Customer Satisfaction Through Connection

Is e-commerce good for small businesses?

If you own a small business, the likelihood is that you are looking for ways to improve the level of pleasure experienced by your customers and increase sales. It is likely that you already have an online storefront set up to assist you in accomplishing those objectives. Sadly, a very large number of websites belonging to small businesses do not function properly. Because they are incompatible with mobile devices, some businesses risk losing potential clients. The summons to action in the others are either lacking or nonexistent. Some are simply of poor design quality.

Is there a magic formula that can be replicated to create high-performing e-commerce websites? Do they share anything in common with one another? There is no way that their achievement was a fluke. What is their secret to success? Let’s take a look at the strategies that the websites that are raking in sales like nobody’s business are employing so that we might learn from their success.

We at Hillyer Riches, Australian bookkeeping and accounting specialists, have done our research on Ecommerce and small businesses and are here to share our findings.

How To Begin An Ecommerce Company

The data that are shown here do not take into consideration the recent happenings that have led to an increase in ecommerce sales; however, e-commerce has been expanding for some time now.

Choosing a brand name, writing product listings, and beginning to sell things online are only a few of the steps involved in the process of building an ecommerce firm. If you aren’t able to attract enough people to your website, even the most brilliant business plans could end in failure.

Examine Several Ecommerce Business Models

Beginning your research is both the first and most significant stage in this process. Do not base your choices on your intuition alone. The growth of every internet firm involves financial resources. Therefore, you should regard it as such.

There is no universal business model that can be applied to all situations and be successful. The tip of the iceberg consists of service-based enterprises, software, sales of digital products, and traditional product sales.

Before you can choose what to sell via the internet, you have to first gain an understanding of the several business tactics that are available to you.

Understand the various e-commerce business models.

It’s not rocket science, but it has ramifications for your company’s structure.

Dropshipping is a good option if you want to make money without handling your product or investing a lot of money at first.

If you want to have your own warehouse full of goodies, you’ll need to invest more money up front and adopt a wholesaling or warehousing approach. Do you have a business idea for the perfect product or a favorite item you’d want to sell under your own brand? Investigate white labeling and production options.

Then there are subscriptions, where you curate a collection of things or a single product to be delivered to your clients at regular intervals.

The most popular e-commerce business plan is a single product category supplemented with affiliate marketing. You can concentrate your efforts on content marketing and branding for a single product while monetizing traffic to drive sales.

Begin Your Ecommerce Niche Research

Small-Business-Accounting-Bookkeeping

When someone send me an email directing me to their ecommerce website and it has hundreds of products, dozens of categories, and no apparent focus, it makes me feel bad.

You can’t become the next Best Buy or Amazon unless you have a huge budget. It’s just not possible. In order to establish an e-commerce store that is profitable, you need to specialize.

When starting an internet business, selecting a specialized market to serve as your primary focus is the single most critical step. The first step in this procedure is to locate established businesses that are already operating in this sector.

Check to see whether there is a lot of competition in the area; this is a good indicator of whether or not there is a market for your product.

However, you shouldn’t choose a market that is already extremely saturated, and you should steer clear of anything that is controlled by huge names. If you are having difficulties doing this, you should hone down even deeper on what it is that you want to do because the more particular you are, the less likely it is that you will meet any competition.

When you niche down, you also have the benefit of having a large number of “shoulder” niches, which are similar to what you offer but are not the same. You can increase the size of your customer base by working with other business owners in those niches to engage in cross-promotion, become an affiliate (or purchase one), and expand your customer base.

Choose a product category that has at least one thousand keywords, and center your attention on a market segment that is successful in social media and contains a number of publishers that are Amazon affiliates. If you are successful in securing a few chances for affiliate marketing, you can reduce the amount of merchandise you need to send while maintaining your ability to turn a profit.

Validate Market and Product Concepts

Now that you have a target market and a strategy for conducting business, you might feel the urge to start hunting for products that you can offer.

Don’t. First think about the different types of people who might use your product. It is unreasonable to expect someone to purchase your wares if you are unable to identify the person to whom you are selling them.

What are your qualifications and experience? What does the shop provide its customers? Who would be the ideal customers for your business? You must keep a consistent brand image (a journey that starts with your brand name). It was just a matter of time before a company that specializes in organic seeds also started selling conventional fertilizer.

After you’ve decided what kind of image you want to project and what kind of client you want to serve, it’s time to start thinking of products you could sell to those people. Begin with this one because you will spend less money initially and can test the waters with affiliate marketing if you wish to offer more once you have gained some experience with this one.

If you run an organic seed company, for instance, you might look up well-liked organic products on Amazon and then develop content with the goal of directing customers to those products through your affiliate links. In the event that something goes on fire, you might want to think about starting your own brand. If you are unsure of what to sell, you can test the viability of your idea through the use of affiliate marketing.

However, before you make a purchase, you should make sure that you have done sufficient research on the subject. Even if you decide to go with a dropshipping business model, you should still perform extensive testing on the product and get a good feel for it. This will allow you to identify any potential problems and develop customer support scripts to handle concerns that are most commonly raised.

