When taking your first steps in the world of eCommerce, it’s understandable if you’re feeling slightly daunted or overwhelmed by the prospect. Fear not – so long as you’re prepared and know how to make an impact, you’ll be successful in no time.
Here are just five of the things you need to bear in mind when starting out in eCommerce if you’re planning on creating a successful and popular business.
Hosting is your main priority
When it comes to setting up an online store, hosting is the first thing to consider. It all comes down to your desires in regard to your future in eCommerce – are you looking to keep a low profile with a small, independent store, or are you planning on expanding and growing your business in the near future to attract more customers?
If you’re planning on going for the former, a shared server is perhaps the best option for you. Shared servers, although not boasting as much space as independent ones, would cut the costs dramatically and provide a perfectly sufficient platform for you to start building your store upon.
However, if you’re aiming for something bigger, opt for a dedicated server. The sky is the limit when you have your very own independent base to build from – it comes at a higher cost, but it’s worth it if you’re planning on exponential growth, especially from the jump.
There are plenty of great hosting providers to consider in setting up your online store, but it’s important you choose the one most suited to you. SiteGround and GoDaddy are good all-rounders, but if you’re looking for something specific, it’s important you do your research.
Who are you selling to?
Of course, you’ll likely have considered this already when planning just what your online store will sell. But the demographic you’re aiming to target is perhaps the most important thing to think about when heading into eCommerce – it needs to be taken into account in almost every aspect of your store’s creation.
Your demographic needs to be targeted across every aspect so that your business is as successful as possible. When making any decisions, keep your core audience in mind.
Consider “niche marketing”
There’s a big difference between a niche market and “niche marketing” and when heading into the world of eCommerce you’ll want to ignore the former and embrace the latter. A niche market won’t do wonders for your reach, as you won’t have many customers seeking you out.
Niche marketing, however, is completely different. Whereas a niche market aims for a very small, cultured group, niche marketing means finding your own lane within a market that is perhaps oversaturated with the same old thing. Despite the popularity of this market, there isn’t enough originality.
Niche marketing is essential in that you’re finding your own space within this market and showcasing something that’s different from your competitors. Customers will flock to a store that offers something unique, especially when it’s needed thanks to other companies churning out unoriginal and uninspired ideas.
The design of your site
Face value is arguably the most vital factor in creating your online store. As soon as customers click on your page, they will form an immediate judgment based on how your site looks. Should it be inviting, clean and modern, they’re definitely more likely to make a purchase.
Where many online stores fall behind is with their design. If your layout is dated, clunky and hard to navigate, consumers are likely to go elsewhere for their products – especially if you’re not offering anything new or unique compared to your competitors.
Opt for a clean, minimalistic design to fit in with the current online trends. Of course, it’s good to stand out but not for the wrong reasons. Websites are now opting for flat and stripped-back designs, letting the products showcase themselves instead of getting lost in a bloated layout.
Customer service and communications
It’s said that customer service is the most important and vital component of any successful business. Be sure to establish an effective line of communication between you and your customers, so that any issues or questions can be rectified with ease.
There are plenty of ways to communicate with your customers, but the most direct and effective is undeniable via a phonecall. Talking on the phone is more effective in conveying emotion and stressing certain words, the customer being able to establish trust more successfully than if you were to communicate in written form.
However, for the sake of efficiency, it makes sense to have other ways to communicate and get in touch. Establish a business email account for customers to reach you on, and make a vow to respond within 24 hours, or any other sensible time frame, in order to reinforce just how trustworthy a business you are.