The world of e-commerce and digital marketing is rapidly changing. Evolving technology has led to changes in customer expectations and even well established e-commerce businesses can become obsolete very quickly.
If you are managing or running an e-commerce business there are a few essential things you need to know if you want to stay current and growing in a very crowded marketplace.
E-commerce offers a number of very appealing features which are often what entices entrepreneurs into this space. With an e-commerce website you can sell 24/7 and earn money even while you sleep. A basic e-commerce website is easy to set up and recently, e-commerce has started to branch out from being solely about business to consumer trading to become a useful tool for business to business traders as well.
What do you need to know about starting and running an e-commerce business?
Here are a few recommendations I make to people when they ask for my advice about marketing and running an e-commerce business.
Get the set up right
When it comes to the success of your ecommerce business, technology is crucial. Always use a specialist e-commerce platform and a solid premium hosting service that is secure, backed up and reliable. Downtime for your site means lost sales for you so you need to make sure your site is up and running 24/7, is fast to load and can handle busy periods.
It’s also worth paying close attention to the design of your site. When you are in the business of persuading people to part with their personal details and credit card information, a dodgy looking site is going to make them hesitate. As well as appearance, a well-designed site is functional, navigable and easy to use. You want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to make a purchase and a clunky, difficult to use site can have a direct effect on your sales.
With mobile popularity ever increasing, you should make sure your site is at the very minimum mobile friendly. You may also want to consider creating an app so that users can have quick access to your products from their mobile device and can place orders within a click or two.
It’s not enough to have an e-commerce site. If you want it to succeed you need to tell the world about it. With so many competing sites out there, you are likely to disappear into the crowd unless you do some form of marketing.
SEO is a great way to market an e-commerce business and the right keywords can bring you plenty of organic traffic for free. Other great ways to market your e-commerce business include social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and paid advertising platforms like Adwords or Facebook advertising.
E-commerce has been around for a long time and it’s certainly not going anywhere in the near future. E-commerce businesses offer many opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners who are prepared to spend the time setting themselves up and marketing their business, and who are flexible enough to move with the rapid changes in technology.
About the Author:
Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here.