There’s no better time than now to start an online business. As we know it, life has now adapted to this new normal of social distancing and staying indoors. With the Coronavirus crisis affecting the whole world, human behaviour has drastically changed towards an online presence instead of a physical one. E-commerce websites are fast replacing physical stores, and they are making more profits than before.
As people try to find themselves in this purely online world, you can craft a successful online business so that they will find you and your product in their search for themselves.
Here are ten tips to help you establish an online store that stays afloat no matter what global crisis we’re in.
- Sell a product that solves a need for a market niche. You can’t be a shopping mall anymore, Amazon is already doing it, and they’re doing it for the long haul. Instead of trying to serve everybody, you should find a niche to focus on. What are these people looking for that not a lot have provided yet? Find a gap, and fill it with a fantastic product.
- Sell a fantastic product. Will you buy the product you intend to sell? If you can wholeheartedly say yes to this question, then you’re already on your way to a great product. However, your personal biased opinion isn’t enough. Enlist the help of other people – your friends, family, prospective clients. Show them the product, ask them if they like it if they will buy it, how it can be improved, and how much they would be willing to pay for it. Work your way backwards to craft a fantastic product that qualifies for “best”.
- Sell a product aligned with your values. If you cannot be proud of what you are selling, you won’t be able to sustain your online business. On the other hand, a product you can personally talk about with your friends is worth selling. Its strength as a product and your conviction in it should be able to support all the other strategies to follow.
- Craft an attractive brand with a great logo. While the logo is not the brand, it is the strongest representative of it. With tons of products available online, you need to be able to separate yours, starting with a strong logo that can communicate what your product is. Make use of free tools online, such as Canva and Sparkpost, for excellent templates.
- Create copy. Likewise, the text that accompanies your product’s logo should match your brand in appealing to your target market. Take time in crafting compelling copy. Many online businesses make the mistake of neglecting copy, thinking that images and graphics are enough. However, customers intent on buying don’t stop looking at pictures but seek more information by reading copy. Make sure they click the “Buy” button with an informative and convincing text.
- Have a stable, visually appealing website. These elements – your logo, images of your products, and excellent copy, should all be placed on a website that is easy to navigate. Your website is your online storefront where you interact with clients, where affiliate marketers can link back, and where you will ultimately sell your products. It should load within two seconds and capture your target audience within five.
- Have a robust online presence through social media. Set up a Facebook page, an Instagram business profile, and a Twitter profile. These are the first three social media platforms you need to be in. Regularly post engaging content that captures your target market. For products that target the younger market, consider Tiktok and Snapchat as well.
- Run ads. Facebook has a fantastic ad targeting scheme that lets you create focused ads that go straight to your target customers. You can set up your Instagram ads right in your Facebook Ads Manager as well. These are affordable yet effective ways to ensure your product shows up to the people most likely to pay attention to your products.
- Maximize affiliate marketing. Another way to reach your clients is to have other sites and accounts sell your products. When you give a portion of your sales to affiliates, you create a win-win situation that works well for your business. Build a strong affiliate network that will work for you.
- Have fantastic customer service. This is one of the ways to create profit, like Jeff Bezos, leader and owner of Amazon. Respond to customer inquiries in the quickest way possible. 80% of queries that you reply to within two minutes convert to purchases. Follow through with aftersales customer service, and you’ll win loyal customers who will choose to buy from you again. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews. Organic positive reviews are fantastic, but sometimes clients need a bit of prodding to post that rave. Give your customers rewards for giving 5-star reviews, such as a 10% discount on their next purchase, hitting two birds with one stone, as it is also a resell strategy. Then, follow up on your customers via a robust email marketing campaign to make sure they’re reminded of your products every day. Even if they don’t read your email, as long as they see you sending them updates, new product announcements, or just a “How are you?” type of email, they will most likely repurchase. Win them over and over again with attention.
The eleventh strategy: Rinse and repeat. Customers change their behaviour quicker than you can say, “Buy now!” You need to be aware of the ever-changing trends in what people like, where you fit in the industry you’re in, and how the economy is looking for your online business.
These strategies, matched with an entrepreneurial spirit, will help you set up and establish a robust online business. Once you have that up and running, you might have to consider scaling up. You would have to hire more people, rent a physical office, and invest in product development and research. When that happens, you want to make sure that all your financial activity is documented so that you can measure your growth and success.
To learn more about how you can efficiently manage your online presence and finances digitally, get in touch with Annette & Co. today. We can give you FREE insights and advice on your current financial approach!
Before you make any drastic decisions, seek out a professional’s opinion. You can also follow us on any of our social media channels.