It’s now easier than ever to get involved with the rapidly expanding world of e-commerce. With online shopping making up for over half of shopping in retail, it’s understandable that many choose to launch a business venture entirely on the web. But where do you start?
If you’re a newcomer to the industry, fret not – here are the essential things you need to know for your very first e-commerce experience.
Server size is important
The very first thing you need to consider when it comes to establishing an online store is the server size you’ll need. It’s a decision that’ll come when choosing a hosting provider – you need to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you. Are you looking for modest success, or is there no end goal in sight?
There are a few renowned options in terms of hosting providers for e-commerce – Siteground, InMotion and 1&1 are just a few potential choices to get acquainted with when doing your initial research.
If it’s the former you desire, a shared server is likely your best option – it’s cheaper and will likely provide more than enough space upon which to host your site. However, if you’ve got bigger goals in sight, a dedicated server is probably for you. Albeit more expensive, you won’t be running the risk of an overload, which often leads to detrimental downtime.
The design of your online store is the first impression
When potential customers visit your online store for the first time, the initial impression they’ll get that could effectively determine their next action is gathered from its appearance. Be sure to come across as trustworthy, innovative and a worthy competitor in the market, otherwise you could find said customers look elsewhere.
Flat design still remains the dominant choice in web design to this day, despite multiple evolutions and changes to the format – be sure you’re focusing all your attention on the products you’re selling, as opposed to a distracting, garish design. And be sure your store is easy to navigate, too, otherwise customers could become easily frustrated and stop browsing.
Consider “niche marketing”
Although a niche market won’t get you very far in terms of exponential growth – after all, you’ll only be catering to a very specific market – niche marketing will have a very opposite effect on your outreach. Niche marketing is a term that basically details the process of finding your own space in a perhaps oversaturated market, in order to offer something fresh and innovative to potential buyers.
When employing niche marketing upon your online store, you’ll be proving yourself to be forward-thinking and exciting, excelling past your competitors in order to come out on top in the market.
Customer service will guarantee your success
Be sure you’re offering excellent levels of customer service in order to stay ahead and keep your buyers around. Expressing yourself as a trustworthy business will help customers make an informed decision on whether to stick around or not, and customer service is the most direct and effective way to do it.
If buyers have any queries, comments or even complaints – yes, it happens – in regard to your online store, make sure you’re on hand to give a thorough and sincere response as soon as you can. Establish these relationships with your customers, and they’ll be much more likely to stick around for the long run.
Don’t forget security – attacks are common
An online store simply shouldn’t exist without even a basic level of security. Ensure you’re prepared for any potential attacks or hacks upon your store, which are unfortunately rife within e-commerce. Should you fail to protect yourself and your customers from any risks, personal information could leak which would dismantle the hard work you’ve done to prove yourself as a trustworthy competitor.
Attacks such as SQL injection are often the most common, so ensure you’re doing whatever you can to protect yourself. It’s now easier than ever to do so; there simply isn’t an excuse not to.
Do you have any more tips for those who are new to e-commerce? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.