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If you are looking to make a splash in the online business world these days, you’d be hard-pushed to achieve it without paying at least some attention to the e-commerce route.
According to PipeCandy, North America (USA & Canada) alone has about 1.3 million e-commerce companies!
The way we shop these days is far removed from what was the norm even a decade ago, which means that the things we need in order to be successful are different from the things that made the most recognizable and successful businesses of today ie. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
E-commerce is a fairly fancy word for something we all take part in on a semi-regular basis. Regardless, the chances are that at some point in the last few days, you have recognized the need for something in your household, and have instantly turned to an online provider who can deliver it with a minimum of delay.
This is why e-commerce is such big business – we all have that impulse of needing something fast and being able to get it without the hassle of physically going out to look for it. Everybody is that customer sometimes, and everybody is in an easy customer pool to reach.
I think the online business world is wildly interesting because I love analyzing how people spend their money online and their shopping patterns. Today, I am going to take a look at the principles an online business owner needs to live up to if they want to make it!
Don’t try to be #1 in an existing field
It’s tempting to look at a business that is successful and think, “What they’re doing clearly works – I’ll just do that, but better.” It is tempting, and of course competition is beneficial in business, but if you try to copy someone else’s success, you’ll always have to fight for just a share of the market. You need to look for what differentiates you – your USP, classically speaking – but this doesn’t mean you need to look for an entirely new niche. Instead, offer a twist on what is already there – whether that’s by being greener, more local or more personalized than the market leader.
Make it easy for people to pay you
No matter what your e-commerce business is, one of the key motivators that makes people choose you will be convenience – you’re right there for them to buy from. This makes it essential that you are serious about offering every possible payment method a customer might want. Finding the right POS payment processing software, and ensuring that people can conclude a transaction in as few clicks as possible, will ensure that they think of you again in future when they need a service.
Don’t get caught by surprise
All businesses start out small, to some extent – so you might not be posting the same numbers as Amazon in week one of your e-commerce journey. You do, however, need to be ready for the fact that if you’re offering something people will want, it won’t take too long for them to find you, and if word gets around then you’ll need to be able to fulfill orders.
If you’ve got an item for sale on your website, then you have got to make sure you have a stock of such items ready to go. If this means you have to start with a few product lines and build from there, that’s fine: you don’t want to find yourself six months down the line without a new idea to freshen things up, anyway!
If you keep in mind the above tips, then you can build an e-commerce site/online store that will become more than a lifestyle business – just remember to only launch when you’re ready to rock!