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E-Commerce for Independent Ventures: How to get it Right

E-commerce is also constantly evolving, especially as Google’s algorithm changes continue to have an impact on small, online businesses. These circumstances have conspired to ensure that only the most effectively managed and innovative e-commerce concepts will prosper, so it is crucial that you continue to learn and develop your online strategies.

With this in mind, how exactly should you look to refine your e-commerce strategies and platforms? Consider the following tips:

 

#1 Respect the Importance of Sales and Marketing

While e-commerce is a standalone concept by itself, it is underpinned by the basic principles of sales of marketing. So, although you may be selling products or services online rather than through a physical retail outlet, it remains crucial that you develop an in-depth understanding of your consumers and look to establish competitive price points and profit margins. Without this, you find yourself operating an evolved and accessible website that cannot convert traffic into sales.

For small or medium sized ventures, the important thing to remember is that e-commerce represents a business model rather than a direct revenue stream. Although it can double up as both thanks to the placement of targeted advertisements and the implementation of PPC techniques, its most important function is to provide a cost-effective medium through which products can be marketed and sold directly to the consumer. To fulfil this need successfully, it must be supported by an integrated marketing strategy, sound pricing and a reliable logistics capacity.

#2 Invest in Persuasive and Responsive Design

While today’s business owners may be preoccupied with creating a website that is optimised for smartphone access, there is also a pressing need for them to invest in persuasive and responsive design elements. This is especially important for websites’ that operate as e-commerce platforms, as they must incorporate visually striking design features while also remaining simple and easy to navigate. This can be a difficult balance for entrepreneurs to achieve, although there are some shining examples that have been set by established e-commerce outlets.

One of the best examples is the U.S. based; handcrafted goods company Grovemade, which offers subtle and natural product positioning amid beautifully designed and clear landing pages. This creates a perfectly balanced and visually stimulating website, where quality images and simplistic design provide a background against which the brands products are showcased. The company have also incorporated a number of images that depict the collaboration and interaction between individual employees, which add an interactive element and promotes an extremely engaging brand.

#3 Apply Technical and Organisational Skills

While it is possible to operate an e-commerce site without being technically proficient, it is necessary to develop and utilise basic software and organisational skills. While the former enables you to comfortably navigate the leading e-commerce platforms on the market, for example, the latter ensures that you can maintain an overview of the business model and take steps to guarantee that the website works in a logical and easy to comprehend manner.

In terms of familiarising yourself with the most established e-commerce platforms, you will need to consider the merits of resources such as Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. If you can learn to navigate these platforms while also developing a basic knowledge of HTML, photoshopping and web hosting, you can look to constantly adapt and improve your site while also saving considerable sums of money.  In a fast-moving and competitive e-commerce space, your ability to deploy skills and execute changes in real time can have a dramatically positive impact.

#4 Be Analytical and Monitor the Performance of your Site

Once your website and e-commerce platform is up and running, it may be tempting to relax your focus for a short period of time. This can be extremely counter-productive, however as the competitive nature of e-commerce means that you can quickly lose your market share to eager and more proactive rivals. It is, therefore, crucial that you consistently analyse the performance of your website, paying particular importance to the bounce rate of each individual landing page and the ultimate rate of sales conversions. According to the Sales Outsourcing Company, however, a staggering 83% of businesses use metrics that are outside of their control to measure revenue and sales output.

The most effective and readily accessible software to help you achieve this is Google Analytics, which provides you with a comprehensive suite from which you can monitor the progress and performance of your site. Not only will this collate data concerning the bounce rate for your website and its product pages, but it will also enable you to understand your brands’ typical customer profile. This process subsequently highlights specific issues and the product pages that are failing to convert traffic, so that you can tailor your marketing and sales techniques in a way that drivers engagement and higher rates of sales conversions.

Do you run an ecommerce site? What challenges have you encountered while trying to make it a success? Your thoughts and comments below please…

 

Image: e-web-solutions

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