Starting Your eCommerce Business
October 13th, 2019
As consumers turn towards eCommerce to purchase their goods, small businesses continue to expand their footprint in the online marketplace. Of course, Amazon and Etsy offer great options for sellers, but WordPress, Squarespace, and others platforms like them are making eCommerce more approachable for those looking to market and sell a variety of products.
However, as inviting and manageable as the ever-changing landscape of eCommerce is, there are some things to consider as you establish and expand your online business. As a company that works daily with online retailers, here are 5 tips we here at Rocky Mountain Credit Card have identified that will add effectiveness and efficiency to your online business.
Build a welcoming, engaging site.
For many of us, purchasing goods online has become a natural consumer behavior. It’s easy to click over to Amazon and find laundry detergent, dog food, baby toys, or everything in between. However, we often find ourselves weary when leaving the safety of Amazon (and the like) for less established sites. As a seller, you need to be aware of this concern and take the necessary steps to design, build out, and launch a strong website that visitors can feel comfortable using.
Throughout this process, it is beneficial to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer: Would you feel safe putting your credit card information into a form on this site? Yes, looks can be deceiving. Some websites that look well-designed may not be safe. And those that look poorly designed could be totally secure. However, it is best to recognize the norm with building your site. Give visitors something professional, something simple to navigate, and something your customers will feel safe using.
Select a storefront that works for you.
Choose the eCommerce storefront that works best for you and the products/services you are trying to sell. There are good out-of-the-box services like Shopify that work for many, but for others, maybe a do-it-yourself approach is more fitting (and more profitable). If you decide to hire a web developer to customize things, be sure you feel comfortable with the relationship and that you have the input and relationship you desire. The eCommerce tools you go with depend on what you need and what you want to spend so being honest with yourself and clarifying your goals is extremely important.
Design an infrastructure that is built to handle the things you need it to handle.
Make sure you have the infrastructure to be able to take these online orders and get them out the door. Your storefront is just one element to finding eCommerce success. Having the bandwidth to deliver quality customer service is equally as important because taking care of issues in a timely manner is how you retain customers and keep them coming back. This is also how you can begin creating brand advocates, i.e. those customers who spread the word about your business. Your infrastructure is invaluable and having a quality customer experience from beginning to end will only benefit your online business for the long run.
Get the most from your marketing budget.
Make sure you are getting the most from your marketing spend. There are companies large and small out there to help. Some take on SEO, social media, and email marketing from traditional vantage points. Some deliver more bang for your buck if you are looking to save on marketing by using more efficient strategies that are cost-effective. For example, a small boutique might decide to play the social media game as they test out their marketing content then increase their spending if time, money, and other resources allow for it.
Like with Tip #2, we recommend getting the service and support you desire, whether that’s full-service or piece by piece. Know what you are trying to do and use these experts to understand the things you do not. And of course, go with an option that gives you space to grow and change as your business gains traction.
Partner with the right payment processing company.
Lastly, find the right payment processing company and gateway for your business. Research what companies are out there. Know their rates and fees. If the numbers look similar, ask yourself how important communication, collaboration, and rapport are to the payment processing part. Having someone to talk to about options, to address concerns, and tackle complex questions can be invaluable. At Rocky Mountain Credit Card, we put a lot of effort into this area because we want our customers to feel confident that this part of their eCommerce won’t stand in the way of a quality customer experience and the growth of your business.
If you are looking for support on how to make your online business a success, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are here to help your business (and profits) grow.