In the last year, e-commerce sites have experienced some of the biggest increases in revenue. That wasn’t surprising: with eBay and Amazon already making their millions, what’s not to expect? What is not expected, however, is how those same sites are running their operations and staying organized. Running a successful e-commerce business involves far more than just taking orders. Here are some tips to help ensure you stay profitable, organized, and profitable…
Stay current with your industry. The days of jumping in feet first and relying on luck are clearly gone. Today’s savvy consumer wants to know exactly what they’re getting into before making the purchase. By staying abreast of the latest trends in e-commerce, your shoppers will know exactly what they’re ordering and can make a knowledgeable decision about whether or not it’s right for them.
Work with a global market. E-commerce sites no longer need to make a choice between being accessible in the United States and overseas. Today’s consumers simply want a choice. Whether your site caters to an American audience or a global audience that spans multiple languages, there are plenty of options available. Working with a talented team that understands the needs of each global market, as well as the differences between the U.S. and European markets, ensures that your ecommerce business will be seen by a wide variety of potential customers. In addition, a worldwide ecommerce presence brings a host of social impact, which means a better chance of getting your products in front of the right people and driving up conversion rates.
Partner with other businesses. With so many different e-commerce options available today, it’s more important than ever for retailers to get creative and build partnerships with other businesses. For example, if you have multiple boutiques, why not offer complimentary services from each one? Build a webinar series, share videos on YouTube or your own website, and offer discounts at both. You may even find a retailer that provides you with a place to publish articles or create your own store.
Keep the journey personal. For some shoppers, the final destination is a happy one-the store they’ve left with the items they bought. For others, the ultimate goal is the same, but the journey isn’t always the same: moving from store to store, finding the best deals, and becoming familiar with the process. While retailers must understand their consumers will be visiting the site at least once, they also need to give them something to look forward to when they do stop by-an opportunity to build a new relationship, for instance.
Work with U.S. consumers first. Although many European retailers openly promote their products online, they rarely open up their doors to consumers from the U.S. and other countries. Consumers in these markets are more likely to purchase from brick-and-mortar stores when offered the chance to, which is why e-commerce makes perfect sense. When consumers can shop from home, whether it’s from their laptops or from the comfort of their cars, they’re more likely to stay loyal to local retailers.
Work with customers. Although many consumers have become accustomed to using the Internet to make purchases, it still takes patience to break through the clutter and hype that can often be a part of online shopping. E-commerce merchants know this well, and many have developed tools and websites specifically to help customers find what they’re looking for faster. In fact, many of the big players in the industry now have whole departments dedicated to helping customers figure out which sites to trust, which ones to avoid, and which ones offer the very best prices.
E-commerce presents opportunities that were not available to retailers a few short years ago. While it is difficult to imagine a world without online commerce, it is also no real surprise to see a business that has been embraced by consumers. With increased competition and new options, it’s easy to understand why consumers have grown comfortable spending time online. By taking advantage of this consumer experience, merchants are setting themselves up for long-term success and the future of e-commerce. By providing the tools needed to help consumers navigate the site and find exactly what they’re looking for, retailers are setting themselves up for a solid customer experience that can grow into long term success.