Starting an eCommerce venture can be a great way to engage with all the intricate components of managing your own business. But don’t let this novel industry lull you into a false sense of security either! Truth be told, developing a profitable eCommerce enterprise can be just as difficult as establishing your own brick and mortar retail store – even without all the additional overhead costs.
The main selling point of eCommerce for many entrepreneurs is that you can actually start an eCommerce business with minimal upfront costs and company assets. In fact, many seasoned eCommerce store owners have asserted that the secret to their success is simply maintaining an agile business model.
But how exactly do you build up an eCommerce business that’s agile or scalable? Consider the 6 below characteristics to help set your own eCommerce company up for digital success.
Lay a strong operational foundation
All businesses must be built on a strong operational foundation, and eCommerce is no exception here. For starters, your eCommerce enterprise should be a registered business for tax purposes.
Alongside this, business owners should invest in dedicated financial accounts for managing their business expenses. You should ideally compare business bank accounts before settling on any single financial service provider – just to make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money. You may be able to save big by opting for a business account that comes with no transaction fees and may even allow you to establish multiple accounts, allowing you to take full control of your company’s financial management.
And opening up dedicated business bank accounts doesn’t have to be a costly endeavour either. In fact, there are financial service providers out there that offer business owners the opportunity to open up a free business transaction account. This means that you can secure a dedicated BSB and bank account number for your business today without having to make any upfront payments or deposits. This level of financial liberty is undoubtedly a strong start for any agility-minded entrepreneur.
Invest in third party warehousing
Facilitating strong relationships with reliable suppliers and distributors is another vital component of laying a strong operational foundation for your business. But what about inventory management? This could also arguably be referred to as a foundation of your eCommerce venture. But just because your eCommerce business runs on stock management, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go out and sign a lease on a commercial warehouse space.
Surprisingly, many eCommerce business owners actually don’t maintain an industrial-sized company headquarters. In fact, it’s entirely possible to run a global eCommerce business out of your garage. And we don’t just mean by building floor-to-ceiling warehouse shelves.
Believe it or not, there are actually third-party warehousing services available for eCommerce business owners that allow them to fully outsource their inventory management and order fulfilment services. Your third-party warehousing provider basically takes a cut of every order you make to fund their own operations, allowing you to enjoy growing your profits without having to invest tens of thousands of dollars into maintaining your own private supply, distribution, and stock management processes.
Invest in your business branding
Savvy consumers can tell the difference between a bona fide business and a money-making scheme. That’s why it pays to flesh out your business branding and the way that you present your products and your company online. Thankfully, building a strong brand online can be just as organic as building your own personal social media profiles. And it becomes especially easier if you’ve done your market research and have a clear understanding of your target audience and demographics.
With strong market research at your disposal, you can build up an eCommerce store that appeals directly to your target consumers in a variety of ways –ranging from your colour palette to the tone of your web content and product copy. And with regards to staying agile and scalable, it’s best to keep your web copy as evergreen as possible. This can help you expand your store with the utmost confidence that you won’t have to edit older pages or product descriptions as your business expands.
Finetune your sales funnel and marketing materials
Having a strong strategy in place when it comes to customer acquisition can help your eCommerce enterprise stay at the forefront of its industry niche. And thankfully, growing e-commerce businesses is easier now than ever before, thanks in large part to two digital marketing tools: social media and digital marketing software solutions.
For starters, maintaining active social media profiles for your eCommerce business can help you stay connected to your customers and engage in discussions with them in real-time. Social media can also play a vital role in supporting your marketing efforts and investments, as you can use platforms like Twitter or Instagram to showcase new products or even build anticipation in the lead-up to a product launch.
As for marketing software, the sheer abundance of analytical insights and performance metrics that are available through the use of marketing tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite can help eCommerce entrepreneurs make well-informed micro-adjustments to their marketing strategies and promotional materials. These micro-adjustments can also be made at any point of your sales funnel which may be experiencing a higher level of customer drop-offs.
And once you have found these pain points and addressed them in accordance with your market research and analytical insights, you should find yourself with a sales funnel that’s been tailor-made for your target customers. From here, all that needs to be done is just maintain this killer customer acquisition strategy and let the profits roll in!
Don’t underestimate the power of good customer service
Finally, although customer acquisition is undoubtedly vital to ensuring that your eCommerce enterprise maintains adequate cash flow, entrepreneurs should never underestimate the power of remarketing. Customer acquisition can only get you so far, and the last thing you want is for all your purchases to be made purely by unique visitors. You want your loyal customers to rejoin your sales funnel at some point or another. But how do you get them there?
This is where the value of good customer service comes into play. If you’re able to cultivate a strong reputation when it comes to customer service, then you’re more likely to attract loyal patrons who are eager to continue doing business with you. And these loyal patrons are also more likely to leave positive customer reviews, creating a profitable feedback loop where your reputation grows even stronger.
And as for ‘remarketing’ in a more concrete sense, there’s the infinite value of email marketing campaigns. You can reach your existing customers or previous customers with ease by signing them up to your business’ mailing list and sending them personalised deals or special offers right to their inbox. Ideally, you’ll want these deals to become another pillar of your company’s exceptional customer service experience, providing your patrons with value and a personalised service even weeks or months after their last purchase with you.
All things considered, creating an agile and scalable eCommerce business requires conscientious care and development, both when it comes to your product offerings as well as your sales and marketing strategies. And if successful business owners have learnt anything, it’s that streamlined processes are the lifeblood of any agile or scalable business.
So long as you’re able to implement changes or even chart your business growth with minimal disruptions, then you’ll know that you’ve successfully created an eCommerce enterprise that’s highly scalable and poised for exponential growth. From here, all that’s left to do is decide just how large-scale you want this venture to grow!