Mr. Lee runs a retail store. But as the pandemic surged, he saw the need to shift business online. Customers feared infecting themselves, and so they started buying online. The sales dropped, and Mr. Lee had no other option than to build an e-store.
So, he started researching “how to start a successful eCommerce business?” It consisted of planning, various eCommerce platforms, features, technology stack, and the development team.
While doing so, he understood that no matter the level of research, there are 5 key things that sum up the entire e-store. And to relieve other businesses from the stress of researching, he explained those 5 things in the article below.
Let us check them out.
Top 5 Key Things You Need for eCommerce Store
1. Optimized Website for eCommerce Store
If you don’t have a website yet, it’s not a big problem! You can now build your website from scratch, ensuring it has smooth navigation, a user-friendly interface, an attractive layout, clear product images, and more.
Whereas if you have an existing website, make sure it takes less time to load, probably less than two seconds. If not, you might lose the 47% of users that expect web page loading time to be less than 2 seconds.
Hence, Mr. Lee guides that the site should be optimized regularly. In addition to easy navigation, readable texts, clear product images, test the website regularly. Check the product pages, product descriptions, page links, CTAs, header, footer, white space, and design elements. If you are not well-versed, talk to an expert; take their suggestions. Always look out for the trends – the colors, style, fonts keep changing. Make sure your website is ADA compliant.
2. Niche-specific Product
If you are new to the business, you should research the product/s you would like to sell. Don’t just start selling because someone else says that it is in demand or you see them making profits. What if they are in the industry for years?
Sell what your target audience is looking for.
An existing business, on the contrary, has to think about the products they would like to sell online. Mr. Lee says that if you’re in the t-shirt business, for example, then don’t just sell t-shirts that you used to in your brick-and-mortar store. Think about providing something unique. You can sell niche-specific t-shirts or integrate a product designer tool to sell custom t-shirts.
In short, decide your USP (unique selling proposition). It can be a service like free delivery or a product like cartoon t-shirts. It will also help you build a brand.
“Choose the right product. It’s essential for eCommerce store. Sell differently.” – Our imaginary Mr. Lee.
3. Easy Signup and Secure Payment for eCommerce Store
For advanced traffic and increased conversion, provide customers an easy registration. Avoid lengthy forms; ask for the bare minimum information – name, email id, and payment details.
To further simplify it, you can provide an instant registration using social media accounts. Customers can sign in through their Facebook or Google account. An automatic phone number registration feature is also an excellent idea. Dating apps like Tinder use it, so users don’t have to make efforts to register.
Along with registration, also look at the payment options. Do you offer PayPal services? What about the wallet, digital payments, and other debit and credit cards? Can your customers securely save their card details? Close all the loose ends that will make your customers enter the card details every time they make a transaction. Make it safe and secure – encrypt the data.
Do everything you can to take your customers from planning to purchasing.
4. Referral and Affiliate Programs
Many e-store owners would say that loyalty programs and other referrals such as discounts and coupons are outdated. You can skip adding it to your e-store.
However, according to Mr. Lee’s experience, a successful e-store needs a referral program, an affiliate program too. If you want to gain profits and drive sales, you need to have coupons and discount features. For marketing your products, an affiliate program is a must. Like Amazon, you can pay affiliates a defined commission, say 4-5% commission on sales.
Affiliates provide better exposure to the store. They have a considerable follower base who trust their reviews and feedback regarding a product.
5. Shipping and Delivery
A poor shipping and delivery option is the primary reason why customers abandon the product. They find it absurd to know that a product is not deliverable at their location only after they have gone through all the purchasing steps.
Mr. Lee says that it’s the reason why your regulars turn towards your competitors.
So, to avoid that, you must provide better shipping and delivery options. An auto-location detection at the home page will be a great option if you have stores in multiple regions. Customers would only see the products available in their area. A zip-code delivery check option at the product page is a must-have.
And to fulfill all the other delivery options, a delivery scheduler tool would be effective. According to him – our Mr. Lee, a shipping and delivery scheduler tool is necessary for eCommerce stores.
“Many ‘how to start a successful eCommerce businesses’ guides miss talking about this tool. But you shouldn’t.” – Mr. Lee.
There’s not a single tried and tested solution for all the eCommerce store. Their needs vary according to the businesses. However, the things mentioned above are essential for all types of eCommerce businesses.
Read more: RPA for Business Automation
A few others from Mr. Lee’s list include an easy return policy, customer reviews, social sharing, 24*7 customer support, consistency, and powerful insights.
Add everything you can, and make sure to pass this information to others on the way!
To make a fully-fledged successful eCommerce store, you need to have an optimized website, easy signup, loyalty programs, secure payment, and the right product.