Running an E-commerce Business

Running an e-commerce store can be a hugely rewarding venture, which not only allows you to connect with others who share your passions but also gives you an opportunity to create a long-term, successful career. With sales during the holiday season last year topping $100 billion, the future is definitely looking bright for anyone looking to set up and run an e-commerce store. So, whether you are considering starting up an e-commerce business, already own an online store, or are selling items online as well as in a retail shop, here are some tips to help you be more successful.

Focus on Customer Experience

When you’re running your own business it’s common to feel like you have got a million different things to do at once. And with the vast amount of factors involved with entrepreneurship, it’s easy to put important ones to the side, whether intentionally or not. When running an eCommerce store, it’s best to focus on doing one thing extremely well – and you should focus on keeping your customers satisfied. Rather than taking a scattershot approach, prioritize your customers and their needs to ensure that you provide them with the best experience.
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Find the Best Sales Platform

Many online shoppers have at some point visited an e-commerce store and questioned its safety, security, and authenticity – especially during the checkout process. The best way to overcome this happening with your e-commerce store is to ensure that you select a platform which is reputable and has a proven success rate with clients. E-commerce credit card processing can either be done by yourself or by a third party provider.

If you decide to do it yourself, you can select payment gateway software from a quality provider in order to customise the shopping experience. However, having somebody else host your payments will generally result in better reliability and you’ll also have access to customer support if anything goes wrong. Whether you choose to host payments yourself or through a quality provider, you should make sure that the experience is seamless and trustworthy.

Create a Mailing List

Promotion of products is another best practice carried out by successful e-commerce store owners. Many start by developing a list of customer e-mails, which they then use in order to create a mailing list. Mailing lists have a number of benefits, with the main one being that they serve to inform your customers of any deals and promotions that are currently available or upcoming. By opening an email that informs your customers of these deals, they’ll be prompted to visit your site and maybe even buy again. However, it’s important that you get customers’ permission first before sending them promotional emails.

Watch Out for Fraudsters

Online fraud is becoming more and more of a problem, and as an e-commerce store owner you’ll need to be careful that your customers do not fall foul to it. Online fraud has been an issue in the past that has caused many e-commerce stores to lose business, as customers are too frightened to shop online there again after being a victim of fraud in the past, even if it wasn’t the e-commerce store’s fault. For that reason, security should be a top priority. Ensure that your payment system is secure, and never save customers’ personal financial details.

If possible, you may wish to consider offering PayPal or another online secure payment system, which allows customers to make payments through their online PayPal account and eliminates the need to enter card details or even an address. With payment systems such as these, customers often feel a lot safer and more secure when shopping online, as they’re able to do so by just entering a password.

Marketing – make your site mobile-friendly

With more and more e-commerce businesses cropping up and many customers opting to shop online instead, successfully marketing your online store has never been more important. When it comes to shopping online the competition is immense, and in order to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to put a lot of effort in. Get the edge on your competitors by doing something different, such as developing an innovative mobile app which customers can use for making purchases on the go. You should also ensure that your website is user-friendly and also mobile friendly, a factor which is becoming increasingly important as more customers opt to shop from a mobile or tablet. Make your site responsive!

Do you run an e-commerce store? Which best practices do you carry out to ensure success? Leave your response in the comments.

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