While every ecommerce business is different, and every online retailer has his or her own strengths, there are some common characteristics that successful ecommerce business owners share. We’ve broken down a few of these attributes and created tips that you can employ to run a successful ecommerce business.
Treat Your Business Like It’s Already Thriving
Whether your business is just starting out, or you’re an ecommerce veteran, to make the most of your business you must act as if it is already successful. Too many ecommerce business owners start selling online thinking that they will get rich quick. When that doesn’t happen, their online business becomes more of a hobby. When you treat your business like it’s already thriving, you are likely to spend more time on the things that will help a business grow. Don’t wait for your business to become big, treat it like it already is.
Set Your Business Apart from the Rest
When starting your business, or reevaluating a current one, ask what it is that makes a customer choose your product over a competitor’s product. If you can’t come up with an answer, then you shouldn’t be selling that product. Differentiate your business from others. This tip requires some soul searching, but when you find a product or business that solves a customer’s problem that others can’t, you’ll be moving in the right direction.
Use the Right Technology
You have a whole world of software solutions out there to help you run a business efficiently. You can choose everything from inventory management software to listing applications, to dropshipping management systems. Think about the tasks that consume your time, and what could be accomplished if those tasks were automated and you invested that time in other aspects like product sourcing.
Make it as Simple for Your Customers
Customers are fussy. When a website doesn’t load quickly or there are too many fields to complete before making a purchase, customers are likely to leave your site without buying anything. The average abandoned cart rate is around 69%. You must make sure that the website is easy to navigate, mobile device responsive, and the checkout process is easy. If your site isn’t simple for customers, you will suffer from low conversions.
Streamline Your Supply Chain
You can have the best website and quality products, but if the supply chain is weak, it is going to affect your customers’ satisfaction. Orders that are packaged incorrectly, damaged, or delayed are likely to ensure that the customer will not shop from your store again.
Find a reliable, experienced company to provide you with everything from sourcing products to fulfilling orders. This may take some research and some effort on your part, but it is well worth it to find good, quality partners for order fulfillment.
Have an Effective Cost Control Process
Growing your business’ bottom line is the key to success. When pricing products, you can fall victim to two divergent views. First, you may be tempted to sell more at a lower price. That means that your gross margins will be too low and you’ll reduce profits. While you may sell more items, this method is not sustainable. Second, you may choose to price products high to make the most of your profit margins. With this strategy, you won’t sell products if competitors are drastically undercutting your prices. Pricing products is a delicate balancing act that has to be continuously monitored and adjusted in order to have effective cost control. If you are edging toward one of the two mentioned extremes, reel it in and try to balance low-margin products with high-margin products and adjust as necessary.
Give Your Customers a Voice
When you allow customers to review your products or leave comments, you have the golden opportunity of creating brand ambassadors. Testimonials, ratings, reviews, and comments provide you with free word-of-mouth marketing. Of course, that means that you need to provide customers with quality products and a great customer experience. The payoff is huge though, because while you may market your products’ benefits, potential customers will pay more attention to other customers. Your satisfied customers are a huge asset to your company – learn to leverage them.
Keep Changing and Getting Better
Complacency has killed many a business. You must be prepared to continue evolving. Trends, technology, and customer preferences are going to change – you have to, as well, to be a successful ecommerce business.