By Ruth Richter • January 23, 2019
The largest ecommerce site in the world, Amazon, generated $178 billion in sales last year. It owns Whole Foods Market. Approximately 95 million Americans have an Amazon Prime membership. Forty-three percent of teens cite Amazon as their favorite shopping site. And, 90 percent of consumers will check for a product on Amazon, even if they’ve already seen it on another site.
Amazon wasn’t always such an ecommerce giant. In fact, its first sale was a book sold from founder Jeff Bezos’ garage in July 1995. So, if you’re just starting your ecommerce business, take heart in these humble beginnings.
Roadmap for Success
Ecommerce is a great way to boost your business. Whether you’re starting from your warehouse or your own garage a la Bezos, following these five tips can set you up for success. Adding quality content to your site gives you better visibility and encourages customers to stay on your site longer, increasing the chances that they will then buy.
- Content is King: Have a Strategy
It doesn’t matter how wonderful or affordable your product is, if no one can find your site, they’re not going to purchase anything. Build a content strategy that helps you stand out by including videos, blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, and other informative content. Ensure all your content is optimized for search engines. Finally, create a robust social media presence that links to your site, directing your social followers to the content that is right for them
- Build on What Someone Else Already Made
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Rather than building an ecommerce business from the ground up, consider buying one from someone who has already started. By purchasing a business outright, you’ll skip some of the challenges of finding new suppliers, building the website, and pulling in customers. Look for an ecommerce business that already has strong traffic and verified revenue from satisfied customers. Also consider whether the business is scalable for future growth or changes in economy.
- Connect with a Good Mentor
Growing your ecommerce business is so much easier if you take the time to learn from those who have gone before. Get answers on common issues for new ecommerce businesses—and business owners—as well as how they overcame them. Organizations such as SCORE can help you connect to the right business mentor for your needs.
- Find Your Niche
Amazon didn’t start out selling everything from A to Z. They started out with one product: books. Take a lesson from Amazon. Selling to a wide variety of customers sounds great, but the more focused you can be, the less competition you have and the greater chance for success. Positioning yourself as a niche expert gives you a competitive advantage.
- Buy it Now: Make it Easy
The harder it is for a customer to buy something on your site, the more likely it is that you’ll lose business. Without a seamless purchasing process, customers will get frustrated and click off to another site (perhaps Amazon?) to see if they can buy elsewhere. Provide a highly-visible “Add to Cart” button. Default shipping options to the cheapest method, save billing and shipping addresses (if possible), allow customers to check out as a guest, and offer several different payment options. The easier it is to make a purchase; the more people will buy from you.
Get Your Share of Ecommerce Profits
Ecommerce was projected to reach nearly $500 billion in 2018. Imagine what a slice of that pie could look like in your bottom line once you have your ecommerce store up and running. Whether you’re setting up for the first time, or looking to improve your current ecommerce endeavor, one final aspect that can drive the success and profitability of your ecommerce store is integration. Integrated ecommerce platforms connect ecommerce suites to enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions for better planning, purchasing, budgeting, and customer service. Our free whitepaper, Choosing the Right Integration Solution for Sage 100, walks you through the benefits of an integrated ecommerce business, along with providing tips on finding the best integration software.
At ROI, we hope you’ll consider us for your next integration and/or ERP software needs. With more than twenty years under our belts, you can be confident that you’re getting the best software for your ecommerce business. Let us help you build your integrated ecommerce future. Contact us today or call 402-934-2223, ext. 1.