Being a successful online business today takes guts. It’s David versus Goliath out there, and it’s not getting any easier for the smaller players. New ecommerce companies must punch above their weight out of necessity. They have to find ways to roll back the current monopolies and offer their customers new value. But what exactly should they do? How can new ecommerce businesses punch above their weight? And what tools are available to make these new ventures more effective in a crowded marketplace?
Here we’re going to investigate all the options available to new ecommerce entrepreneurs. Don’t sit back and let the market dictate the size and shape of your business. Forge a new future for yourself that breaks using these tips.
Make Your Policies Clear And Accessible
Customer inquiries are expensive for ecommerce startups. They take up a lot of time that could be spent processing orders. The holy grail of customer service is to make sure that customers always have their questions answered as they require.
The first thing you business should do is set up an FAQ page. Most people don’t want to call you if they think that they can find an answer quickly on your site. So an FAQ page is essential for preventing a large number of calls. Include all relevant information on your FAQ page. Including things like your returns policy, your shipping policy, and your estimate delivery times. Remember to regularly update the page as customers ask you new questions. For instance, if you keep getting asked about what to do with defective products, create a new question on the FAQ page.
Top experts also recommend that ecommerce businesses respond to questions or reviews quickly. Customers will complain, but dealing with their complaints quickly can help to turn a bad situation around. Often you can demonstrate your commitment to customers by quickly responding to negative feedback. This can then take a bad situation and turn it into a good one.
Always Include Rich, Detailed Product Descriptions
Drew Barton is the CEO of an Atlanta-based software company. He’s spent a lot of time looking at what makes ecommerce websites work and what doesn’t. Over the years, he’s found a consistent pattern. Web sites that emphasize the importance of product descriptions tend to do better than those that don’t. He suggests writing 75 to 200 words on each product under the image, describing it in full detail. This isn’t bland specification information. This is a description, using unbroken prose.
Of course, there is still a need for so-called “under the hood” information too. You should include data on a product’s size, weight, shipping and so on. Each product should also have a unique description, explaining why it is special.
If you sell replacement parts, don’t forget to include compatibility information too.
Make Your Calls To Action Obvious
On the internet, there are very few standards. Each player essentially creates their own standards every time they launch a website. This is perfect for free enterprise, but it can be bad for customers, if not implemented correctly.
You need clear and prominent calls to action on your website. Experts suggest that you have calls to action on every page, prompting customers to do something. Calls to action should appear within the first 600 pixels down from the top of the page. If they’re not, customers may miss them. Barton suggests building every page of your website around a purpose. Customers should know why it is that they are choosing a particular product.
Organize Your Inventory
Ecommerce businesses live and die by the quality of their inventory management. Companies that get products to customers quickly are those that do the best. Businesses that send out the wrong products, or ship to customers late, lose out in the long-term.
Managing your ecommerce company’s inventory is probably the most challenging part of the operation. The sheer number of items flowing through your systems can be enormous. It’s a logistics and numbers game, and one that can be difficult to win.
Red Stag Fulfillment recommend against startups from developing their own fulfillment systems. They’re too complicated to do in-house, especially if the businesses is new. And they can end up taking up 90 percent of the time of the people running the business. Instead, startups should focus on making their ecommerce businesses unique and distinctive. They should branch out into new and unusual ways to market their product. And they should investigate how to expand their operations overseas. Online businesses that outsource the donkey work have more time to dedicate to the high value added activities that really matter.
Always Post Contact Information At The Top Of The Page
New research into online customer preferences has shown the importance of displaying contact information. Contact information should be posted at the top of your website, preferably in the header. At a minimum, you should include a phone number for people to contact. You can also include things like email addresses and fax numbers if that’s relevant in your industry.
Grab A Quality Photographer
Startup ecommerce businesses have a lot of work on their hands when it comes to product presentation. Often, manufacturers will send over professional product images that you can use to sell online. But sometimes, these pictures are poor quality or don’t fit in with the rest of your range.
Almost all experts are convinced that the quality of the photography on your website has a large bearing on whether you’ll do a lot of business. It’s worth using a professional product photographer for images that don’t meet your high standards.
Also, be careful when presenting images on your site. You might start off with a picture that looks sharp and high quality. But once moved onto your site, images can look distorted and grainy.
Finally, make sure that you take photos of your products from multiple angles. There should be no doubt in the customer’s mind that the product you’re selling is the one that they want. This will help to grow trust in your business.
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