7 Tips For Setting Up A Successful Ecommerce Channel
As the digital world continues to grow, selling online is a thriving business and one which many hope to enter. If you are thinking of setting up an ecommerce channel though there are a number of things you should consider in order to be as successful as possible. Standing out from the crowd and beating the competition is tough, particularly for new businesses, but have a look at our top tips to get you started.
Identify your USP
One of the first things any business should do is to identify their USP (Unique Selling Point). It is becoming especially tricky to create a business that is centred on something completely original, be it a product or service. However, all businesses should still have their own unique factor. Focusing on this will help give your business more direction and a way of building strong marketing strategies. If you are a clothing brand there may be a specific product, style or fabric you offer in your collection, for example. A USP could also be something as simple as low prices. Whatever it is, identify the USP from the start.
Add personality to your brand
Another factor that comes under the USP umbrella is personality. Many brands neglect adding a touch of personality to their brand, and this is usually what causes them to be less successful. Knowing your customers is no longer enough if you don’t properly apply this information to the brand itself. Inject personality to tie together your brand and customers. Some of the most successful businesses do this beautifully, such as Topshop who have created a youthful and fresh aura for their young adult market. Consider how you want your brand to be perceived: exciting? trendy? funny? girly? masculine?
Start small before building
Trying to be everything at once is often the undoing of new businesses. Again, having a clear understanding of your target audience is essential. Shape a business around your customers in order to be what they want, and deliver what they expect. A good way of starting this is to identity different personality profiles for your customers. Stick to just a few profiles and work out marketing strategies around these. Trying to please everyone is never a good business choice. Be what your brand can be in order to attract the customers that you want to gain interest from.
Secure a solid supply chain
Although order fulfilment takes place behind the scenes it can have a direct effect on customers. Damaged, delayed, incorrect or missing products are likely to deter your customers from coming back. Securing a solid supply chain right from the beginning can prevent these incidences from happening in the first place. Managing your supply chain isn’t something isolated to the ecommerce channel either but is still very important. Reliable service is essential for building brand reputation. Whether you outsource your products or have your own stock, make sure the system is solid.
Be competitive on value
With prices constantly fluctuating across products and services, being flexible with prices is important. Before you even consider marketing and selling you should conduct thorough research of your competition. Gauge the value of your products and offer a competitive price to match this and other businesses. Whilst you don’t want to sell your products at such a low price that you do not receive any profit, prices should be given a lot of thought. People want value for money at the end of the day, but are also willing to pay more for quality products.
Calculate shipping costs
Shipping costs also come into the end sale price of your products for customers. Calculating reasonable costs for shipping is usually where businesses lose money. In order to deliver the best service to your customers, making compromises on shipping can be necessary. Think about integrating multiple shipping options to attract more customers and to meet individual needs. If given a variety of choices, customers are usually more willing to commit to a sale. You don’t have to provide free delivery either, other examples include:
- Standard delivery
- One-day delivery
- Express delivery
- Scheduled delivery
- Free delivery over a certain minimum order cost
- Click and collect (if you have a brick and mortar store)
Advertise to gain traffic
If you’re a new business or an existing one that has just set up an online sales channel, don’t expect people to know about you. The internet is vast and with ecommerce sites popping up daily, you shouldn’t just assume that people will find you. Putting a website live is not the same as opening a store. Advertise, advertise, advertise to gain traffic to your site! Social media is an invaluable marketing tool which can instantly get people talking about your brand and visiting your site. Even if people don’t buy from you first time round it will spread your name. It’s also a way of targeting your desired market.
If you need help managing your ecommerce website, at Options Mail Order we offer integrated solutions across sales channels. Get in touch with our team for more information. Our blog has a number of other helpful posts for developing and growing your business too.