Ecommerce isn’t nearly as difficult as many make it out to be.
At its core, ecommerce holds the same principles found in physical locations. Meaning, offer something great, get it to them efficiently, and handle the customers. Business as usual.
Though, many small businesses have trouble with their ecommerce success. Why?
Sometimes it’s the result of deviating from a formula or best practices. Other times it’s assuming the sales will flow without having much hands-on. Whatever reasons may be… they need fixing.
Here are the cornerstones of a great ecommerce business for those that are struggling.
Stellar Front-End Experience
The customer does not care what happens under-the-hood of the website — just as long as it completes the transaction and they receive their product (or service). If you’re good, they’ll return because service was enjoyable and the offer was right.
A great website is built on standards and best practices – which include:
- Mobile-first design
- CMS platform
- Social media integration
- Speedy delivery
- Strong security
Standards and best practices may not necessarily create a unique design to the ecommerce site but it will create a baseline for acceptable conversions. A great business will take these features and mold them to their respective industries and customer profiles.
Great Logistics with Supply Chain Management
A limiting factor of many growing ecommerce businesses is found in the supply chain. A sudden rush of orders creates a backlog in sales. This sounds like a good problem but it’s quite the opposite.
Customers and client are both forced to wait extended periods of time before they’re delivered goods, become dissatisfied, and will likely seek returns and options from competitors.
Supply chain software alleviates the hardship found in the management. It gives your team the ability to track and report all aspects of the supply chain to reduce or eliminate disruptions from acquiring raw materials to delivering finished products.
Removing troubles with logistics – offering speedy, free delivery – is a guaranteed method to improve conversions and sales.
Incredible Customer Support
Incredible service and support create the same benefits to ecommerce as they with physical locations.
The difficulty is found from the lack of one-on-one, physical interaction. Yet, where there’s this present problem it also creates great opportunities to create a wonderful customer experience.
This is contributed to high availability.
Physical service is limited by employee hours and location. Not much is offered during the off-hours which could result in an unpleasant experience if something were to go wrong. Web services removes these time and workforce barriers.
- Live chat for 24/7 support
- FAQ’s to reduce customer inquiries
- Forums to encourage crowd servicing
- Chatbots for automatic response
- Multi-media delivery for instructional support
- Outsourced/off-shored phone services
This high availability is incredibly easy to implement. Dozens of full-suite services are available to provide this form of technical/customer support. These resources are available through cloud-services further reducing costs and allowing the business tap into talent outside of the country.
Adding a +1 to the Cornerstones
Presence of these three cornerstones are the determining elements of a great, successful ecommerce business. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s true. Yet, a great offer, experience, and delivery is just one part of the equation – there’s always room for improvements.
Explore exciting opportunities once you’ve covered the standards and best practices.
- Leverage efforts done by your competitors and one-up them on their efforts
- Attend conferences to learn cutting edge strategies (and put them right into action)
- Spend 10% of your time and budget to experiment with new ideas
Keep pushing to the edge. Your customers will follow and competitors left behind.