Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Achieve Successful E-commerce

Different strokes for different folks, they say. But when in e-commerce, the factors for success are essentially the same. Read on to know how you can make an e-commerce business work for you.

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•    Set your business apart

Every online store is unique in itself, and there are things you can offer that others can not. Identify what these things are. Know what elements of your store differentiate you from competition. What reasons would make a customer want to pay your site a visit? Do you offer products and services exclusively? Perhaps you sell merchandise lower than the others do. Or maybe it is your excellent customer service that makes customers return. An advantage that most businesses have is that they are able to provide resolutions to customer’s challenge that no one else can offer.

•    Utilize sophisticated technology

With so many choices for e-commerce platforms nowadays, there is no reason for you to have a site that does not function properly. However, a good e-store does not only mean bug-free. It also means maximizing available technology so can attain your business objectives.
One essential aspect of an e-commerce store that seems to be neglected by the majority is a blog. You can bank on this feature and make sure that your e-store blog is relevant, informative and well-optimized to boost customer visits.

•    Make purchasing as easy and convenient for customers as possible

A seamless purchasing process equals happy customers. There’s no point in trying to make the buying process complicated for potential clients by forcing them to fill out lengthy forms, clicking a link, integrating additional steps and too-much upselling before they can make a purchase. All these turn customers off, and you may end up losing them in the end.

Some studies reveal that at least 20-30% of customers tend to walk away even if they already have items on their shopping carts because of how complex a site’s buying process is. The figures tend to worsen with sites that do not offer a user-friendly experience. Your goal is to make the process simple so you could make a sale.

•    Ensure proper management of your supply chain

In the case of some e-commerce sites, customers tend to give up on their stores entirely due to improper supply management. This means mismatches in items bought, product damages and defects, delays, or missing items. The key to prevention of such circumstance is to ensure that you have proper supply chain management. Select suppliers that are known for their reliability. One way or another you would have to outsource raw materials or procure the products themselves from these suppliers, so make sure you are sourcing the right ones. Your efforts will be for naught if you offer products that are below the standard.

•    Ensure cost-efficiency

You may be tempted to reduce your prices to a considerable degree in order to sell. While offering dirt cheap rates may move you up ahead of the competition, know too that reducing profits to single figures is responsible for bringing some companies to shambles.

When pricing products or services, make sure that you have cost-efficient control processes in place. Identify how you can offer discounts and lower retail prices without losing your income.