Register Your Ecommerce Marketplace & Brand Name

You need a brand that connects with your identity if you want to launch a successful business. Building an ecommerce brand is made easier by identifying your persona. If you’re marketing products to corporate businesswomen who want to live a more sustainable life, you should avoid girly colors and pictures.

But there are some basic steps you’ll need to do before you set up your store and get into the nitty-gritty of developing a brand.

Register Your Company

Choose a name for your firm and register it. Don’t forgo incorporating because it offers legal protections and tax advantages.

Choose A Name For Your Store

Although your website’s name and your company’s legal name don’t have to be identical, keeping them constant offers advantages. You don’t want to pick a brand name at the last minute, so be sure whatever you choose fits your niche.

Obtain The Necessary Business Licenses

If you’re unfamiliar with the procedure, the Small Business Association has a number of resources to assist you, including a mentor-protege network and small business basics classes. Look for mentors proactively; their counsel can be invaluable, even for little matters like obtaining business licenses. Finding someone to show me the ropes was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Find Out What Your Employer Identification Number Is

Even if you don’t plan on hiring anyone, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to create a company bank account and submit your taxes in April. Your EIN is similar to your company’s social security number: it’s a one-of-a-kind number that identifies your company and aids in the filing of crucial paperwork.

Apply for Business Permits and Licenses

You will still need some business licenses and permits if you run an online store. Check with your city, county, and state to discover what kind of sales tax licenses or home business permits you’ll need, and make sure you have them before you start operating.

Locate The Best Vendors

You’ll have a lot of competition if you sell things online, so research the greatest quality and prices for the products you offer or the materials you use to make your products. Shop around until you locate a vendor with whom you wish to do long-term business – this includes your e-commerce software (or “shopping cart”). Consider scalability from the start.

Designing A Logo

Don’t stress about it too much, but make sure it’s not already in use by another company in your industry. However, logo design does not have to be unique (and in fact, should not be).

Visualise

Consider carefully the colors of your brand, the artwork you’ll use, and the typeface or fonts you’ll use. If you have the funds, you may pay a marketing firm to generate a design brief for your business. You can make your own if you don’t have one. Just stay consistent and read marketing advice to assist you grow your business.

Complete Your Online Store’s Business Plan

You should have a good notion of how your company will look by now. You’ve identified your target market, product specialty, and brand name.

It’s a good idea to take a step back and write down your business plan, as well as your beginning budget and monthly expenses.

The financial side of a company is the most significant. Determine your break-even point in terms of both unit sales and time (in months). Any meaningful business is a financial investment. One of the first things I learnt in MBA school was this. The role of a CEO is to take resources and turn them into profit.

During the business planning stage, you should also iron out specifics such as your employees, product sourcing, logistics, and marketing budget.

Make Your Own Online Store

After you’ve legally registered your company and begun thinking about design, you’ll need to register your domain name as well as any applicable redirect URLs. When you eventually build your store, you’ll need the design information you decided on in the previous phase.

Your ecommerce software must also be compatible with the design you choose.

Hundreds of ecommerce shopping cart platforms are available. It’s not easy to pick the best e-commerce software. Things like loading speed, functionality, compatibility with various payment channels, compatibility with your business structure, your web developer skills, SEO-friendly features, and more must all be carefully considered. I’m compiling reviews and comparisons to assist you in making the best decision.

Adding products and information to your online store is only the beginning. You should also set up your email marketing and automation.

This must be done before any traffic arrives. Conversions require the use of email marketing. Make sure you have coupons, thank-you emails, and upsells in place to convert visitors into customers. You must also consider client service.

Advice for Your Ecommerce Startup

Setting up a successful online store can be difficult for small business owners, so we’ve compiled this list of recommendations to assist you on your way to Ecommerce success.

Make it as simple as possible to navigate the site

Simplicity is crucial when it comes to navigation. Customers may be turned off by pages of information or having to navigate through pages of unrelated things before finding the product they want, prompting them to go to a competitor’s website.

It might be a good idea to categorise your products as much as possible. Make sure your website and online store pages are clearly labeled and classified, indicating exactly what will show when a user clicks on them. Also, try incorporating a custom search bar within your website’s ecommerce section. For clients that know exactly what they’re looking for, this will make the process easier.

Choose a specialty

While it’s tempting to want for business branches in every country, it’s more practical to focus your efforts in the short term.

So think about the areas you want to focus on right now. Distinguish them from long-term goals.

These countries have some of the world’s largest ecommerce markets and are primarily English-speaking, making the shift easy.

You can get away with selling in English in those areas, so it’s not difficult to replicate what you’ve done in Australia or New Zealand.

Keep in mind that variances in pronunciation and colloquial words must still be considered. Consider the following scenario: In Australia, a barbeque may be referred to like a grill in the United States.

