, pulling teams together and being more resourceful. If this means changing the way you do things in a heartbeat, so be it. If this means making a huge pivot in the middle of a week, so be it.
Basically, speed and agility count. So if that means working until three in the morning to fulfil an order with a personal note attached, so be it.
Research Is Key To Any Business
Make sure you know your product and industry, and even more importantly, your market.
Before you do anything around e-commerce, it is important to carry out some research. This means finding out what is working in the field you want to enter and why.
This research shouldn’t stop there, though. A strong bedrock of research will indeed allow you to get a great start in e-commerce, but giving up on that research once your company has started only means that you will start to slow down. This is because e-commerce is very dynamic. It changes from week to week, which means your competitors will be changing from week to week. Your research has to continue if you are going to keep accelerating your growth over time.
One key example of this comes with advertising. If you are in a field that has competitors that are advertising, you should be advertising too. This is because it is plain that advertising is working for your competitors (otherwise they would not be doing it). However, when you are trying to accelerate your growth at this stage, make sure you identify the kinds of ads they are running. This is vitally important because this means you are following the same kind of targeting. Please take note of how they are using creative and how this manifests in the final ad product. This is where research really pays off because you’re identifying and following a bringing results path.
Another example may come about with discounting. Is your competitor discounting heavily? Are they discounting in certain ways and with certain offers? See what they do and then consider how a similar approach can be integrated into your own pricing strategy.
All this research pays off when you start getting a return on your investment of time and effort.
Build A Killer Website
The website should be your staple point of success.
So much has been written about website design; it really is a crucial factor in your growth. When a customer comes to your site, they want speed and accessibility. If you are not delivering this, then you are wasting their time, and turning them off. Unless there is a seamless service from accessing a site to the checkout, customers will vote with their feet. This is all about speed and absolutely zero complications around placing an order or purchasing.
Create outstanding product pages that make customers excited and tell them everything they need to know about the product and how it will help them. Make sure you follow large scale examples by including product suggestions. This is how growth works.
Please, Please, Please Make Sure You Have Stock Available
Without stock, you are going to have a lot of disappointed customers.
Inventory is important. It’s the lifeblood of an e-commerce store. So make sure that you are diversifying at the right time if there is an absolutely sensible reason for diversifying your product range, leap. Then ensure you have adequate inventory. If you have to work through the night to ensure inventory is up to scratch, that is what you have to do. This is also about the product line itself. Too many e-commerce stores have a very narrow range of products, and then expect them to sell as they do forevermore. This is not the case. Adding more products, intuitive products mind, is how growth happens. Just think about Amazon.
If you want to grow quickly, don’t be afraid of making intuitive choices around product lines. Remember, the more you help customers, the more they will return for that next purchase. Having the product line to cover all the bases will make you the natural choice.
The more you can help your customer with an inventory that can meet all of their needs in your particular specialisation, the more respect you will get. People will expect you to meet their needs, and as that product line becomes even more diverse, they will start to see you as that fabled ‘one-stop-shop’. Take the approach outlined in this post, and you should find that your e-commerce store enjoys a vastly increased level and pace of growth. No e-commerce store that makes it big ever hangs around resting on its laurels. And neither should yours.
To learn more about e-commerce and how Gravitai can help with both your shipping, business and communication with customers, visit our Interaction Studio hub to learn more about the next steps.
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