It’s not exactly another dot com bubble, but particularly following the events of the past twelve months, the internet has allowed some people to delve into their first forays of entrepreneurship.
However, contrary to some beliefs, this isn’t a case of “set and forget”. In other words, the motto of “build it and they will come” simply doesn’t exist. Once you have sourced your products and built your website, the journey has just begun.
While there are probably umpteen rules associated with a new e-commerce website launch, through today we will focus on four of the golden ones that can superpower your success.
Rule #1 – Know your target audience
This may seem like the most basic rule, but it is often the most overlooked. In fact, despite some people’s best efforts, even some of the biggest companies in the world fail to understand who their target audience is.
While it may be tempting to just build a website and see what happens, you will be more likely to succeed if you have a plan. The plan can be as simple as “selling products to people who live in a specific area”.
Once you have this information, you can create a marketing plan. For example, you may choose to target local schools and use social media platforms to inform parents. This may seem like a long shot, but it will certainly be more effective than simply shouting into the ether.
Rule #2 – Have a plan for delivery
This is a big one. After all, it’s not much use creating a website and waiting for customers to come to you. Again, the plan can be as simple as “shipping to customers in the same country”.
The key thing is to make sure that you have a plan for how you are going to get your product. Will you use courier services? Will you store goods in a warehouse and ship as needed?
Once you have figured out how you are going to ship your product, you can start to price your product. As you will probably be buying in bulk, you can often negotiate great rates with delivery companies. As you get bigger, you can negotiate even better rates.
Rule #3 – Have a plan for payment
The payment plan is really important because it can often be the thing that frustrates customers the most.
There are plenty of options for accepting payment, including Paypal, credit cards and even Bitcoin. If you are using Paypal, you can even get started with a basic account, which allows you to take payments without the need for a credit card merchant account.
Rule #4 – It’s not just about new customers
One of the worst mistakes we see when it comes to new websites is the obsession with new customers. Sure, these are going to be the bread and butter of your e-commerce offering as you get up and running, but you also shouldn’t neglect your existing ones.
Existing customers will eventually prove to be the building blocks of your business. It means that you should be using email marketing software to target them whenever possible, and also making sure that their experiences with your company are nothing but delightful. If you can perfect this, you’ll find that your list of new customers suddenly starts to grow as well. Nothing beats the power of recommendations.