Having an eCommerce business sounds worthwhile on a number of different levels. In addition to the fact that you get to manage your own business, you are able to interact with a large circle of people that can be both entertaining and beneficial. However, understanding how to make the business successful takes a lot of hard work and discipline. Jose Duarte, one of the most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs in Costa Rica, shares ten tips that will not only help you find success, but that will help you excel more than others.
It may seem like common sense, but it is still worth mentioning. Making the business legal is a priority. Unless a business is licensed and registered, it’s difficult to obtain the level of credibility that will allow the company to truly find its place. Make sure that all transactions are handled through legitimate financial channels and register the business with all pertinent authorities.
Don’t be impatient when getting started. Explains Duarte, “Launching an eCommerce site is the same as opening a brick-and-mortar store. It needs to be big and provide the ‘wow’ factor that consumers expect. Make sure you cover all your bases before you’re ready to launch and let the suspense build until you are completely ready. It’s acceptable to delay the opening, but make sure, when you’re ready, that the consumer will be blown away with what they find.”
Having a reliable, competent shipping partner is essential. In preparing to introduce a new eCommerce site, make sure you source an appropriate shipping company that can handle all your needs in a way that complements the business. Even after things are up and running, stay on top of the shipping partner to ensure that deliveries are handled per your specifications. At the end of the day, you are responsible for making sure the package is delivered – not the delivery company.
Always pay attention to the customer. “Too often, businesses get into the habit of treating a customer as nothing more than a number and they lose the ability to interact appropriately with their clients,” says Duarte. “These businesses always fail. Customers want one-on-one attention. They want to feel that they’re special. It may cost a few extra dollars in manpower, but this is better than losing a few thousand – or more.”
Invest properly in the technology to run the site. Put resources into analytics, testing, development and upkeep. Always look at the site from the consumer’s perspective and determine if the result is what buyers want. Additionally, invest adequately in your products or services. Don’t cut corners that will jeopardize quality.
If you’re not able to manage the social media activity on your own, make sure you hire someone who knows how customers think and who can properly analyze traffic to make the social marketing stand out. However, stay involved and make sure that the individual is adhering to the same principles and goals as you.
Along those same lines, it’s important to add social elements to the site. Employ feedback capabilities – such as rating buttons or a blog that accepts replies. Keep consumers entertained and they’ll continue to return to the site.
An eCommerce site has to be created so that it is optimized for mobile platforms. These days, over 65% of shoppers make their purchases from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. A site that isn’t attractive to view on these devices will lose customers, which means a loss in revenue.
When you’re preparing to launch the site, don’t forget to include the capability to capture pertinent customer data. All of this information needs to be added to a database that can be used for marketing purposes and to make future shopping experiences easier for the consumer.
Don’t get complacent. States Duarte, “Shopping habits and products are constantly evolving. Make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of the market in order to adapt to change. Just because a business is successful today, this doesn’t mean it will still be viable tomorrow.”