9 Components of a Strategic eCommerce Business
Ecommerce is the new norm when it comes to shopping. Ecommerce entrepreneurs love it and most importantly, users love shopping online! It is estimated that the niche will keep growing over the coming years with projections that 95% of purchases will be made online by the year 2040. This means they will be more and more competition in the eCommerce space and that’s why online businesses ought to have a proper business strategy to survive. Below, we have compiled nine components you must have to run a successful eCommerce business.
One of the biggest threats to any eCommerce store comes in the form of cybercrime. In the rising number of eCommerce stores, cybercriminals have found easy targets where important transactions are undertaken. For example, hackers can interfere with business operations or they might go as far as stealing data for the purpose of extortion. It is a financial risk plus it is quite hard gaining back the trust of consumers in case of a breach.
Therefore, you should invest in keeping your online business secure from cyber threats. One place to start is to install a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. The beauty is that you don’t have to spend much on this. You can always find a cheap SSL certificate to start securing your e-commerce website, but this isn’t all about securing your business, of course. There are other security features you can implement like using 2-factor authentication (2FA), protection against Denial of Service (DOS), protection against Malware, etc.
Ecommerce shoppers need just a few seconds to get an impression of your online shop, a feat that can influence conversion rates. A poor looking store will lead to higher bounce rates and low conversions thus it is important to factor in visual aspects in all your eCommerce web design projects. Make the site aesthetically pleasing with a consistent branding that makes you visible in a gradually flooded marketplace.
Talking of design, an eCommerce website should have a nice user experience in mind to make shopping faster and smoother. There are many ways to improve the user customer experience, for example, fine-tuning the product search, provide a hassle-free checkout process, add customer reviews, etc.
Tips: Use UX review checks to pick out and solve any problems your customers might have in the purchase journeys.
Just like in a brick and mortar store, at the heart of any business is the product quality. What will keep customers streaming is the solution you have for them however good your marketing and advertising efforts are. You certainly want happy customers vouching for your products through word of mouth (WOM). Yes, WOM is still alive with reviews, influencer marketing, social callouts and the likes affecting online sales. All these aren’t a possibility if you have incorrect products on your online store. In fact, word will spread around that your store shouldn’t be trusted!
Online shops don’t trade in isolation. Interestingly, eCommerce shops are affected by others like a business not just in the same region but globally. You might have noticed the increase in price comparison websites designed to give consumers better prices for a given product. This shows that price is very much a metric that consumers care about. Of course, if there are cheaper alternatives then customers are more likely to look at them first. So, every eCommerce shop must keep an eye on product pricing to stay ahead of the competition.
Ecommerce shoppers are digital consumers who expect your business to be there for them 24/7. Whether it’s to handle pre-sales queries or post-sale support, customers want a store with a 5-star support system. Having nice customer support will boost your sales and trust.
- Use customer service software like bots to improve customer service. But, don’t overdo this as customers love interaction with real people.
- Embrace social media for support
Mobile commerce otherwise known as m-commerce refers to transactions done using mobile devices. It is yet another trend that’s growing rapidly and you should be thinking of tailoring shopping for mobile if you haven’t already. Your e-commerce website might be responsive, but this doesn’t mean it is mobile commerce ready. Having a custom-made mobile app that build by skilled mobile app developers will give your customers a better overall shopping experience including features like letting them pay through mobile payment options etc.
Marketing & Advertising
Every business needs clever marketing to stay ahead of the competition and the same applies to an eCommerce shop. Digital marketing strategies work quite with eCommerce and they are many types you can leverage to grow your business. For instance, you can take advantage of the growing social networking to do things like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Marketing, etc. You can also use content marketing and search engine marketing techniques to improve organic traffic and SEO rankings
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain efficiency is another vital component of a successful eCommerce business. Supply chain management refers to the activities required to plan, coordinate, schedule and control the procurement, production, and deliveries of products to customers. Basically, you want your customers to get products from your shop on time. You will want to fine-tune the process of product/raw material acquisition, relevant production, and delivery with the aim of reducing costs & satisfying the end customer.
In a nutshell, eCommerce is becoming a competitive space and any online store must have a strategy to stay ahead of the competition. The components we have covered are essential to a successful eCommerce business, but they are not all. You can always keep experimenting to find what delivers better results for your business. Also, don’t forget to use data, and to innovate for better service delivery.
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