5 Ways To Make Sure Your E-commerce Start-up Succeeds

Business Insights

It's no secret that today's consumers favour online shopping over traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, the digital marketplace is thriving with thousands of new e-commerce brands emerging every day.

This ever-expanding e-commerce landscape is great for shoppers, but it means even more competition for businesses. Therefore, every new start-up must do all it can to stand out from the crowd and generate sales.

But what does it take to beat the competition and how can you ensure that your e-commerce business gets off to the best possible start?

Well, that's exactly what we're here to tell you. Here are five ways to ensure your start-up is a success.

1. Understand and engage your target audience

One of the most important things you can do as a business, particularly when you're starting out, is to build an in-depth understanding of your target audience.

More importantly, it's a good idea to narrow down your niche as much as possible. For example, targeting women aged 20 to 40 is quite a broad audience.

So, instead of targeting a large demographic like this, try to be as niche as you can. In this case, it could be professional women aged 20 to 40 with no children or women aged 20 to 40 who eat a gluten-free diet. Of course, these are just examples but you get the point.

The more you know about your audience the more you can focus on engaging them and offering them the goods, services and content that they want. You can target their pain points more effectively and build your marketing strategy around real, valuable insights.

Not only that, but this will help you to tailor your products or services to your audience and make them as unique as possible. Which, in turn, will help you to stand out from the competition, boost sales and increase customer loyalty.

2. Think about mobile first

As well as the shift to online shopping, mobile commerce has also sky-rocketed over the last couple of years. This is the wave of people shopping from their mobile devices, either through the web or dedicated apps.

Keeping that in mind, you need to think about your approach to m-commerce. Your website needs to be attractive but it must also be responsive and work perfectly on mobile devices to offer a seamless shopping experience to your customers.

That is why it's vital that you design and build your website with mobile shopping in mind. You might even want to create your own dedicated app, though this will require a lot of investment and may be worth delaying until your business is more established.

3. Don't just rely on your website

Your website is likely to be the starting point for your online business, but it shouldn't stop there. You need to make sure that you're focusing on other platforms and that you choose the right distribution channels for your target audience.

There are several key options for broadening your sales channels. You might wish to use marketplaces like Amazon to sell your goods. You should also set up at least one social media account, if not more, and use these to advertise your goods or services.

Other options include email marketing, affiliate marketing and even influencer marketing. But which channels you choose will very much depend on your target audience and where they spend most of their time.

4. Make use of e-commerce tools

As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, more and more tools are being created to make e-commerce possible and effortless. From web design to managing your finances, there are loads of great tools out there that you can utilise for business success.

Although we can't list them all, here are some of the best tools you should consider for your e-commerce site, along with some real-world examples.

  • Tools for building your website – Tools such as Shopify and Wix allow you to design, set up and manage your site in one place

  • E-commerce marketing tools – We've briefly touched on some of the distribution methods above, but there are lots of great tools available for marketing your business, such as MailChimp

  • Competitor analysis tools – Tools like Google Trends, Ahrefs and Uber Suggest can help you to understand your key competitors and how to better target your audience. These tools can also help when you start producing online content

  • Analytical tools – There are several tools available that make it easier to analyse your website traffic and ad campaigns to shape your marketing and sales strategy for the future. Tools like Google Analytics

  • Business tools – Finally, there are loads of helpful ways you can manage the daily operations of your business. For example, Quickbooks can help with finances and Zoho with customer service

Which tools you use will depend on the needs of your business and target audience, but be sure to utilise these platforms wherever possible. If you're on a tight budget, that's OK. Look for free versions or tools that don't require subscriptions as these can be just as helpful in making your business a success.

5. Always deliver a great shopping experience

Last but not least, you should always deliver a great shopping experience.

When it comes to shopping, both online and in physical stores, today's consumers have very high expectations. As a result, you need to make sure you're always going one step further and offering the best possible experience.

This should start from the moment they engage with your brand, no matter what platform it is on. It's important that your website is easy to navigate and that placing orders or getting in touch with queries is straightforward.

Not only that, but you need to think about every last detail from packaging and shipping to personalised marketing and communication. This could include offering special deals and discounts to repeat customers or those who engage with you on social media.

By thinking about every moment of the shopping experience from a consumer's perspective, you can ensure that they are always happy and increase the chance of them recommending your brand to others.