According to recent figures, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $1.67 trillion in 2015 and revenues are expected to grow to an incredible $3.02 trillion in just three years. With so much potential for growth, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs all around the world are looking to set up their own online business and take advantage of this shift in how we shop. Unfortunately, many are finding out that it isn’t as simple as they first thought. Here’s what you need to know to be a success.
Defining Your Target Market
Since one of the main benefits of an online business is the ability to reach customers from all around the world, many entrepreneurs find it difficult to define their target market early on. Finding a niche that’s currently being underserved is your best way of developing a dependable customer base. You may find that consumers who feel they are not represented by mainstream alternatives are more receptacle to new ideas and are therefore more likely to show loyalty to a particular brand.
Understanding Your Customers
Similarly, a business should never forget its core audience. While it can be tempting to constantly reach out to new customers, 70% of businesses say that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one. There are a number of ways you can reward your biggest fans, including loyalty cards or membership schemes where people can try your products or services before everyone else. People talk, and you may find that a small group of enthusiastic customers are your best online marketing tool.
Choosing the Right Platform
When starting your business, you may initially expect to earn most of your sales from your own website. Unless you plan to invest heavily in SEO, though, you may find that this is unrealistic early on. Instead, consider selling your goods on third-party platforms like Amazon or eBay. While these websites will take a cut of your earnings, the added exposure may be a good way to introduce your goods to a larger audience. When you’re ready to build and launch your own website, try using a template based service such as the Web Eden website builder to get your business off to a flying start.
Utilising Third-Party Relationships
For a young and headstrong entrepreneur, it’s easy to think you can take on the world on your own. However, for any business to be successful, they need to learn how to utilise third-party relationships. For e-commerce businesses in particular, third-party couriers like TNT are essential in making sure you can move goods from your warehouse to the customer’s door. Rather than paying for each parcel individually, pre-purchasing in bulk could end up saving you money in the long-run.