The e-commerce sector is exhibiting promising results. The upward trajectory the industry is takign is an indication that things are looking up, and the future is brighter. This is fascinating information for an entrepreneur in e-commerce business or those planning to invest in the industry. The business opportunities that lie ahead will be rewarding to those who are best prepared and are willing to play by the rules to take advantage of the rewards.
In the United States, between the year 2010 and 2013, the growth in e-commerce was estimated to be between $167.3 billion to $263.3 billion. This trend was consistent in the year 2015, and 2016 is expected to be better in coming years. Therefore, from the statistics available, it can be concluded that about 9.5% of the US total sales was as a result of the e-commerce industry. This proportion is expected to grow further with time.
Financial analysts and industry experts are projecting that these figures are expected to rise significantly in the years 2016 up forward to 2018. Therefore, if these predictions turn out to be true, a 41% increment from the current figures will be witnessed. Nevertheless, these benefits may only be derived if rules and regulations of the game are observed. In this article, we provide tips and guidelines for e-commerce entrepreneurs to follow to realize the success of electronic commerce business.
Practice patience when launching your website
As a rule, it is recommended that you should not be in a hurry to launch your product. The same is the case with an e-commerce business. The mistake committed by the majority of e-commerce entrepreneurs is that they often rush to launch their website(s) without properly following the proper channel or without ensuring all guiding factors are in correspondence.
Even after you have bought a domain name and paid for hosting services, you should be patient rather than posting a “coming soon” message on your website which is devoid of any content. At this point, ensure you chose an option that is affordable and would not drain you financially which may include reseller hosting. According to sasahost.co.ke, reseller hosting is one of the most inexpensive ways of hosting a website where hosting resources (space) are shared among clients.
Focus on the user
For a long time, it has been stated that the biggest challenge of e-commerce business is inability to provide customers with an opportunity to interact directly with products. Therefore, customers make a decision to purchase a product without wholly interacting with it. However, the truth is that even currently, there is no workable solution for the problem (lack of interaction) but a business can work on a solution to compensate for the loss of interaction. Therefore, some of the incentives could include providing moderately priced commodities, offering free shipping where feasible and making the website navigation including checkout easy and user-friendly. The simplicity will ensure you will be able to have many clients have the confidence to navigate through your site.
There is nothing as terrible as launching your e-commerce business only to realize that some of its functionalities are not functional or difficult to use. As a solution to these, you are advised to invest a substantial amount of resources (including time) in testing and re-testing your system. The testing process should be done before, during the development and after the deployment. You should decide to look at the system from the customers’ perspective and critical but objectively look at areas that may need your input to be better. Once areas of weakness have been identified, corrective measures should be instituted and implemented immediately. In some instances, we may consider soliciting for customer feedback on how the system could be improved. This will eventually ensure that your website is operational and is flawless.
Monitor social media management carefully
Social media has a critical role in the e-commerce business. With social media, you can interact with a broad range of clients, and you are also able to come in contact with potential clients who may be interested in your product. It also provides you with the opportunity understand the lifestyle of your customers and how you would approach them. However, most e-commerce entrepreneurs tend to delegate or subcontract the social media management duties of their business. Industry pundits advocate for the business owner to be personally involved in social media regardless of whether you delegate or subcontract the service.
Include social elements into your website
As mentioned above, social media is a powerful tool that could be used in ensuring that an e-commerce business interacts with a wider audience at a much lower cost. You should incorporate social media elements into your website to serve the purpose discussed above. You could include aspects such as product reviews, and get testimonials from clients that have tried and tested your products. In some cases, a social login would be embedded.
Ensure your website is mobile device compatible
As time goes by, the number of mobile devices is ever increasing. This means more people can use the mobile devices to access the Internet and e-commerce websites compared to those using traditional computer browsers. Therefore, when developing an e-commerce website, you should ensure that you must create a mobile version of the same. This will provide you access to a large number of clients using mobile devices. This increases your chances of being “seen”.
Maintain good SEO ratings
As time goes by, more players are joining the game, and the field is bound to be overcrowded in a matter of time. Therefore, you should ensure that you remain competitive in spite of the stiff competition. As a business, ensure that you are always at the top of the SEO. This gives you an advantage over your competitors which translates to good profits.
By following the tips mentioned, you position your business appropriately to be able to take advantage of opportunities provided by e-commerce. Therefore, e-commerce entrepreneurs must do their homework well.