Building your online store is not difficult at all. Inexperienced start-up entrepreneurs who know next to nothing about tech and e-commerce might fall for an expensive deal if they ask someone to set up and manage their store. That’s why it’s important to have an idea how to do it yourself, even just the basics.
Marketing and SEO
The real challenge comes with marketing and SEO. Marketing the brand – online or offline – is an important part of any company’s success. Without marketing, you are not likely to hit the next stage, which is dealing with customers.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a huge part of marketing online. As you are starting an e-commerce store, you cannot do without SEO. SEO means optimizing your website so that search engines like Google care about it.
With proper optimization, search engines will “serve up” your website to their users, but it’s not enough that you’re there on a search page. What you want is to be on at least the first three pages of a search. From there, you should work your way up to achieve first-page status.
According to some research, people don’t care about search results beyond page 3; most don’t click on anything beyond the first page. If your website appears at the top of page 1, you have achieved the dream of every optimized website, and it’s going to take continuous work to keep that ranking.
Pricing and Monitoring
Another challenge of selling things online is to know how to price your items, and of course, monitoring competitor prices just to make sure your products aren’t priced too high or too low. Unless you are manufacturing your products with pricemanger.com, you may not be able to price products lower than the manufacturer’s minimum advertised price (MAP).
When customers begin buying, your job is to make sure they get their items according to schedule, which your website should show. People who buy online have outnumbered people who buy from physical stores, and for several reasons, including the convenience of never having to leave home to get what they want. So if your items ship late and arrive late, it defeats the point of buying online. You will lose customers if your shipping is delayed.
Delays are a quick way to lose customers, which is not something you want. What you want is to retain as many customers as possible to keep doing business with them and to prevent bad press, which is easy for people to do now because everyone’s on social media. It is also comforting to know you have return customers. As they say, it’s cheaper to keep old customers than to win new ones.
If you want to achieve success with e-commerce, remember a few things: Always work on your marketing and SEO, and on improving your website; monitor what the competition is doing; make sure your shipping is on time, and try your best not to lose customers.