With a 7.655 billion total population, the online marketplace is the biggest in the world. A retailer who isn’t taking advantage of this opportunity is either ignorant or not ready for business.
According to Statista, e-commerce generated 653 billion US dollars in 2018 with 1.79 billion people shopping online. As lucrative as the industry might seem, getting a piece of the revenue doesn’t come easy. To stand of chance of cashing out, you have to put the right machinery in place. Otherwise, there’d be no one visiting your site, let alone making purchases.
Here are five things to do before launching your e-commerce website.
- Have an email subscription form
Investing in numerous forms of traffic, an average e-commerce site enjoys reasonable traffic. This traffic runs through the sales funnel. (this guide is worth a read to learn more about sales funnels). The beginning of the sales funnel is the widest. It contains the raw traffic pouring into your site. As visitors move along the funnel, it gets narrower with many of them finding their way out. Only a handful will make it to the end. Even at that, there’s no guarantee that they’ll make a purchase.
According to Hubspot, 99% of first-time visitors don’t buy anything. Don’t let them go just like that. A visitor who didn’t patronize you today could be your highest spender tomorrow. But you can only create room for that if you get their contact for subsequent communication.
Every visitor to your website is a potential customer. Nurture them to that level by installing an email subscription form before you launch. It’s a lot easier to get customers to drop their emails than make them buy from you. With their email in hand, you have a point of contact for follow-ups.
- Install a CRM software
Competition among online retailers is on the increase. Devising ways to stay ahead elongates your business lifespan.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is growing more popular in e-commerce circles due to its efficacy in enhancing the customer experience. A Salesforce report found that CRM increases customer retention by 27%.
Understanding customer behavior is integral in offering them a satisfying experience. CRM technology helps you to streamline data presented to each customer on your site based on their previous interactions. As they look up things on search engines, similar items pop up when they browse through your site. What this means is, they get to see products they are already interested in. There’s a very high chance of them making a purchase as opposed to seeing products they have no interest in at that point in time.
- Install live chat
The success of your e-commerce site largely depends on one thing – your customer service. Setting up a great website with all the necessary tools will be a waste of time and resources if you don’t treat your customer’s right. They are the ones who will be making the purchases. Not getting it right with them will lead to failure.
Take a look at the top e-commerce sites, there’s one thing they all have in common – live chat. Online buyers demand instant response to their inquiries. A little delay ticks them off. If you aren’t going to be on standby to talk to them, you might as well not open up for business.
Live chat makes interactions between customers and agents on e-commerce websites easy and fast. With the icon visible on your site, visitors can reach out to you by just a few clicks. Any concerns they may have about your product(s) can be swiftly clarified, giving them the confidence to proceed with their purchase.
- Set up your social media accounts
It’s hard to separate e-commerce from social media. Statista reports that there are 2.77 billion people on social media. Not selling to that portion of the online population reduces your sales unit.
Despite the need to have your business on social media, it isn’t mandatory that you are on every single one. Don’t be one of those businesses who have accounts everywhere online just because everyone else does.
Identify your target audience, and position your brand on social sites where they are. If you don’t have a market on a particular social network, you have no business being on it. Save yourself the stress, and focus on places that matter to your business for high level of engagement.
Pick one user name across all the social sites you want to be on. It helps customers to find and recognize you. Having different usernames on different platforms gives you multiple identity that confuse your customers.
- Establish an email newsletter
Your e-commerce store isn’t going to thrive on organic traffic alone. You’ll need to be proactive by reaching out to customers and prospects on a regular basis about your products. An email newsletter is an effective tool in communicating this message across. It takes your products into the inboxes of your prospects with well-crafted sales copies to get them interested in your offers.
There are several email marketing services online. Compare and pick one that’s most suitable for your business.
Choose a very good template and customize it to your taste. Create a template for your welcome message as well as the body of your message.
With a growing online shopping consumer population, e-commerce revenue is on the increase. The Guardian reports that Amazon recorded $2.5 billion in profit in 2018. This shows that there’s no limit to how big an e-commerce business can grow when managed effectively.
Author’s Bio: Sam Makad is an experienced writer and marketing consultant. His expertise lies on marketing and advertising. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their business and overall ROI. Reach out to Sam Makad on Twitter or LinkedIn