Consider yourself a visual merchandiser

To boost customer purchases, your ecommerce website should be visually appealing. Minimalist pages with calculated distance between products can help to encourage purchases by making products look less cluttered and confusing. Additionally, consider using plain backdrops with muted colors to help your products stand out.

Product descriptions should entice customers

Your product descriptions should be compelling and thorough in order to attract customers to buy. Pay close attention to the details of each product and offer as much information as possible to provide the most accurate description possible to the consumer. People should know exactly what they’re buying, as though they’ve hand-picked the item from a physical store.

It’s also crucial to create descriptions in a tone that matches your brand’s identity. Are you sociable? Humorous? This can help clients understand your company’s ideals and distinguish you from competition.

Maintain the security of your ecommerce website

Consider acquiring an SSL certificate to assist protect the transfer of your customer data and activating two-factor authentication for client logins to help gain your customers’ confidence, information, and patronage. Additionally, follow Australian PCI rules to assist protect financial transfers between yourself and your customer. You could also include a link to your company’s privacy policy to help show transparency and a commitment to protecting consumers’ data.

business ipad with cloud information

Be adaptable

Have you ever tried to make a reservation at a hair salon or restaurant and received no response? Have you ever attempted to contact them again after that? The most likely response is no.

People can purchase online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. To succeed in an increasingly competitive business, you must ensure that your customer service is not compromised. Make that you have enough staff to handle communications between your brand and those who want to engage with it.

Get social and keep SEO in mind

Because so many potential customers contact with a product or service for the first time online, having an omnichannel presence gives you the best chance of expanding your reach and growing your client base.

Create social media accounts on the channels that are appropriate for your product or service, and make sure you have the resources to assign a staff member to developing relevant content calendars and engaging with your audience via direct messaging and comments.

Because organic (free) search accounts for 43 percent of ecommerce traffic, it’s equally crucial to invest in an SEO plan. As the ecommerce industry gets more competitive, now is the time to get aggressive and strive to claim the keywords that are linked with your company and brand.

Don’t forget to optimise for mobile

The majority of adults (85%) believe that a company’s website should be as good as or better than its desktop website when viewed on a mobile device, thus your website must be mobile-friendly.

Make sure your website looks good on a desktop, tablet, and mobile device. On mobile, what works on a desktop may be overly crowded. It’s critical to prioritize mobile in your design specs to maintain a consistent user experience regardless of how they find you.

Make a change with your clientele

Ecommerce provides a fantastic opportunity for gathering client data. You can observe which goods individuals are most interested in, which web pages they spend the most time on, and how frequently they return, among other things.

Use the information generated by your users to your advantage. You can tailor packages or add-on services to your product or service to meet the needs and desires of your clients. Furthermore, the digital environment allows you to ask a broader range of questions to a larger number of people. Don’t be hesitant to use online polls and surveys to engage your customers and see how you can improve their experience with your business.

The ecommerce environment is changing. This indicates that in the coming years, the industry will grow and improve, and new technological trends will make it more seamless.

As a rising ecommerce business owner, you need to stay on top of these technologies and figure out how to put them to work for you. The tactics listed above will give your users more value and help your business succeed.

Struggling to keep up with your bookkeeping? We’re here to help. Hillyer Riches are qualified accountants and business advisors who can take care of all your accounting and business advisory needs, so you can focus on what you’re good at – running your business.

Contact us today at (03) 9571 5333 or info@hillyerriches.com.au for a consultation!

Summary

There is no one-size-fits-all company model that works for everyone. You must examine the various business strategies available before deciding what to sell online. Dropshipping is a good option if you want to make money without handling your product or investing a lot at first.

If you want to have your own warehouse full of goodies, you’ll need to invest more money up front. Most popular ecommerce business plan is a single product category supplemented with affiliate marketing.

The more particular you are, the less likely it is that you will meet any competition. If you want to start an ecommerce business, there are some basic steps you need to take before getting started. Identify your target market and establish a consistent brand image. Choose a name for your firm and register it. Don’t forgo incorporating because it offers legal protections and tax advantages.

Apply for Business Permits and Licenses. Shop around until you locate a vendor with whom you wish to do long-term business – this includes your ecommerce software. You should have a good idea of how your company will look by now. Identify your target market, product specialty, and brand name. Determine your break-even point in terms of unit sales and time (in months).

Your ecommerce software must also be compatible with the design you choose. If you want to start an ecommerce business in Australia or New Zealand, consider becoming a visual merchandiser. These countries have some of the world’s largest ecommerce markets and are primarily English-speaking. Product descriptions should be compelling and thorough to entice customers to buy. Having an omnichannel presence gives you the best chance of expanding your reach and growing your client base.

Organic (free) search accounts for 43 percent of ecommerce traffic, so invest in an SEO plan. Make sure your website looks good on a desktop, tablet, and mobile device. Ecommerce provides a fantastic opportunity for gathering client data. You can tailor packages or add-on services to your product or service to meet the needs and desires of your clients. Use online polls and surveys to engage your customers and see how you can improve their experience with your business.

 

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