Entrepreneurs and young business professionals are always excited to engage in ecommerce businesses, because they are aware of the earning potential behind a website that needs marginal maintenance from time to time. Basically, a good e-commerce platform brings passive income from a point onwards, without requiring large amounts of time or effort to be invested into it. However, before your own platform ranks amongst the best ecommerce sites, there’s much work to do.
From choosing the right niche, to online marketing research, the website itself with product descriptions as well as reviews and even payment and reverse logistics options, the financial security of some of the best ecommerce platforms often required a lot more effort than meets the eye. These are some of the turning points of an ecommerce business.
What you are going to sell
Whether you already have something in mind or not, some of the best online stores have started on a niche. You might think that since you can sell a variety of products or services that it would be profitable to do so from the beginning. Well, it’s not. Don’t be alarmed, a lot of individuals have the same mentality, but marketing research specialists advise us otherwise. In order to acquire the reputation that some of the best ecommerce sites enjoy, you must start from a sturdy foundation – one or a couple of well-defined products at an advantageous price. Whether it’s goods, a service or digital content, this is what your customer will get upon payment and it must be above industry standards if you want to make a name for yourself.
Once you have a good flow of the core product, you can start developing from it or around it, in a way that would provide your online customers with multiple options when purchasing. Ideally, they will be able to acquire everything they need from that class of products at a superior price from you, rather than order from multiple sources. It’s also a good idea to test your merchandise before investing in an online marketing strategy – if people are not satisfied with it, there’s no point to jump to the assembly line when nobody’s going to want it.
The key to having the best ecommerce platform for your product is comparative analysis – who else is active on this niche? Evaluate their offer, even make purchases from them and try it out for yourself in order to understand their marketing strategy. When you have a good idea about the competition, you can fit your product on the market more adequately with a price to value ration that can really make a change in the customers currently swayed by online marketing. Remember, people often search for more options before deciding where they are going to spend their money.
How you are telling people about it
Besides individual research, people are driven to the best ecommerce sites through advertising. It’s ok to have free advertising options when you have a small business, but when it comes to long-term scalability, your options are limited at best. Make a separate budget for online marketing, public relations and advertising. This is a core part of every successful ecommerce platform, as up to 50% of the sales done by a manufacturer can take place through retailers rather than from the source. Moreover, SEO is one of the cornerstones of online stores today and if your website does not implement white-hat approaches, it’s highly unlikely that consumers will even get to know about it.
Indeed, Google and the other major search engines are tweaking SEO to the extent that social media, user-generated content, navigation behavior and how valuable a website is to consumers are the most important aspects of a page, thereby reducing the troubles an entrepreneur has to deal with if they have a good product. The quality of your content is also vital, as search engine algorithms have gone a long way from a few years ago and are quite adept at spotting back-links, keyword stuffing and affiliated techniques. Nothing can replace sincere customer testimonials, so encourage all of your clients to share their opinion about your product and services in their own words. This is what matters the most to other users.
Can they pay you?
Believe it or not, payment can be a tricky thing nowadays, especially on the Internet. People want to pay safe and fast for whatever it is that they are purchasing, so much so that they would rather pay considerably more and… be sure. As such, all of the best ecommerce websites have increased their profits exponentially by diversifying their payment methods. Card payments and other alternatives such as online bank transfers, invoices or direct debits should be available on a standard basis.
Today, it seems that digital wallets are gaining in popularity when it comes to online marketing, so options like PayPal, Skrill or Moneybookers should be right next to the credit card. Even if it takes some time to set up, statistics from online marketing specialists indicate that regular Internet customers feel safer when using a digital wallet, since they do not have to give their credit card credentials every time a payment takes place and additional security measures are provided by these services for reverse logistics. By the by, reverse logistics refers to the customer service you provide if an individual is unsatisfied with their purchase – one way or another, every single one of the best ecommerce platforms solves this issue and you will have to do it too.
Social media and user value
Social media is growing exponentially in terms of website relevance, authority and satisfaction from the point of view of the individual. Even though, at present, search engines do not rank it as one of the most important factors, it seems that Google is headed that way, at least for now. Come to think about it, it’s only logical that a customer’s opinion has a contribution to the product’s rating. Even though personal opinions may vary greatly, the fact that they exist confers a kind of certainty to customers and the rest of the online market for your niche – you provide a standard with every purchase.
With these aspects in mind, your aim is to achieve the best satisfaction possible in the customers that choose your online platform for their needs. Over the long run, this is the best way to achieve a profitable ecommerce business.