With technological advances and digital platforms showing no signs of slowing, the eCommerce industry is proliferating quickly. For those itching to start a business, the odds are ever in your favor with eCommerce creating more accessible business models for the everyday person. However, with more opportunities comes more intense competition. To succeed in the eCommerce space and out-sell your opposition, you’ll need dedication, hard work, and a progressive mindset.
Here are the top-ten dos and don'ts of starting an eCommerce business in 2022.
Here's what not to do
Before getting started in eCommerce, there are a few things you should avoid doing if you want to be successful.
Don't rely on a PO box for your return address
Unfortunately, PO boxes are not ideal for those starting up an eCommerce business because of size and LLC registration restrictions. However, online business owners can sign up for a virtual PO box to bypass traditional post office confines, allowing for oversized items and swift returns.
Virtual options are the perfect alternative for booming eCommerce businesses, offering staffed locations with a usable street address for your online store.
Don't give up right away
Those diving into eCommerce will likely face unexpected waves along the way, resulting in setbacks and discouragement. However, those who face challenges head-on, refusing to give up, can scale hurdles and blow past the competition.
It can be easy to feel discouraged—especially during the beginning stages. However, persevering through and leaning on seasoned entrepreneurs can help you reach success and long-term viability.
Don't try to do everything yourself
One of the biggest mistakes when starting an eCommerce business is attempting to do everything yourself— an impossible task that could lead to burnout and quickly sabotage your business.
Instead of overdoing your duties, learn to delegate tasks and build a team of reliable individuals who can help you with the day-to-day operations of your business. Whether you hire a virtual assistant, social media manager, or financial advisor, you’ll be happy you asked for help.
Don't overlook marketing
Marketing is one of the most essential aspects of starting and running a successful eCommerce business. Yet, it’s also one of the most commonly overlooked factors.
When creating an eCommerce business, investing time and money into high-quality marketing ploys will help you reach your target audience, build brand awareness, and generate sales.
The best marketing channels for eCommerce businesses include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. So make sure you understand marketing tactics or hire advertising specialists to help scale your business to new heights.
Don't lose focus on what makes you unique
Highlighting services and products that make you unique is critical in the oversaturated eCommerce space. There are thousands of businesses selling similar models and knock-off products, so finding a way to stand out among the crowd is critical for success.
One way to catch consumers' attention is by offering unique products that shoppers cannot find elsewhere, providing a high-demand service. Or, focus your efforts on delivering exceptional customer service to keep paying customers coming back.
Here's what you should do
Now that you have a clear list of don’t-dos, here are a few things to prioritize if you want to succeed in the eCommerce space.
Listen to your customers
Your customers are your best source of feedback, giving you valuable insight into what services and products they do and don’t like. Additionally, customers illuminate future pursuits for your business, allowing you access to consumer needs.
Always listen to your customers and take their feedback into account when adjusting products, services, or business models. Doing so will help you improve your commodities and create a culture of honesty, value, and cooperation with your customers.
Use email lists effectively
Email lists are an excellent way to stay in touch with your customers and promote new (and existing) products and services. Additionally, they’re a great source of revenue and can help to boost your bottom line over time.
However, make sure you’re using email lists effectively by continually sending out relevant and targeted content without overwhelming your consumers with junk mail. In addition, you should segment them based on interests and purchase history, allowing you to send targeted emails that are more likely to be opened and clicked on instead of discarded.
Lastly, regularly offering discounts and coupons in your emails will incentivize consumers to click on and frequent your online store.
Remain true to your brand
As your eCommerce business grows, remain true to your brand. Having a solid brand foundation and focus by maintaining high-quality products and advertising ultimately improves your customer service, marketing, and overall image.
It can be tempting to appeal to a broader audience as you grow, but this can often lead to diluting your brand and losing sight of what made you successful in the first place. In addition, customers won't understand why you're changing and may start to look elsewhere for what they need.
Invest in your website
Your website is one of the most critical assets of your eCommerce business. It’s the first thing potential customers will see when they search for your business online, so make sure you invest in optimization services to rank higher on search engines.
In addition, design your website to convert visitors into customers with easy-to-use features, strong product descriptions, consumer testimonials, and a powerful call-to-action (CTA).
Never stop learning
The eCommerce world is consistently evolving and shifting new gears. Digital tech is booming, marketing strategies are more involved, and new competitors enter the market every minute.
As such, staying up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends is critical to remain afloat and keep up with opponents. In addition, prioritize consistent testing and experimenting with new ideas to help find new ways to improve your business and draw in consumers.
By following these helpful dos and don'ts, you’ll be on your way to success in the eCommerce space. Just remember to zero in on what makes your business unique, listen to your customers, and invest in a high-quality, user-friendly site to stay competitive and relevant.