Map a business plan

One thing you will need to absolutely do before launching your eCommerce business is to think about a solid business plan for it. It will not be enough to just create a WordPress site full of product pages while you sit back and wait for it to work on autopilot.

You need to define a plan where every basic aspect of your core business is clear to you. You will need to define your budget and expenses, expected profits, target audience, marketing process and plan ahead for stuff that you’d like to implement in the future, like affiliate programs.

Choose the right eCommerce platforms for your products

Not every platform will work with every kind of product, nor is the same kind of audience found on every platform, so you have to think about how your product or service fits on each platform, and study what kind of audience dominates each eCommerce platform.

For example, amazon.com and ebay.com are great for casual sellers and major retailers looking to offer many common goods and services. While platforms like Etsy.com and storenvy.com are where original creators and artists do business.

Work as a brand

It is of extreme importance to brand yourself, your eCommerce website, products and services, because an eCommerce effort that is not branded is just another faceless commercial website among the many, many others on the internet.

Branding yourself is done by creating a remarkable and memorable company name, mascot, logo or user experience. Create something unique, but at the same time balanced, something unforgettable and simple.

Work on your delivery

Presentation and delivery is key. If you want visitors converting into customers and customers converting into repeating customers, you have to give them something great to make them want to come back and buy from you!

For example, if you are in the retail business, create custom packages for every different category of product shipped. If you sell digital goods, work on a personalized downloading screen. Send your customers thank you notes after they have made a purchase!

Feature your products at their best

You have to feature your products at their best all of the time. This means that you have to take extra care when creating your product pages, using page templates that reflect the nature of the product featured there.

Use white backgrounds for your product pictures and take them in well-lit places. Take pictures intended to show the best angles and details of your products. If they come packaged, get a picture of the product alongside its package.

All of your product pictures should feature close ups. Also, make sure that you ALWAYS use pictures of your real products, not stock photos, which can turn off your visitors!

Keep shipping costs low

This is one of the simplest, yet most overlooked aspects of good pricing in eCommerce: low shipping rates. There are many online sellers that offer products at a lower price than the competition’s, but they make up for it by inflating shipping rates.

You see, one of the greatest competitive advantages of eCommerce is offering lower prices than everybody else, so many online sellers lower prices drastically knowing that the majority of customers tend to overlook shipping rates until they’re already checking out.

This strategy, apart from being misleading, is also ineffective because it is one of the greatest causes of cart abandonment. A greater competitive advantage would be to offer lower prices and low, but fair shipping rates.

Make security a priority

It is super important to make security one of your eCommerce site’s greatest assets and to let your customers know it. Too many people are not aware of this until they’ve been scammed, but internet savvy customers will know better before giving you their credit card information.

Thankfully, many eCommerce website builders integrate SSL certificates and secure payment methods into their platform, so this advice is for those venturing into creating their own eCommerce website by their own means. If you do that, it is recommended to accept payments through secure platforms like PayPal.

Create detailed product descriptions

Good and detailed product descriptions do wonders for sales. A detailed description will make a customer stay in the product page longer and in turn more likely to buy. A detailed product description gives customers a greater sense of trust towards the seller.

Great product descriptions should include an overview of the product, its physical properties and manufacturing details. For services, an explanation of how it starts, how it progresses and how it ends is important.

Target your audience

Not everyone will respond the same to the same piece of advertising. It is not likely that your product will be bought by everybody unless it is an in-demand consumer good like detergent or rice, so it is important to target your audience by giving it what it likes.

An example of this could be if you sell baby clothes. Your target in this case needs to be parents of newborn babies. You can further segment this audience and target family members looking to give parents of newborns a great gift.

Work on making your business scalable

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but many online businesses fail because their owners didn’t include scalable goals in their business plans. If your eCommerce website is just taking off, it is understandable that you might have to take charge of everything related to it.

If more than a year passes and you are still checking in every order and sending out confirmation emails without having enough revenue to hire someone to do it, you will need to go back to the drawing board and make your eCommerce website profitable!