The biggest issue was once trust. Everyone had reservations on entering their personal information such as their home address and their credit card number, to purchase something on the World Wild Web. That was risky as all information would surely be unsafe.
This is no longer the case, as all hazards has been removed, as e-commerce is now a trillion dollar industry, and one that all businesses should be participating in. E-Commerce is now the fastest growing industry segment globally, with massive participation.
What the latest statistics show is that over 42% percent of all consumers with Internet access, have purchased something online. This is a significant number since there are now over one billion users. And because of mobile, these numbers will only increase.
To Begin In E-Commerce
Like any new business start-up, establishing yourself in e-commerce will have a few hiccups, this not in the products that you offer, but more when it comes to the nuances of marketing anything from the start, especially on the Internet.
Since the ease of entry is extremely affordable and easy to start an e-commerce site, the competition online can be extremely severe, this not only for your product but for any niche. So what you need is the proper data and strategy.
It comes down to attention to detail, such as flowing site navigation, competitive price points, mobile friendliness, execution of targeting, superior branding, and exceptional service.
Marketing End Game
When starting an e-commerce business, most think how great their products are, but don’t have a marketing plan, as that should be foremost. It’s not the product, it’s how you market it.
The key becomes having a low customer acquisition cost to become profitable, this on the initial sale. What most will do is lose money on their first sale, writing it off as a loss leader. Their model relies on residual purchases to become profitable.
But what you want is to be profitable on every single sale, and the best way is to work backwards. Begin by analyzing where your target customers are coming from, how much it’ll cost you to acquire them, then you’ll be profitable on that initial sale.
The most popular marketing methods when it comes to e-commerce are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Social Media, Affiliate Programs, Comparison Shopping.
Offer High Quality Products
The consumers of today are the savviest and the most demanding in history, this because they can comparison shop for the best quality of goods for the lowest prices on the Internet, globally.
So when it comes to products, offer the highest quality possible, this above all else. The best online marketing plan cannot sell a product of poor quality and remain sustainable, as there would be too many product returns.
Poor quality products will never get purchased twice, be recommended to others, and your customer will never come back.
Your bad product reputation will spread virally, and all you’ve worked for will sink down the drain. Once you offer quality, you’ll then be assured of higher profit margins for every product sold.
Instill Brand Loyalty
A key piece of the the e-commerce puzzle is developing an identifiable online brand, one which fits into the core principles of establishing a successful online model.
What you want is for your customers to remember you once they’ve been introduced to your brand. This could be your products or yourself as an individual. Ideally, something positive which will instill trust and loyalty.
The idea that’s behind branding is finding an unique and exciting proposition of grabbing the attention of your customers, this while being able to portray your message.
Relate to your customers so that they’ll feel connected to you and your brand. Earn their trust so they’ll become your biggest supporter. This begins with having a quality product associated with a quality brand, then make them pay for it.
Offer Exceptional Service
So you offer the highest quality of products with identifiable brand loyalty realizing high profit margins. What you then need is to back this up by offering exceptional service after the sale.
What superior service does is gives you the edge, a chance to stand out. Take pride in offering unbelievable customer service, as that’s the one thing other than your product, that your customers will by raving about.
So be the exception, offer free shipping, a flexible return policy, and prompt 24/7 customer service. Make sure that you bend over backwards to satisfy your prospects and customers. What great customer service can do is either make or break you.
Never Have The Lowest Price
The conventional thinking is that you need to have the lowest price to get the sale, this in the ultra competitive online market where the customer is king.
Realize that people buy for a variety of reasons, and it’s not always because it’s the lowest price that they could find. What’s more important is having superior products, exclusivity, exceptional customer service, which justifies the higher price.
Once any business begins to compete exclusively on price alone, what it becomes is a race to the bottom, and your better than that. It should be a race to the top.
Cost Of Customer Acquisition
The biggest expense of e-commerce is to acquire a loyal customer, so by having a higher profit margin, what you have is a bigger cushion to spend on your marketing efforts.
It also costs money to have excellent customer service along with unsurpassed product quality. So it becomes a choice between offering the lowest price or having better marketing methods.
The choice becomes obvious. So unless you want to struggle through and experience losses, develop a plan from the beginning where you’re immediately profitable.