Like everything else these days, business also has gone online. The traditional ways of doing business are slowly losing their charm and the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs are jumping on the new wave of online business – because if done correctly, adding an ‘e’ to your commerce can take your business to a whole new level.
Not just with entrepreneurs, the new way of doing business is also leaving its mark on consumers. According to UPS study, 70% users said they prefer their favorite retailer online.
Taking your business online though, is trickier than you’ve imagined. It takes time, patience and durability to pass through hurdles and run a successful e-commerce. If you’ve decided you want to leave your mark in this burgeoning digital economy and are resolute in your desire, then these 10 basic do’s and don’ts can help you a great deal.
1. Do give your time to make your site look good
The number of entrepreneurs testing their luck in the digital world is too damn high and giving your business a pleasing professional look is a must if you want to stand out among myriads of players who are playing the same game.
Yeah in an ideal world the content should matter more than cover but when the competition is too high, little things decide the tie and the design of your site is one of these little things.
There are many guides on internet which can help you with the design of your site. Website builders are great tools to help you with designing by reviewing your competitors.
2. Don’t just assume people will find your site
Do good things, sell unique products and people will find your business one way or another. This concept of business might work in a Disney world utopia but unfortunately, it does not work in real world anymore.
The internet is simply too big for a random viewer to stumble upon your site. You should work on planning ways to get more direct traffic. Social media reach can aid your business a great deal in terms of publicity. Good SEO also helps public reaching via search engines
3. Do work on building a concrete platform
It’s obvious that you learn the details of the art through experience but you cannot always cross the bridge once you reach the river. Having the correct features planned and doing the risk analysis always helps.
It’s tempting to be courageous and just go out on the battlefield but you have to make sure you have readied your weapons and prepared a decent backup plan. Some mistakes are costly to fix so make sure you do the best you can to prevent them from happening.
You have to take care of technical issues like finding the right hosting solution, managing the scalability of your website and security along with other non-technical issues such as scalability of business, customer support and market penetration right from the beginning.
4. Don’t waste your time trying to sustain the company single handedly
You are founder, marketer and leader of your business. So basically, you are a one man band. But if you’re spending your entire day trying to bring everything into balance, then note this is an idea that’s not worth pursuing.
If you want to launch a successful ecommerce business then you should be able to do the main work in the least time possible so you can focus on other aspects like growing and scaling your business.
5. Do set budget aside for tests and trials
The hardest thing for an entrepreneur to do is admit his product is really not that great. Though you might passionately like the idea you’ve created, there is no guarantee that it will work.
If you wait months, or even years to find out the actual performance of your product, it might just be too late. Do surveys, sell samples before going mainstream and test your product thoroughly before you decide to invest your time and energy on it.
Conduct surveys or try selling samples of your product before spending blood, sweat, and tears to launch a company online. Even if your product has legs, you should always test and refine first.
6. Don’t put features above strategy
It’s easy to be quickly overwhelmed with your efforts. It’s good if people of certain demographics are giving you good reviews but you can always paint a bigger picture.
There are always voids in market which need filling and always room to innovate something new. If a month has passed and you are still trying to refine negligible design elements, then you are stuck in the vicious loop of feature-bias. Focus on more important aspects, the ones that actually increase the output not just the appeal.
7. Do listen to your customers
People are entitled to their opinions and they are opinionated. So you’ll receive all kinds of comments about your business. Yeah, reacting on every single one of them is nothing more than a waste of time but you should definitely acknowledge their opinions.
Your customers help you point out frailties that you otherwise would have ignored. Evaluate their suggestion and work for a remedy. If you listen to your customers, it also develops a bond of loyalty and trust.
8. Don’t inaccurately measure your success
E-commerce is not rocket science. It’s seasonal. It has its carnival and its droughts. Compare year-over-year, not quarter-over-quarter, as ecommerce is highly seasonal.
Comparing your July traffic to your June data does not give a clear picture of your progress. You should set aside a statistically accurate interval and compare your metrics. Compare July to July, winter to winter or year to year if you want an accurate report of your progress.
9. Do your best to efficiently manage email lists
If you have done your homeworking designing a fantastic site, then growing your email list as soon as you launch an ecommerce is a must. It’s one of the best ways to boost traffic later on.
Add email lists as a key-performance indicator when you’re measuring success. If you ignore this part, you might find yourself sunk in a rabbit hole trying to pay your way out through advertising, sponsored content and other paid outlets.
10. Don’t give up quickly
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to get frustrated if their idea does not work but many of them fail to realize that it often takes time and patience to thoroughly test out an idea and success does not come overnight.
If you believe you truly have a million dollar idea then you should be willing to risk anything for it. You should not hastily desert a project because it’s not working well for the time being, because it just takes relentless hard work and there is always a silver lining. Who knows – you might even get lucky!
Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com