There’s no denying that ecommerce is big. Forrester predicts that mobile traffic and ecommerce sales will continue to climb, more brands will jump into the online space to sell online, retailers will move to key online shopping market places.
In U.S alone, ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar industry and is expected to hit $327 billion in the year 2016, according to Paypal.
All of those statistics are fine, but where does that leave the ambitious ecommerce entrepreneur looking to sell online? What exactly should you to make sure you ride this wave of bustling ecommerce activity? Here are a few rules you should pay heed to:
Ecommerce stores need more than what meets the eye
Every ecommerce store (or even third-party marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy) will allow you to display products. That’s almost taken for granted.
What’s not usual is how you present your products. Further, the only thing that could keep your visitors interested is how you back your products with an effective content marketing strategy.
Be it blog posts, parallel content, and your growing social media presence, it’s important to look beyond the obvious and make a mark with your voice, character, and the strength of the published word.
Efficiency of business processes
Ecommerce stores – at least in the beginning – are small businesses. None of that would mean that your businesses processes have to incomplete, inefficient, or lacking in speed and agility. Thanks to technology, there are ways to stay lean and mean.
Web-based apps or tools bring all of your shipping, logistics, order management, inventory, and customer management together into a single platform. Dedicated CRM systems exist to help you manage customers.
Tools exist for every single aspect of your business. Oh, and that excuse that you are small, that just got crushed by a monolithic boulder called technology.
Hiring has a new skin
So, employees get under one of those scary, large, expense columns for small businesses. It doesn’t have to be that way. The rule of business is to scale up and grow. Unless you employ leverage, there’s not much of a business to speak of.
No one, however, insisted that you hire full-time staff. You could pretty much outsource everything to contractors and freelancers. Look for them in online marketing places such as Elance, Odesk, Guru, or People Per Hour. If you need help locally, you’d still be able to funnel your search for freelancers available locally.
Outsourcing keeps your business lean. Imagine this: you don’t have to train your new hires. You don’t have to make office space available to them. You don’t even have to pay for anything more than just work.
It’s all about value
So, you sell products. To sell them well, and not to get into unnecessary price wars, you’ll need to create a brand. The days of well-funded businesses riding the brand wagon are gone. Everyone can create a brand today and your focus should be on doing just that.
You’ll need a lot more than just a marketplace, an ecommerce store, and a product to sell. With a brand, you’ll have a promise to keep. You’ll have a chip on your shoulder. You’ll stand distinct and memorable. You’ll be able to give your customers more than just a reason to do business with you.
Which of these rules are you following?
Img Credits: Edward Simpson