With so much potential and activity in the eCommerce industry, staking your claim can be exciting. Yet with so much competition also active in the world of online selling, anyone creating an eCommerce website also needs to study online to understand how best to stand apart.
While many eCommerce entrepreneurs make a living using marketplaces to list their items and fulfil customer orders, we will be focusing more on creating a new eCommerce website from the ground up today.
While the likes of Amazon and eBay can provide solid revenue streams for any dedicated seller, an online business also thrives when it has its own eCommerce website – enjoying greater price control, profit margins and brand identity.
Creating an eCommerce website for your business isn’t necessarily hard, but it’s definitely something for which every detail needs to be perfect as you go – and we will be exploring those details today.
Understanding your eCommerce market
When you create an eCommerce website, you need to study online ways to nail down the premise and structure of your business.
It’s not only a case of selecting what kinds of products to sell and listing them online – you also have to understand the kinds of customers you intend to attract, their purchasing power, what kind of marketing best reaches them, and what you can offer versus competitors to make your eCommerce website the one they choose to shop with.
It’s also a good idea to understand if your eCommerce website intends to offer a very wide range of products, across a number of sectors, or if you are instead focusing on a specific niche, such as pet care, movie memorabilia, automobile parts and so on.
Making certain that your eCommerce website is secure
An unfortunate reality of the world today is that cybercrime is on the rise. When you create an eCommerce website, you also create a potential target for bad actors – especially if you are doing so as a small to medium business (SMB).
Because so much money changes hands on every eCommerce website, they prove appealing targets for hackers and fraudsters. However, don’t lose hope – billions of eCommerce transactions occur worldwide daily without incident.
What counts is that you remain vigilant. Study online the tactics being used by criminals to try and dupe honest hard-working businesses like yours – and work with key partners to further protect both your data, and the data of your customers.
Customers have no sympathy for an eCommerce website that leaks or loses their personal or financial data, so it’s vital to get this right. Luckily, payment providers and eCommerce specialist businesses – think PayPal, Payoneer, Shopify, WooCommerce, Stripe and others – all work tirelessly to keep the network of online sellers they work with safe from cybercrime.
Not only is integrating these kinds of providers into your eCommerce website a smart idea for secure payment processing and timely cash flow – it can also massively enhance your safety. Shoppers will more readily buy from an eCommerce website that signals trustworthiness.
In fact, trust is the central pillar around which any smart entrepreneur builds both a business and an eCommerce website. It encourages user spending, fosters repeat business and highlights your competence and legitimacy versus the competition.
Understanding your eCommerce logistics framework
Unless you are specifically creating an eCommerce website that sells digital goods – download codes for video games, ebooks on various topics, online courses for people who study online, blockchain assets and so on – you are going to need to perfect how your products get from your inventory to your buyers.
For smaller businesses, this kind of activity can be handled solo or in a small team, and can most likely make use of your national mail carrier to get the job done. It won’t be the fastest way, but customers often understand that an eCommerce website from a small business doesn’t use world beating logistics.
However, it stands to reason that you can create a solid first impression on your customers and more effectively scale up your business as it grows by approaching eCommerce logistics from the point of view of a leading player in this space.
However, there are costs that come with using specialist carriers – but also huge conveniences. For example, not only do delivery companies who use tracking technologies help customers feel a sense of trust that their item is on their way, but they also help the owner of the eCommerce website they bought their product from.
Why? Because item tracking, photographs of delivery and other leading logistics breakthroughs can help to protect you from customer fraud attempts such as the ‘did not arrive’ scam.
Plan your eCommerce website customer support with care
Trust has been an undercurrent of the ideas being discussed today, and with good reason. One way you can help build it with your customer base is to strongly consider what kind of customer care works best for your eCommerce website.
Do you have the budget to have a customer support team they can reach via telephone, for example? Would email correspondence be better – and if so, will customers be happy to use it versus the convenience of calling up?
Many eCommerce website creators also use online chat support, either with sophisticated bots or human support staff, to help customers who have questions or concerns regarding their orders.
This is a complicated area of any eCommerce enterprise, but one that rewards you handsomely in repeat business and positive reputation if you get it right.
Study online to master eCommerce success
Even the most confident entrepreneurs are often surprised when they learn just how much work goes into even the most streamlined eCommerce website transactions. Behind the scenes, this active industry is powered by an incredible range of tools, services, software and security best practices – many of which customers never see or learn about.
No need to feel daunted. Study online with Digital Academy to learn the best strategies and most effective leadership skills that lead to eCommerce business success – and even the biggest surprises in this sector can never faze you.