If you want to start an online business then you certainly have a lot to think about. You need to plan out your entire business; that includes investment, budgets, marketing plan, picking an online platform to name a few. Then you need to think about what areas to focus on, build your database, find leads and most importantly – work with the right people to help you along the way. This can be difficult when the market is flooded with so many options. Below we hope to set out 8 tips to starting an online business to make your life a whole lot easier!
- Do Your Research
Make sure that you do your research and understand your market and your competitors (if any). Learn from them and work harder to give your customers a better experience, better customer service, better pricing and better shipping options for example. Plan out your customer journey according to their needs. How will they shop on your site? What is the quickest method to converting your website traffic into buying customers? You also need to make sure that you don’t under price your products as well. This may be tempting because it is a great way to get in the market, but this could hinder you later on. Offer great value and customer service and you won’t have to lower your prices/rates.
- Make Your Website User Friendly
You need to make sure that your website is user friendly, beautiful and converts you’re audience into buyers. If your site is not user friendly than your users will leave and go to your competition. It’s that simple. Knowing what to add to your website, and what not to add can often be a challenge when starting out but working with User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) experts, can certainly make or break an online business in most cases.
- Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience and offering them true value and giving them what they want will set you apart from your competition. So listen to your audience, ask them what they love and what they don’t love. This will help shape your business profoundly and hopefully make your business much more profitable along the way. Start by creating customer personas. Personas are your target audience, the people who will use your website the most. Start with 2 or 3 personas and start marketing to those types of customers.
- Sell International
If you plan to advertise your products to your international buyers, consider having multiple currencies for your customers to choose from so they can view your site easier. Use Translation Tools to translate your website copy to other languages. Create website pop-ups or banners that are specially designed and targeted to overseas IP addresses to welcome them and give them special offers to incentivise them to buy with your online store.
- Consider Shipping and Logistics
Shipping costs and logistics is often an overlooked area of online retailing, when starting out. Think … can you and your site handle large orders? Can it handle 100 orders a day or 1000 orders a day? Consider placing a product limitation on your site so you only advertise the stock you have available. Customers love free shipping. So calculate the costs to offer this service and create promotions to suit your business. For example – ‘Free Shipping On Orders Over $99’. This will often increase your average cart size and average order value!
- Offer The Right Payment Options
How are you going to let your customers pay? Card? PayPal? Cheque? BPay? Cash? Try to offer as many options as possible, if it suits your business but beware that there are some added costs, like special Payment Gateways. PayPal is definitely recommended and is an easy method to setup. If you’re shipping or trading internationally then look at other options, like the Chinese AliPay for example. Talk to us if you’re unsure of which method to choose.
- Find The Right Marketing Channels
Marketing your products or business is possibly the biggest challenge any small business will face when starting an online business or E-commerce store. Thankfully there are lots of options that you can choose from that won’t cost you a fortune. Start by focusing on Social Media, focus on two channels to begin with and work hard to build out your posts, feed, images and content. Find out what channels your customers are using, then simply get involved in their conversations, forums, comments sections and offer your input and create value. Try not to over sell, but simply give advice and share ideas. Be seen as a thought leader in your space. Creating a blog is always another great option, which will help with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This will help your business climb the Google Rankings and help your customers find you online.
- Choose An E-commerce Expert To Help You
Having the right team who can help to build your online business and e-commerce store is critical to your success. Pick a team who has experience and understands what it takes to succeed in the online space. There are many components to a successful E-commerce business, and often you can’t take on every single task yourself.
So there you have it, 8 tips to starting an online business! Your business may take some time to get going, but when you have these 8 tips in place, you will start to see great results!
It has never actually been easier to start an online store and Web Design Market can help you with anything to do with your online business. We have plenty of hassle free solutions available for you to choose from so give us a call today on 03 8400 4600 to discuss your next big project!