Online shopping is now one of the most popular online activities across the world. Last year, retail e-commerce sales were 4.28 trillion USD and projected to grow even further to 5.4 trillion USD by the end of next year.
If you’re running an e-commerce business in 2021, there are several essentials that you need to have in order to experience significant growth.
Having a strong brand identity is key for any business, whether you own a brick-and-mortar or an online company. By creating recognizable and unique branding, customers will be more likely to remember who you are and what you do.
Branding often consists of a unique logo and color palette. When your designs are professional, it conveys legitimacy and credibility. It gives your brand a sense of authority and creates a trusting relationship with your audience. This is particularly important for e-commerce businesses, as many people are afraid of being scammed online.
Remember that branding also involves weaving a story into your products and online content. People want to know where your business started from and where it is heading. When you create an interesting story, your target audience may resonate with it, making them more likely to take an interest in your brand.
Warehouse Management System
Even if you’re an online business, you will likely need a warehouse to keep stock, ready to fulfill your orders. Warehousing allows for the organization and distribution of your products. Having a warehouse can increase work efficiency and reduce errors in the order fulfillment process. Even if you are a small e-commerce business, you will benefit from using a warehouse for your product handling.
A warehouse management system is essential. It consists of software that helps managers and employees within the warehouse manage the necessary daily operations of the business. Warehouse management systems can involve a variety of applications that optimize the pick and pack process, cover print and apply labeling applications, and monitor inventory data. A recent study showed that retailers benefit from implementing RFID and item-level tagging as it increases inventory accuracy to an average of 95%.
Every business starts with a plan. In order to be as successful as possible, create a detailed strategy that answers the following questions.
- What is your business model?
- Who is your target audience? What are their needs and challenges?
- What are you selling, and do you want to eventually expand your range?
- What is your mission statement, and what are your brand values?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then proceed to make a business strategy that will work for you.
It’s essential for e-commerce businesses to have suppliers. They are the first link in the supply chain. These external companies deliver goods to your warehouse, usually in large quantities. From here, you can pick, pack, and ship these products to your customers.
Do your research and find suppliers that are reliable and provide what you need. Aim to build a strong, sustainable relationship with your suppliers to create a positive work environment and gain more value in your business.
Insurance and Regulations
Every business will need insurance. There are numerous selling and buying rules and regulations that you must follow as an e-commerce retailer. Make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest policies to avoid running into trouble.
If you have a warehouse where you store your inventory, all of your employees will be required to follow several health and safety procedures. It’s essential that you get insurance for your warehouse to cover any extensive damage to the machinery or in the event of an accident or injury with one of your employees.
If you ship out physical products, always send them via guaranteed delivery. You will receive an alert when your courier has successfully delivered the parcel to its recipient with this option. It also requires a signature to confirm delivery. This will cover you in case any of your customers claim a loss or damaged parcel.
Ecommerce laws vary depending on location, but there are some standard ones to be aware of, including no copyright infringement and no false advertising. You also need to read up on the various privacy policies regarding people’s personal data online.
Owning and running an e-commerce business is not an easy task. However, make sure you are covered with the essentials. Have a clear business plan, be clear on your warehouse operations, and stay motivated and driven. The more work you put in to perfect your brand, the more success you will experience in the long run.
Around 75% of consumers shop online at least once a month. For this reason, it is essential that you have a user-friendly website. With 79% of customers using their smartphones to make purchases, your website must also be mobile-friendly.
Optimize your website for conversions by making it easy to read for both the viewers of the website and for Google. This involves using short sentences and breaking up long areas of text with images and infographics. This keeps people engaged and on your website for longer periods of time. Increased retention rates mean more sales.
Google scans through the content of your website and ranks it. If your son is easy to read, it is more likely to appear near the top of search engine results pages. This makes it much easier for your target audience to come across your business.
Enable a search bar across your website so your customers can easily find specific. It’s also important to make the checkout process as simple and efficient as possible to maximize sales.
In order to obtain sales, your target audience needs to find your website. This is why using SEO is key. What words and phrases are your potential customer searching for? Figure out which specific keywords have the highest search rates and lowest competition within your industry. Choose several short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords to incorporate into your online content. This optimizes the chances of your content appearing in people’s searches.