India’s e-commerce business is expected to touch a whopping $100 billion by 2020, says a study, indicative of the fact that online retail in our country has arrived, and is only going to get bigger. The raging popularity of online businesses, availability of varied solutions to set up an online store, numerous e-commerce tools on social media platforms, and many such favourable factors are making it easier than ever for brands to step into the e-commerce space.
If you too are planning to join the e-commerce bandwagon, here’s how you can get started:
Build your online personality
A basic but crucial requirement when you begin your e-commerce journey is to build your online personality. For starters, a website can improve your organic visibility in search engines and divert higher traffic to your e-store.
Basic website creation, domain and hosting services are provided by various service providers at affordable prices, along with technical and logistics support, product cataloguing, payment gateways, customer and seller support, etc. In case of limited funds, a free domain on WordPress is an option. Either way, great design, easy UI, seamless functioning and mobile friendliness are absolute must-haves for your e-commerce website.
Taglr – An affordable and intelligent platform that helps build a comprehensive online store with ease. It gives you the agility to customize your e-commerce platform so as to offer differentiated brand experiences as well as diverse products at competitive prices and stay in sync with dynamic customer behaviour and buying patterns.
WooCommerce – An open-sourced e-commerce platform that can help build your online business and ease the process of selling online by offering various free and paid extensions, spanning across different technical and logistical requirements.
GetMeAShop – A full-stack platform to help small businesses set up online storefronts, create their own website and mobile apps, and manage them without technical knowhow. Logistics integration, analytics, marketing tools and SEO(Search Engine Optimization) are its other services.
Shopify – A platform that helps establish your e-commerce brand with a customizable website, online store, and blog. It also helps sell on channels like Amazon and Pinterest.
In addition to a website, a reputable social media presence is essential – It becomes an excellent channel to build your brand, establish credibility, and reach more potential customers.
- Monitor social conversations, track searches related to your business, capitalize on emerging trends
- Integrate your e-commerce website with your social media reach
- Constantly communicate with your customers, address their suggestions and grievances – Activeness and responsiveness on social media instils customer trust and builds a loyal customer base
Devise your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy
A well-devised SEO strategy and techniques, optimization of products and section names can contribute to your e-commerce website organically turning up on search engines, a driving force for higher website traffic and boosted sales.
- Track audience behaviour on search engines to understand their exact requirements
- Add appropriate tags for your brand and offerings to improve discoverability
- Use fitting keywords based on trending searches
- Since SEO strategizing requires specific skills, knowledge, and perfect timing, it is a good idea to hire SEO experts, especially at the start
Offer a seamless payment experience
Having a good payment gateway on your e-commerce store is non-negotiable – Pick one that is well-suited to your business structure and revenues:
- Payment gateways integrated with local banks – Feasible for small businesses
- Hosted payment gateways – Hassle-free, seamless transactions
- Non-hosted payment gateways or API gateways – Does not redirect customers to a different web page/server to complete the purchase
- Good old cash payments are still preferred by many, so it is good to have that option too
Clarity is key
Existing online businesses are continually notching up their game, vying for higher footfall, offering exceptional products and giving amazing discounts. With consumer expectations at an all-time high; substandard services, payment glitches, unclear terms and policies, and poor customer support are sure-fire dissuaders for customers.
When you start your e-commerce business (even later), it is vital to live up to, if possible exceed customer expectations. This involves clearly stating detailed business terms, conditions and policies, purchase policies; conditional purchase criteria; shipping/delivery, security and payment policies; return/exchange/replacement/refund policies, etc. on your website.
So, are you ready to start your own e-commerce business, like a pro? ')}