Below is a list of things to think about and it gets complicated working online due to the vast amount of issues and things to consider.
This should help give you some points to focus on that are important and come up most often.
Finding the right products to sell
Shopping cart platforms like Shopify have eliminated many barriers of entry. Anyone can launch an online store within days and start selling all sorts of products.
Amazon is taking over the eCommerce world with their massive online product catalog. Their marketplace and fulfillment services have enabled sellers from all over the world to easily reach paying customers.
Let’s not forget about eBay! They’ve simplified product search to show only a few results. The results of this are in the eBay Catalog goes to Box Stores and Chinese manufacturers within a couple of clicks for most new items. And since only a few show your sales chances are less, big time! Used and Vintage or if possible your own brand is needed to go big time now. If you have good repeat customers focus on those items too.
All of this has made it very difficult for retailers to source unique products unless you they decide to manufacture your own.
I found I needed to rethink how products are sold and add many more options.
Choosing the right technology & partners
Some online retailers may face growth challenges because their technology is limiting them or they’ve hired the wrong partners/agencies to help them manage their projects.
Retailers wanting to achieve growth must be built on a good technical foundation. They must choose the right shopping cart solution, inventory management software, email software, CRM systems, analytics and so much more
Generating targeted traffic
Digital marketing channels are evolving. Retailers can no longer rely on one type of channel to drive traffic to their online store.
Attracting the perfect customer
Lots have changed including the way they consume content and communicate online. They get easily distracted by technology and social media.
Retailers must figure out where their audience is and how to attract them efficiently without killing their marketing budget.
Online shoppers don’t shop the same way as they used to back in the day. They use Amazon to search for products (not just Google). They ask for recommendations on Social Media. They use their smartphones to read product reviews while in-store and pay for purchases using all sorts of payment methods.
“You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve Jobs
In this competitive world, there will be too many competitors who will be offering the same products and service as you. Unless you have the best strategy that differentiates yourself from other competitors; it will become difficult to survive. to fix this conduct proper and deep research of your competitors. Put your efforts in making strategy which enables you to shine brighter than your competitors. Use social media platforms, blogs, for promoting your products. Invest in promotional offers this will help to get more web presence and customers.
“Businesses with customer’s loyalty programs, on average, are 88% more profitable than customers who do not.”
Carry out research to find which new products are more in demand and remove old and unwanted items less in demand. By offering best & extraordinary customer services can even help you to be one step ahead of your competitors.
To survive in the competitive market, e-commerce companies need to distribute their own inventory to fulfillment warehouses, become extremely resourceful shippers, or find some unique products to minimize this problem. Because ultimately every online shopper expects fast and free shipping that too in lowest price.
Converting shoppers into paying customers
Driving quality traffic and nurturing leads is key if you want to close the sale. At a certain point, you need to convert those leads in order to pay for your marketing campaigns.
Retailers must constantly optimize their efforts in converting both email leads as well as website visitors into customers. Conversion optimization is a continuous process.
The headache of product return and refund
When the product is returned, due to whatsoever reason, whether a customer was dissatisfied or the product was damaged, the business suffers a heavy loss of shipment and reputation. Cost of logistics and shipping have always been scary for those e-commerce sellers who deliver the product for free.
Return and refund are also part of great customer services, therefore it will be a big mistake to underestimate them. The best thing you can do is build a strong returns policy. Below consideration should be kept in mind while designing returns policy:
- Never hide your policy. Be transparent.
- Use plain English that even understand by laymen. Not all your customers that will read the policy will be highly intellectual.
- Don’t use the scary stuff in the policy like, “you must”, “you are required”, the too harsh policy may stop customer to purchase the product.
- Outline what they can expect from you. Provide them with various options for payments and shipping.
- Educate your staff about your return policy. So, that they can assist customers quickly and effectively.
- Be prepared to face the cost of your mistakes. If the product is shipped wrong, then take extra efforts to make the customer happy.
The best advice to a small business owner... is never stop thinking about how to delight your customer. Not to satisfy your customer, but to delight your customer. And when you wake up in the morning, start thinking about it. During the day, think about it. At night, think about it. And then dream about it.