The barrier to entry to opening up an e-commerce store is fairly low. You don’t have to be an expert to be able to get started. Getting started and being successful are two different things, though. Some basics have to be met to make sure that you can make a profit.
Understanding e-commerce trends, knowing how SEO works, and figuring out how to run ads without losing money are all very important. Those are the more complicated parts of the equation.
There are simpler things that have to be dealt with first. In this article, we will go over what it takes to run a successful e-commerce store.
1 – Learn SEO
Targeted traffic is essential to having a successful site. You can run paid ads that will bring the right customers, but they can be very expensive, so the cost should be offset by acquiring organic traffic.
This involves understanding the best SEO practices to ensure you have everything set up to rank well in the search engine results.
Your best bet is to hire an expert who provides SEO services. This means that you can handle other aspects of your business since they will know exactly what needs to be done.
If you decide to do it on your own, then make sure to have your technical SEO working well. This involves the site loading quickly and that it is easy to navigate. You should also have a blog section that is written to catch important keywords that will rank those articles on Google.
2 – Have a funnel
Having a customer who comes to your site once, makes a purchase, and then never returns is leaving money on the table. That customer should be somebody who provides revenue for years to come.
The best way to achieve this is to have a sales funnel that collects the emails of potential and actual customers. This allows you to continue to market to them over time for the foreseeable future. You can let your email list members know about deals and sales and when you have new items in your store.
Start out by giving something of value for free in exchange for their email address. For instance, you may want to offer an ebook that helps the customer with their new product. Or, you could send them coupon codes for future purchases. Whatever the visitor feels benefits them is attractive enough to allow you access to their inbox.
After you have their email, send them helpful information occasionally that they will be happy to read and not want to unsubscribe. Then when you have something to promote, you can send them an email that asks them to visit the site to shop.
For instance, if you are having a sale or there is a new product on your site, then this is a promotion that they will want.
3 – Create a brand
Another way to ensure that people keep returning is to create a brand for your store. People feel more connected to your store when you have a brand and won’t see it as merely transactional. They will feel a certain loyalty that makes them want to be your customers for years to come.
The idea is that when you have a recognized brand with a consistent message, then you’re creating fans instead of customers. It will also help you attract new customers since it gives you some authority.
When people see your logo and content, they will recognize it and one day will want to find out more. If your content is food and your message resonates with them, you will have a new fans and years of revenue.
4 – Offer good customer service
There is a lot of competition online, and it is very easy to lose a customer to the competition if you aren’t careful. One of the reasons a customer may not come back is if they feel that your customer service was lacking.
One thing that you need to be able to do effectively is answer the questions that shoppers will have promptly. It’s helpful to ensure that the product description is detailed and answers questions without people needing to ask. However, there are always questions that people will have regardless.
Having a full-time, around-the-clock staff to answer questions is not economically or logistically feasible. Having a chatbot that uses AI to answer common questions will help you satisfy the shopper and encourage them to buy if they got the information they needed.
Returns should be offered for free without too many complexities to complete. Send the customer a printout that can be used to return the package at no cost to them. Make sure to have a replacement shipped out right away. If they don’t want a replacement, then send them a refund as quickly as possible to rectify the situation.
Although it may have been frustrating for them not to get what they had hoped for, they may still remain a loyal customer if they feel that you took care of them.
5 – Find the right fulfillment center
There are a lot of different fulfillment centers to choose from, each of which will have its pros and cons. Make sure to look around for the one that best suits your needs and budget.
For instance, it is a very good idea to have one that will work with your site’s software for when orders come in. it should be a seamless process so that they get orders directly from your site’s purchase page and the order is picked, packed, and shipped automatically.
This will cost you in the form of high fees, but the cost is worth it when you can be as hands-off of the process as possible. Shop around for the fulfillment center that handles as much of the process as possible and at the best price.