“I wish I knew this before” a very common phrase we all have used so many times in our life. But when it comes to running a business knowing everything beforehand is best.
It does not matter that you are a beginner or an intermediate in the e-commerce business you ought to know these points. Again remember that it is not ever too late for having knowledge or correcting your mistakes.
After studying intensively about e-commerce and going through failure stories of so many businesses I have come up with a list of factors which often many business owners forget to consider. You may know some these factors but the important part here is the correct implementation.
1. The Key to success is Cost of Acquisition of Customer
One of the factors where most new businesses go wrong is thinking that selling products is the most important thing to do. Yes, making sales are important but at what cost?
Take a break and start rethinking about your strategies, it is important to make sales but it is more important to make constant sales. The different between sales and constant sale is that it is easy to sell one time but it is difficult to sell to the same customer again.
Image source: http://www.analystconsult.com/
So, your focus should be rather on acquiring customers rather than just making sales as you are not in business for one time thing but you want to run a big longtime business. Spend more on the cost of acquisition of customer that is focus on serving customers more.
You can only acquire a customer with excellent service, in an online business ease of use is the most important factor for customers. Remember that the competition is tough so you don’t want a customer to skip for other options just because of service.
2. Don’t create new products, solve problems.
NO, we are not talking about not trying new things here, we are talking about abandoning your product or switching to a new product for making more sales because you think the product is a failure.
Now, this is something I see many businesses doing at the time of crisis. One of the most important factor before even coming into e-commerce business is to have belief in your product.
I am sure you must have done some kind of product research before choosing the product you want to sell. The problem is often not with the product but the market you choose it to sell in.
Forty-two percent of product launches fail because there is no need for the product.
Yes, this is right forty-two percent of products fail due to wrong market selection. You should look for the problem factors rather than running away from it.
3. Define your success
Image source: https://alexcrispino
Success has no definition, success to every person is different. Some see money as success and some see knowledge and experience as success.
By defining success I want you to define exactly what you want from your e-commerce business. Is it sales you are looking for or is it profit that matters? When you are clear about what outcomes you are expecting it will be easier for you to make your plan of action.
4. Not every customer is same
E-Commerce is a service business. Your task is to serve to serve customers according to their wishes. Every customer is different so forget that you can make any fixed procedure of dealing with every customer.
There will be times when you will face some nasty customers who will be insanely mean to you but that does not mean that you can also reply in the same way. Keep the phrase “Customer Is Always Right” in your mind.
Train your staff for serving every customer patiently and with the same quality.
5. If you are failing, fail quickly
Failure is not something to be feared off, it is the quitting that you should fear of. Failure is the part of the process to success. It is important that you realize what is working and what is not.
Do not waste your time on things which are not worth, if you know what is failing then don’t go on and keep trying to correct it. Do give a try to solving issues but if you know something doomed to fail, make it fail quickly. Your time is most important do not waste it.
One of the worst things we can do is to fail slowly, desperately hoping that things will turn around. You need to learn quickly what’s working and what’s not that needs to be stopped.
6. Understand your value proposition
Image source: http://pixee.ru/
If you are not clear about your business’ value proposition then you might be losing some customers. It is you who has to build the path of reaching to you for the customers.
Be clear and simple about explaining to customers what you do and what you do not. Once you understand your value proposition you will get a better understanding of your ideal customers and strategy you need to attract those ideal customers.
7. Fraud Is Everywhere
Once you are in an online business then you are opening your gates for everyone, in this everyone some can be defrauders too. With the increase in the e-commerce business, cyber crime has also increased a lot.
There are certain situations which sellers often find themselves in:
- Chargebacks from unauthorized credit card use
- Damaged and undelivered package claims
- Customers returning goods in used condition
- Hackers looking to steal customer information
You should be prepared for such situation, do not get dishearten by these kinds of situations. Make sure your genuine customers do not suffer due to these mishaps. Check how customer support is the key to success
8. Develop your e-mail marketing strategies
The first task of your marketing is having an email list, if you don’t have one then leave whatever you are doing and go make one.
Image source: www.6sdigital.com
Now, when we talk about email marketing it does not mean just sending an email at various occasions.
You are sending emails so that your customers know what is going on with your brand and what are you offering time to time but for once stop and think are these email which you are sending being read or not.
Many businesses make the mistake in the making email content, understand that no one like anything that’s common so how will a customer like an email that is for everyone. Give some personal touches to your emails so that your customer feels special.
Read more in details how to execute Email Marketing
9. Invest in Yourself
If you think that by spending some money on yourself you can do better in your business never hesitate.
Your knowledge is never a waste; spend money on yourself in making yourself better. Do different courses you think can help you understand your business and run it smoothly.
10. There is an end to every road
Yes, it is very difficult to think about ending your business when you are just starting up but it is very important to have an exit plan. Including an exit plan in your business plan is very important. You must understand that you cannot run a business forever, you may want to give your business to your child or sell it off so you must have some kind of exit plan.
You will need exit plan in scenarios where you see things not working. There is no point of running any business which is not getting you any success. If you are not able to establish your business as a brand in 5 years it is better to exit that business.
To understand how you can make your right exit strategies go to Entrepreneur’s blog.
It’s never too late for anything, if you have not thought on these factors earlier think now. It is not guaranteed that your business journey will always be all roses there are always ups and down for every journey, it all depends on how handle it. Be patient and plan well.
Keep coming back to learn more about how you can grow your E-Commerce business to connect and engage with customers and more people.