Launch a Successful Online Store: 6 Success Secrets
E-commerce is making it big for small business owners, and everyone wants a piece of their success. What’s the secret sauce for online business success? How can I replicate the success of leading online retailers today?
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur, you have a lot to benefit from this success formula. Top online entrepreneurs share a proven sequence of steps you may take to guarantee your success in launching your online business venture.
1. Know your market
Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of developing a product and finding the right people whom they can sell their products to. Reverse the equation and start with your market. People are looking for a solution to their problem and it’s your job to address these problems. Check the websites of your competitors and find out how they are dealing with the demands of your market. Take note of their service offerings and the functionalities of their online store and work on how you can outperform your competition.
2. Define your selling process
How will you present your products? How do you want to reach out to your customers? Some online business owners overcomplicate their selling process that customers find themselves lost in the middle of a transaction. Keep the process short and simple; your customers are busy and will want to just get over and done with their shopping. Make the buying experience an enjoyable one.
3. Build your website
As what leading online retailers recommend, keep your website design simple. Remember, your design is the first thing a customer sees. Your website should grab the customer’s attention—otherwise, they’re gone and never be seen again.
You can either have your own custom-made online store or host your store on a one-stop-shop eCommerce solution provider. If you are starting small, veteran online store owners recommend getting an eCommerce solution as it already offers complete functionalities such as a customized storefront, hundreds of templates to choose from, your own shopping cart, social media integration, SEO and marketing tools, tax computation, and much more. The cost of outsourcing your store to a provider is much less compared to having it tailor-made. Moreover, most eCommerce solutions today feature an easy drag-and-drop setup function compared to having your website done by a developer.
Here are some important design tips to keep in mind:
- Make your navigation clean and simple
- Plain fonts on white background often work best
- Keep graphics, audio, and video at a minimum
- Easy to buy—no more than two clicks between product and checkout
4. Make your online store searchable
Most eCommerce solutions offer a built-in SEO tool to help your store rank higher in search engines. Maximize these features to drive more targeted buyers to your website. You may also do PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to get immediate traffic and discover your highest converting keywords.
5. Use email tools to increase conversion
Some eCommerce providers already include an email marketing feature you can use in sending email newsletters, discount coupons, and other promotions. Others also allow easy integration with their own email service. Maximize your email tools by creating an opt-in page on your site. Visitors can simply opt-in your email list and you can easily send them different promos.
6. Upsell and reward
If you want continuous business with a customer, you need to develop their lifetime value. About 36% of customers who have purchased from you one will return and buy from you again—that is if you do your follow-up effectively. Offer products that will complement their initial purchase, or send them electronic loyalty coupons that they can redeem on their next purchase. Other online retailers offer free shipping when customers reach a certain amount of purchase.
The Internet may have introduced a new avenue for entrepreneurs to do business, but the principles of how to turn your venture into a successful one remain the same. Apply these principles to your new online venture and reap the rewards in no time.