There is a sudden flurry of online shopping websites selling from clothes to shoes to cars to policies to real estate to study courses to sports to whatever you name. There are few big fishes in this pond and some entrants as well. People across the globe have their trust building up purchasing from online shopping sites. But setting up and running isn’t a cakewalk.
Here is what you need to understand before you dive and open your own online shopping website.
- Get a Niche. With so many website selling all sort of things, to enter you need to have a niche. Something you do NOT get to buy online or at least something which is difficult to find online. Trust me you’d still be able to figure out something which is not sold online and it can be your edge.
- User Friendly Website. What an attractive showroom is to a brick and mortar store owner is website design to an online store owner. This is very important. The website should focus on various parameters like UI design, its color combinations to soothe customer’s eyes, arrangement of products in a way that they are easier to locate, showcasing products, strategic placement of content on the webpages, understanding the reading pattern of a user etc. A UX expert can help you designing this. This may certainly look a tiring exercise but pays well in long term.
- Keep a quality check. Success to any business lies in the customer confidence in the products/services of the business. If you are looking for a loyal customer base, give them value for money. Have a quality control within your business to regulate the quality of products going to customer.
- Delivery Partner and Delivery time matters. Choose your delivery partners with great care. They make backbone of entire shipping mechanism. Having a laid back delivery partner or a delivery partner with fewer resources to deliver can severely damage your credibility in customers and derail your entire business efforts. Choose a delivery partner with good delivery network and agree on a delivery SLA with the delivery partner. Choosing a partner with more technological edge may be a good choice as well. But with that keeping delivery costs low is important to gain some profits.
- Package it neat. Yes, I would love to receive my products neatly packaged and undamaged. It is a good feeling to open the beautiful packaging and see the beautiful product I ordered. Also it is important to keep the items safe while in transit.
- Keep Discounts, Offers & Surprises. In the high competition, it is important to keep the prices low. Give discounts; roll out new offers for customers to keep them checking your website. Probably you can also give your customers some surprise discounts, surprise gifts with the products to keep the buzz going about your website.
- After sale support is critical. It is difficult to get the customer but retaining the customer is an art. After sale support is the inevitable part of that art. Give customers option to return the products if they do not like it. This might add to more costs for collection of shipment and money transfer charges but buys your business authenticity.
- Customer is the Key. Take customer feedbacks very seriously and if something looks like a real concern / a good idea, incorporate it in your list of To Do’s.
- Go Social. Your customer segment is tech-savvy. They have wonderful online presence. Tap it. Social media is a wonderful platform to get your sale figures rolling.
- Keep your site alive and young. Your customers are young so the site should also be young. Keep working on the website design and its content to keep it more lively and young. Give multiple images of products, its in-depth specifications in product information. Festival offers and discounts with some festival themes are a good way to do this.
- Technology is the lifeline. You may be technical or non-technical in nature but your business runs on technology and this is a very fast paced space. Keeping your website in line with new technologies and new innovative approaches will help keep the business alive and keep you on a front foot.
- Search Engine Optimization is important. Getting a good rank in google search results drives a major chunk of your website traffic if this is done correctly. This plays a role right from the point you build the website to be SEO friendly to giving correct keywords within your webpages. Various activities involved in SEO is designing the web pages to be SEO friendly, submitting your website to the search engines, posting your website to different directories, blogging about the websites, creating link backs etc. You can always hire a specialist to do all SEO activities for you.
- Marketing, Promotions and the Divine “Word of Mouth” plays. Like with any other business marketing and promotions work. But what works best is the Word of Mouth. So keep your customers very happy.