You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
eCommerce is much more than just another digital trend. 83% of people have adopted the convenience of online shopping, a figure that is set to grow. It’s becoming a part of our lives and despite the hesitation of less tech-savvy generations, there are still massive opportunities to succeed in the era of click-based convenience.
This has caused a real gold rush as anyone with something to sell and an internet connection has flocked to the world of eCommerce with the hope of making it work. While there are some people who have found a working formula, the fact is that running an eCommerce company is similar to operating any other business, and unfortunately, we’re not all equipped with the skills and knowledge to succeed in business.
This article is going to outline ways that you can optimize your eCommerce company to enhance your chances of overall success. Think of it as a list of best practices but remember, there’s no such thing as a recipe for success.
Stay On Top of Trends
eCommerce is a fairly new development, as is most other technology, and that means it is still growing, developing, and changing. As new coding tools and languages develop, so does our eCommerce platforms and opportunities expand. It is absolutely critical that you stay on top of these trends and make informed decisions on whether or not there is a meaningful development that you need to incorporate into your business.
A good way to decide whether or not your current offering is working as well as it should is to do some market research. This doesn’t necessarily mean paid focus groups and research. Ask a few friends to come over and try out your platform. Ask for feedback and honesty – you might be surprised to hear how people feel because we often take our own products for granted. Fresh eyes always help.
Monitor Your Model
Too many eCommerce entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking that because their service is based in the digital world, it is somehow outside of the governing dynamics and economic best practices that guide successful real-world offerings. While there may be platform-specific considerations to be made, you are still running a business. That means you need to balance your books, ensure that the staff to income ratio remains profitable and that you maintain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
If anything the eCommerce space makes it easier to access and build on customer data. There are countless software programs that allow you to streamline your performance through automation, which can help you reduce staff overheads. It sounds ruthless, but anyone can open a business thanks to this kind of web-based technology, which means you need to be ready to make the big decisions in order to succeed.
Your eCommerce company is not a factory. It isn’t built of bricks. There are no huge machines keeping operations on track. And implementing changes doesn’t take months. The most successful eCommerce companies are those who remain most agile. From your visual approach and marketing plan to daily specials and new security protocols, eCommerce allows you to make constant improvements and if you don’t your company will be left behind.
Don’t be scared to experiment. Test new button colors, read up on persuasive design, try a new visual treatment – if you have built your platform correctly you will be able to track conversions and A/B test to gauge what your consumers are looking at, and what needs to be bettered.
Keep moving and your return customers will keep coming back to see what you’ve done next. It is an exciting, fluid space – never forget that.
Invest in Insight
There is a fine line between forecasting and fortune telling. The arrival and availability of big data means that you can blur that line. The best eCommerce engines and businesses are built on brave insights and data. To optimize your offering, take heed of as much relevant information as possible and factor it into your daily operations. Truly powerful insights can give you the edge over your global competition. Noticed a spike in users shopping your site on their mobile device? Adjust accordingly. Reports suggest red is the color most likely to prompt conversion. Add it into your visual language for a special or promotion and see how it goes.
Great information is like a little insider tip. It may cost you up front, but in the long run, these little bits and bytes of insight will help you to set yourself apart and dive into the consumers’ psyche.