If you are going to start an eCommerce business, then you must take into account that there are plenty of things that can go wrong and affect the growth of your business. To make sure that your business remains afloat and successful in the long run, you should keep these 10 things in mind as you get started. Let’s take a look at some of the important facts you should know about eCommerce before starting your business in this area!
1) No Physical Stores
One of the main differences between an online and offline business is that online businesses do not have any physical presence, which can be a pro or a con. While it means that all your costs are reduced since you don’t need to pay for office space, facilities and equipment etc., it also means that shipping becomes much more complicated as your customers cannot just pick up their orders from your store. As such, there are many other issues related to shipping that you need to account for when running an online store.
2) Marketplaces are Killing Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 53% of Americans shop online once per week. As retail stores struggle in their fight against marketplaces and Amazon, it’s important for consumers and small businesses alike to understand why marketplace sellers are having such an impact on traditional retailers. Here are 10 reasons why marketplaces are disrupting retailers.
3) Fulfillment Options
When deciding how to run your e-commerce business, which fulfillment method is best for you? There are three ways of fulfilling orders: outsourcing, drop shipping and fulfillment by Amazon. Outsourcing means paying a third party to store and ship your products. Drop shipping refers to selling products without holding them in stock yourself. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), your products are stored in Amazon’s warehouses or shipped directly from their suppliers.
4) Shipping Cost Is Critical
It’s important to accurately calculate your shipping costs when setting up your store. Depending on your location, shipping could make or break a sale. For example, if it costs you $1 to ship something within city limits but $20 outside of them, it may be better for customers not in town not to purchase from you at all—unless they’re prepared for a hefty price increase.
5) Payment Methods Can Be Complicated
The easiest way for your customers to pay for something is also one of the most difficult issues for merchants: making sure customers have an easy time paying. Options are aplenty and complicated, from PayPal, Square, Google Wallet and Apple Pay, there’s no shortage of ways for people to pay using their mobile phones. But these methods change frequently; Square, for example, has only been around since 2009.
6) Marketing Costs Vary By Medium
For every $1 spent on email marketing, $6 is spent on online banner ads. More traffic comes from search engines (43 percent) than from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter combined (32 percent). These statistics show that certain mediums are more efficient at reaching your audience than others. Use them wisely! Just because a certain medium is popular or has a large following doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand.
7) Facebook Rules Retail Digital Marketing
Facebook is a big deal for your retail business. Aside from word-of-mouth, it’s perhaps one of your most powerful tools for marketing and generating buzz. In fact, according to a study conducted by Facebook and Ipsos MediaCT, Facebook drives twice as much traffic as Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest when it comes to online shopping.
8) Mobile Traffic is Exploding in Ecommerce
If your store isn’t designed for mobile yet, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and make a change. People are spending more and more time shopping on their mobile devices, so if your online store isn’t ready for smartphones and tablets, it might be hindering your sales. As of June 2016, 49% of U.S. online retail traffic comes from mobile—and that number is expected to climb over time.
9) SEO Plays an Important Role for Ecommerce Stores
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key component of any business, and when it comes to ecommerce stores, SEO becomes even more important. SEO refers to activities that help your website rank higher in search engine results. For example, when someone searches for boots, and your site appears on top or near the top of those results, then you can say that your SEO strategy is working.
10) Content Is King in Retail Digital Marketing
For a brick-and-mortar business, it’s pretty easy to get people in your door. Even if there’s not much traffic in your area, putting up a sign advertising a grand opening and having someone hand out flyers around town is often enough to drum up some initial interest. For an online store, on the other hand, it’s more difficult to generate organic sales because most people can only see what you display on your website or app.
if you’re an online store owner, it’s all too easy to get caught up in some of the more technical details, like installing a new theme or adjusting your SEO settings. While these things are important and may take up most of your day-to-day time, there are other areas that can make or break your business. You don’t want customers leaving because they found a better deal on another site or just because they weren’t offered adequate customer service.