How to run and grow an eCommerce business

How to buy a business

So, you’ve seen how much people buy online, how often they do it, and you want a piece of the action. You might have started an eCommerce site, or even considered buying an online business (more information on buying an eCommerce business can be found here), and are now wondering how you can run and grow it. So what are the top tips for eCommerce business ownership?

1. Get the best design possible

It takes 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether they like your website or not. That’s a shockingly small amount of time; especially when it’s your business they’re deciding on. You could have the best products around for the cheapest price but, if you can’t keep users on your site, you’ll struggle to make money.

There are thousands of templates available (both free and priced) available for WordPress and Shopify sites that you can use to easily improve your site’s look. If you’re after something more bespoke, there are plenty of tips for website design on the internet.

2. Think about marketing

A great-looking website will be wasted if you don’t have people coming to it, and to bring people to your site you need to market it. How you do this is up to you, though most eCommerce businesses use online marketing. Marketing your business to people who are already on the internet means they have a direct path to your site, which is a major boost to online businesses.

There are four popular methods of online marketing: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Email, and Social Media. Each has their own pros and cons, and as online businesses are so different, there’s no set formula for which you should use and when. You can find some great online marketing tips here.

3. Show off your credentials

As the amount of online shopping grows, so does the amount of online fraud. Consumers are increasingly wary of handing over their credit card details to websites, and as many as 58.4% would abandon their purchase if they had concerns about payment security. How do you reassure potential customers about your website’s trustworthiness? Prominently display your security credentials.

Many of the biggest websites show the logos of financial services they’re affiliated with on their pay screens, with ASOS even putting theirs in their footer. Showing you’re verified with PayPal, secured by Comodo, or have any other security for buyers will be a big help in getting people through the checkout. In addition to this, your site should be https. If you’re unsure of the why or how of https, check out this guide for more information.

4. Understand Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the best free tool around for anyone who has a website. We’d go as far to say it’s the best tool – free or otherwise - for anyone who has a website. If you’ve not heard of it, Google Analytics lets you track everything about your website – how many people come to it, how they reached your site, how long they stayed, which pages are performing well, how much people are spending; there’s almost no end to the knowledge you can gleam from it if used correctly. To find out more about how to use Google Analytics, click here.

5. Have the best quality photos

Would you buy something from an eCommerce site if it didn’t have good photos? Neither would consumers. You need to make sure you’ve got the best quality photos you can get for your product pages to ensure people buy from your site. If you’re reselling goods you might have photos from the supplier that you’re able to use but if you’re selling your own products, you need to think about the photography.

If you can afford it, having a professional do your photography will ensure you get the best photos possible. If you don’t quite have the budget for a professional, check out these tips on how to get good product shots.

If you’ve already got high quality photos, have you considered videos? Videos are one of the main sources of traffic across the entire internet, and can vastly improve conversion rates.

6. Stay on top of shipping

If you’re selling physical products, you’ll need to think about shipping. Likewise if you’re already selling and shipping, you’re probably thinking about ways to streamline the process. Shipping can be a major pain point for eCommerce businesses, but this guide breaks everything down everything you need to know.

7. Get positive reviews

81% of shoppers read reviews before buying online. It’s imperative to get positive reviews of your business to give it the best chance of making sales. Trustpilot and Google my Business are two of the most common places that reviews are checked, whilst you could also create a reviews page on your website to let you highlight positive feedback you’ve been given.

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