Making it in the field of e-commerce may seem like a walk in the park to those who never actually tried running an e-commerce business. After all, with a drop-shipping model and a popular marketplace as your preferred platform for closing sales there’s nothing that can go wrong, right? Well, not necessarily. First of all, while the above-listed techniques may work, they’re minimizing your profit, which implies that you would have to secure an insane number of sales in order to make a living this way. Fortunately, building a more business-like model is not impossible either. Here are the five most relevant tips to set you on the right path.
1. Marketplace vs. your own platform
The first question that anyone who intends to enter e-commerce will encounter is the one of whether you should make your own platform or use a program like Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). The latter method is simpler and even cheaper, however, going on your own has numerous benefits that you can’t afford to overlook. First of all, it gives you a credibility boost. Second, it maximizes your profit, seeing as how you don’t have to pay a fee for every item you sell. In time, the ROI of going on your own may be far greater.
2. User experience makes them coming back
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that your survival in the field of e-commerce greatly depends on your ability to make return customers. About 8 percent of return customers make about 40 percent of your profit and it’s five times cheaper to make a customer return than to create a new customer. However, what is it that makes them come back time and time again? Is it the cost of your items? Not necessarily, seeing as how, in that case, there would be only one retailer per industry – the cheapest one. The secret ingredient to making return customers is positive customer experience. Investing in it early on is a must-do for any serious e-commerce retailer.
3. Use social media to drive traffic
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website is to do so via social media. The reason why this is so handy is due to the fact that it gives you a direct line to communicate with your audience. Other than this, there are so many interactive features (like Instagram Stories) that can give your audience a way to interact with your brand. In other words, other than just promoting your products this way, you also have a way of gathering feedback.
4. Organize your real-life logistics
Keep in mind that if you decide to take control of your own delivery chain, what you need to do is handle so many logistical issues. First of all, you need to get the right storage space, as well as provide adequate material handling equipment like Prestar trolleys. You also need to start your own fleet, as well as hire people who will help put it all together (drivers, fleet managers, warehouse workers, warehouse managers). Other than this, you might also want to consider investing in tools specialized in these tasks – warehouse management software and fleet management software.
5. Put emphasis on transparency
Previously, we’ve already discussed the importance of creating return customers and the simplest way to do so is to establish a relationship based on trust with them. This means that by trying to deceive them in any way, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Nonetheless, this is something that a lot of people in e-commerce do either way. Most common such techniques are using the price without delivery and before taxes are counted in, in order to lure the customers to buy. Needless to say, once they realize that they’ve been deceived, your customers aren’t likely to come back.
As Mike Tyson once said – everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth. A similar principle applies to the world of e-commerce, as well. Therefore, make sure to keep some flexibility options, diversify your offer and be quick to adjust to the demands of your audience. With the above-listed several tips and tricks on your side, you’ll be able to do just that.