E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods online. It can be a profitable way of selling items that doesn’t involve the overheads of running a physical store. However, whilst it can be simpler and less costly in many respects, the e-commerce industry still has many rules to consider in order to guarantee success. Here are five tips to make your business work.
Choose a fast delivery service
The delivery service is just as important as the product you’re selling. If products take too long to reach your clients, you’ll start getting bad reviews. Slow shipping of over a month can also put off a huge amount of clients who may be looking for last-minute gifts or quick solutions. Picking the right courier service will allow for speedy and efficient delivery. Shipping overseas can be more costly so decide whether you can truly afford such a service or whether you’re best keeping deliveries to your home country or local area.
Make packaging professional
Your packaging shouldn’t be amateurish. Not only do you increase the risk of damage during shipping, it could affect your public reputation as a business. Invest in some professional packaging solutions using masking tape, bubble wrap, printed addresses and even wooden shipping boxes for fragile items. You could even throw in extras such as printed coupons to promote return customers.
Use a trusted and easy payment service
Make sure that your online payment service is secure. People are very suspicious of online scammers and an unprofessional payment service could put them off. It’s worth using payment services such as PayPal that people can trust. Also consider the type of account you’ll be using. If you’re accepting credit card, you may need a merchant account and will have to be prepared to accept charges on each purchase.
Keep financial records
Make sure that you’re documenting every transaction. Keep personal details of others secure – a hack could lead you to be responsible for any personal data that is stolen. Clear records will also help when doing tax self-assessments. You will be able to claim expenses on all business costs including marketing, packaging, courier outsourcing, website hosting and any software you require.
Become a don at online marketing
There are millions of e-commerce businesses on the web. Become a good online marketer will allow you to stand out amongst your competition. Put some money aside to invest in marketing practices such as PPC ads and SEO. Alongside a website, set up a business page on Facebook and allow users to buy your wares through here too. You can also use social media to raise awareness of your product as well as advertising promotions. Make sure that you’re also heavily networking as you may be able to form cross-promotion strategies with other businesses. This may involve promoting another business on your site in exchange that they do the same for you. You may even be able to form cross –promotion strategies with your suppliers.