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Starting eCommerce stores has been one of the most popular ways for people to build a business for themselves. When there are $2,444 billion in eCommerce sales yearly now, it makes sense. You need to be online if you want to maximize your exposure to customers.
Of course, launching and running an eCommerce business is easier said than done. Keep reading to learn how to run an eCommerce business successfully.
Find the Right Product
Finding the right product is critical to starting an eCommerce business. Even if you have a great product idea, you need people willing to buy. Unfortunately, not every solution has a problem with willing buyers.
Once you have a product idea, reach out to potential customers for feedback. See if it’s useful for them and if they’re willing to pay. If they are, what kind of price would they expect?
Your goal is to find enough people willing to buy. Once you do, you can move on to the next steps in the eCommerce business checklist.
Research the Competition
Competition research is the next part of running an online store. The chances are that you aren’t selling a product in an empty market. You’ll have other companies with the same or similar products.
The question is, how well are they doing? Can you see how many reviews those products have, the sales rank on Amazon, or how much advertising is happening?
All of this is information you can use to validate your product idea and market to potential customers. See what your competition does and find a weak spot to enter the market.
Find a Reputable Platform
You probably don’t want to build an eCommerce store from scratch. You’ll spend all your time and money trying to get programming right. Signing up for an account on a pre-existing platform makes more sense.
Here are a few you can consider:
Each one of these has pros and cons. Research all the features available. Many of those features can save you time and money, so find one that meets your business needs.
Finding a platform with everything you need also means you’ll spend less time troubleshooting issues and getting real work accomplished.
Properly Vet Your Suppliers
Your supply chain is one of the biggest elements of your success in eCommerce. It’s hard to fulfill customer orders when you have suppliers that can’t maintain your eCommerce inventory.
Before you commit to working with a vendor, see how much of a reputation they have in the industry. Try to find previous clients to ask them what their experiences were like with a supplier.
If you have a current supplier, regularly audit their performance. Shipping times and customer service can gradually decline over time without you noticing. Stay on top of your supplier’s performance, and call them out if you see something wrong.
If you can’t get your supplier to fix their problems, search for a better company to work with.
Invest in Technology
Online software isn’t the only technology you’ll need when running an eCommerce store. You’ll also need shipping tools, inventory software, accounting tools, employee management stations, and much more.
Take inventory management, for instance. You’ll waste a lot of time trying to do everything manually. Instead, invest in mobile inventory software that lets you handle inventory management on the go and automate the data entry process.
Try to find the tools that remove the redundant tasks you have. The more redundant work you can remove for yourself and your team, the more time you have to work on tasks that matter the most.
Hire an Assistant
When you run an eCommerce business, you can do a lot on your own. You don’t have a physical location to operate, so you don’t need as many team members.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to handle everything independently. Your focus should be on the higher-level work that grows your company.
You can hire a virtual assistant to handle many of those tasks. You can hire someone to deal with email, take customer calls, process orders, and much more.
Think about the tasks you currently do and don’t enjoy. That should be the first task you outsource to a new employee.
Once you do this, keep looking to see if there are parts of the business you can remove yourself from to free up more time for additional work.
Document Customer Interactions
One of the biggest hassles of eCommerce is customer service. Even if you have great products, people will still experience unexpected issues. Those are issues you need to deal with if you want loyal fans.
However, dealing with the same thing time and time again can get repetitive and time-consuming. If you want to reduce your customer service time, document those issues.
Once you start noticing trends with customer service issues, you can determine flaws with your products. Correct those flaws and systems for handling current issues to streamline the customer service experience and make it less time-consuming.
Now You Know How to Run an eCommerce Business
It’s not easy to run an eCommerce business in today’s world. Even if you can get a store up and running, getting people to visit and buy your products is another matter.
That’s why you need every tip and tool at your disposal if you want to see success. Now that you’ve read the post above and know how to run an eCommerce business, you have what you need to get started.
Are you interested in reading more business tips that will help you take your store to success? Check out the blog to learn more about how to manage an eCommerce business. You will also find many articles on technology, media, streaming services, and much more. Go check out our blog today!