6 Vital Essentials for a Startup E-commerce Business to Succeed
The relentless growth of the e-commerce industry has helped breed a new set of entrepreneurs who are willing to take the plunge and start a new venture. The e-commerce growth story is expected to continue with a CAGR of 14.7% between 2020 and 2027. It is critical to have a proper business plan and have a loyal set of customers for your business to take off.
It is also essential to have a decent website to bring in new visitors and embark with them on the buyer’s journey and taking them through the hierarchical process that will culminate in a sale. You must take steps to ensure a steady flow of incoming leads to grow your business. However, entrepreneurs must keep in mind a few essentials to ensure a steady growth in their business. In this article, we will discuss the essentials that make any startup e-commerce business succeed in the long run.
Have a robust business plan
Before you venture into your business, you must have a clear mission and vision of your business. The products that you select should allow you to reach your goals within the timeframe you have envisaged. However, as a starting point, you must undertake market research about the market size of the products you wish to sell through your e-commerce site. Also, you must understand the demographics of your audience and create the buyer personas.
It is essential to have a marketing and branding strategy for your portfolio. You may take the services of a professional agency to help you in your online strategy and offline marketing efforts. Before going live with your portfolio, you must ideally do a test launch in a particular region and use the learnings towards improving your strategy for the grand launch.
The site must be user-friendly
The website is an essential avenue for the growth of startup e-commerce businesses. There must be a clear buyer's journey across the website that will help the visitor to find responses to the queries while having a glimpse of your portfolio. It is essential to help the visitor by proactively in throwing up the relevant search items during their search. It is also helpful if you have a chat option whereby an executive will interact with the visitor and respond to queries.
Studies show that at least 67% of your audience used a shopping app on a mobile device. So, it is also essential to have a responsive site, that will provide a seamless viewing experience across desktop as well as mobile devices. The site should load fast on a mobile device, and visitors must see clear product images and easy to load the cart. There must be an easy sign-up process, and the entire workflow until the products are added to the cart, and the sign-off process must be smooth.
Have relevant content
You must ensure that the content is relevant to ensure that visitors do not bounce from your website and move to the competition. Great content also helps to improve critical search rankings. The product descriptions must be written while infusing the relevant keywords at places that are apt for them. The product titles must be descriptive so that the visitors do not take much time to distinguish it from others.
It is also essential to create the proper page titles and meta descriptions to ensure that the product pages turn up during keyword searches. The product description must include appropriate high definition images of the product that can help the visitor to have a clear view of the looks of the product. You can create blogs and articles as well as listicles that will help you to garner more page visits and thereby increase the conversion rates.
You must be trustworthy
Given that you are in the e-commerce industry, it is essential to adhere to the PCI-DSS guidelines. You may have several sub-domains for each product segment. It calls for choosing one from the cheap Wildcard SSL certificates. It will help by encrypting the communication between your web server and the browser of the visitor. Moving your site to HTTPS will also allow it to gain SEO brownie points as search engines have been penalizing non-HTTPS sites by tanking their search rankings. Web browsers also mark non-HTTPS sites as "Not Secure", which makes the visitors abandon your site instantly. And worse, they usually move to your competition and never return.
Connect with your audience
It is essential to have an excellent social media presence and use the online medium for most of your ads. Publishing enticing social media posts regularly can help you to grab eyeball share of your audience. You must also allow visitors to share the products of their choice through the social sharing buttons. The site must enable customers to add reviews and testimonials. Studies show that at least 72% of your audience cannot make a buying decision without going through reviews.
The site must also allow you to cross-sell or up-sell products from your portfolio. If you visit any of the well-known e-commerce sites, you will find a section showing what other items customers had bought earlier. It will help you to increase the average cart value of each customer.
Use the digital platform well
Your competitors are using the digital platform well. So, why should you be far behind? You must utilize white hat SEO techniques to rank high during keyword searches. It is essential to organize email campaigns to increase footfalls to your site or to propagate special offers during festivals, etc. The product reviews can also help in enhancing your SEO scores. You can also initiate an online referral and affiliate programme that will help you increase your audience base. These programs can be tweaked based on feedback while providing incentives to those who opt for them.
A startup e-commerce business must have a robust strategy and a backup plan to succeed. It starts by being trustworthy and moving the platform to HTTPS that will allow encryption of the communication with customers. There are a few more essential strategies you must take to steer the business on the growth path. We have listed them out in this article for you.