Today, getting into the e-commerce business is cheap and easy. However, in order for one to succeed in the same, it takes a lot.
To help with this conundrum, I consulted Nexus. They have worked with both large and small e-commerce brands and helped them develop their sales and marketing strategies. This is what he had to say:
1) Test your product
At times, the truth can sting but it is better if an entrepreneur can just admit that their product is not good enough. This way, they get a chance to improve the same. The mistake most entrepreneurs make is that they wait until after they’ve set up their e-commerce site only to find out that there is no demand for the products they offer. Test your product with your friends and friends’ offriends to get an idea of the concept of demand. Before launching your business online, you may want to conduct a survey or try selling your product locally.
2) Do not assume that your site will be found easily
It is never easy running an e-commerce site. It requires a lot of work and effort. At no point should you assume that you’ll start earning millions without putting in anything. Since the Web is humongous, you need to come up a suitable plan of how you’ll generate traffic to your site. Remember that anyone who visits your web page must have seen an ad or had been referred to your site. The best way of getting traffic is by seeking help from PR/advertising firm for assistance with SEO and back links.
3) Draft a budget to test marketing
To make your website scalable, you need to test your e-commerce site with different marketing channels and strategies in order t identify which one works best for your business. This does not come cheap. You need money. Therefore, it is very important to draft a budget specifically for the testing. Set aside enough cash to run all tests. Make sure it does not cripple your business or eats into your return on investment. For the successful channels, ensure that there is a budget to support them.
4) Never bank of raising more cash
In as much as the strategy has worked in a number of companies, it has also failed in many. In order to gain from adding cash into your business, you need to start a suitable long term business otherwise, you stand to loose. Before asking for more cash, at least be sustainable on your own. You’ll be in a position of power to know that you are asking for money when you actually do not need it.
5) Listen to your customers
Listening to your customers will not hurt your online business. Definitely, you do not have to implement everything. Be selective when it comes to implementing. Use your customers to identify the areas in your business that need upgrading. Evaluate their suggestions and react quickly to come up with something better. Customers always feel appreciated whenever they get a sense that they are being heard. They’ll build stronger ties with your business and encourage brand loyalty.
6) Avoid trying to do everything at once
Most e-commerce start-ups succumb to this. It is always best if as a start-up to try and concentrate on what you are good at instead of attempting to do everything. A good example is, if your business goal is to curate and sell say fashion pieces, you better be the greatest merchandiser and stick to it. Do not start designing and manufacturing clothes. After succeeding at your fashion business, that is when you can start venturing into other sectors.
7) Have a strong foundation before launching
Since it is somehow hard to start with every feature in place running, you need to get organised, track your customers and automate as much as possible in order to have a solid foundation before launching. Do not rush because it can cost you a lot later on, operation mistakes are very expensive.