Launching an E-commerce Business – Everything You Need to Know
The future of e-commerce is looking incredible, especially during covid-19 and the face-to-face shopping limitations we have all have had to face. Tons of businesses have adapted to selling their products online, and several new brands have formed and started their e-commerce journey in 2021.
But as we all know, starting a new business is a lot of work, including an e-commerce business. An e-commerce business demands many steps and several decisions that need to be made, to create a profitable business.
E-commerce has come a long way, as shoppers are turning to devices and computers as their main tool for discovering and purchasing new products. E-commerce is only growing from here. In fact, our team at Bold x Collective has helped launch 35+ successful e-commerce businesses over the last six months of the pandemic.
Let’s talk more about what e-commerce is, and tips on how you can get started, from our team of website development and marketing experts.
What are the benefits of e-commerce?
E-commerce is not just a trend because of covid; it is here to stay. Why? Because selling products and services on the internet is beneficial for both the seller and buyer.
- It’s very convenient
- Quick and simply transactions
- Easy to compare price and product, as everything is right in front of you
- Delivery – you can get your order right to your door
- You can easily be in touch with the seller
- You can purchase items at any time of the day
- Lower costs as you won’t require brick and mortar locations
- You can reach customers beyond your local location; it can be country-wide or even worldwide
- You can sell items at any time of the day
- You have control over the selling and tracking process, if you use platforms like Shopify.
- You can reach a larger audience with SEO, SEM, and PPC
What are the different types of e-commerce?
There are three ways you can classify e-commerce:
1. Business to business also known as B2B
In this scenario, goods and services are sold from one company to another. For example, a well-known company like Hootsuite will sell its social media tool to other businesses. Companies like Salesforce will sell their CRM to other businesses.
2. Business to consumer also known as B2C
In this scenario, a business will sell to a consumer, and this is one of the most common types of e-commerce. An example is a clothing store like Joe Fresh, or a product business like Maison Rose or even a home supply store like Home Depot.
3. Consumer to consumer also known as C2C
In this scenario, consumers will sell directly to other consumers. This includes marketplaces like Ebay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace.
As you understand the different types of e-commerce classifications and which one works best for your business, it’s important to establish your online store and figure out which platform is best for you.
How do I pick the best e-commerce software and platform for my business
1. Themes and customization abilities
You’ll want to look at each theme and make sure you will have the ability to perform certain functions that you will require, whether it is keeping track of inventory, or being able to set up shipping, or showcasing company branding effectively.
2. Domain name customization
It’s important to get a custom domain name and URL; it is best to use your business’ name for this.
3. Expert support
When choosing your perfect platform, you need to make sure you use a platform with expert 24/7 support. You never know when you are going to run into an issue, and you’ll need expert assistance to solve it right away.
4. Flexible payment options
Customers want the ability to be able to pay in multiple different ways. You want your customer to be able to complete a transaction flawlessly, so it’s important to offer flexible payment processing options.
5. Multiple language abilities
It you’re selling worldwide, this is important. You want them to be able to order using their own language.
Now that we better understand the different types of e-commerce software and platforms that you need to consider, let’s understand some of the best practices for your website.
How can I optimize my website?
You need to pick the perfect e-commerce platform that’s going to help you meet your needs and accomplish your goals. Let’s take a deeper look at how to pick the best platform for you.
1. Creating a mobile friendly website
The majority of online traffic will come through mobile devices, so it is critical to have a mobile-friendly website. It can be difficult to create a mobile-friendly website on your own, so sometimes it is best to ask the experts for assistance, to ensure your website is getting the attention it deserves.
2. Optimize for the web
There are many different strategies and tactics that you can use to convert your website visitors into customers.
- Product descriptions – it is important to use a copywriter to create high-quality, intriguing product descriptions that will sell. This means, using tactics like FOMO (fear of missing out), exclusivity and more, which can help encourage your website visitors to purchase right away.
- Visuals – high quality product photography and website images are so important, especially online. Your website visitors are not able to touch/smell/use the product in person, so you’ll want to make the online experience as effective as possible. You can use static product images, people using the products, 360 views and videos, to help enhance the online experience.
3. Customer experience
You want your potential customer to have the best possible experience from the moment they land on your website. There are different tactics you can use to do this, including:
- Adding a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page can help your visitors find answers and fast
- Real reviews from real sources, also known as “social proof”
- A chatbot or chat support is a quick and direct way for your potential customer to ask a question, and provide them with immediate assistance
Now that we have established some of the best practices for your e-commerce website, lets discuss how to increase e-commerce sales.
How do I get more sales?
As we discussed earlier, there are many individuals looking for online products and services, especially during times like these, as we are in a worldwide pandemic.
When running an e-commerce business, it’s important to have a strategy, that will help increase sales. There are many marketing and growth tactics to keep in mind and track the success of your online business.
1. Testing social media ads
As we all know, social media is huge in today’s world and is only growing from here. We have platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so much more. Your target audience will help determine which social media platforms will be most beneficial for your business and will help generate more sales and revenue. Our team at Bold x Collective works with e-commerce brands daily, to help determine the best platform for their business.
2. Email marketing
It has always been a very effective marketing tactic and will continue to be in the future. By collecting email addresses on your website through a pop-up or embed form (of course with an incentive), you can give visitors a reason to keep coming back to your e-commerce site, through offers and discounts. You can even keep them updated with new product launches to continue communication. There are some great tools we recommend like Mailchimp and Privy.
3. PPC and search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to increase revenue. Pay-per-click (PPC) is the process through which a business acquires website traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you operate an e-commerce business, our team at Bold x Collective highly recommends SEM/PPC, as it can help your business grow at a rapid pace, when done correctly by a professional.
4. Gather feedback by using surveys
The best way to understand what your audience wants is to ask them, and what better way to do this than using surveys? Surveys can help you gather feedback from how much a customer likes your products to how easy it was to find what they were looking for on your website. This can help you further optimize your website and improve customer experience.
5. Abandoned cart emails
We’ve all abandoned a cart at one point or another, and this is why it’s so important to set up an email notification, to try to convert that potential customer. You can do this through a simple email reminder, or sharing a coupon code, to help increase the chance of that conversion.
There are several tactics you can use to increase your ROI, and it’s always best to hire an experienced agency that can help you create and implement a strong strategy to accomplish this.
What does the future of e-commerce look like?
E-commerce is not going away anytime soon, in fact, its future is looking brighter than ever! With the right platform, strategy, tools, and team behind you, you can launch a highly successful e-commerce business. Work with an experienced team like Bold x Collective to get the results your business deserves.