E-commerce for Beginners

ecommerce guide

Businesses cannot neglect e-commerce anymore not only because it is getting traction but because they might miss the chance to adapt to the ever-changing world of commerce. The public already trusts online retailers more than ever before and on the top of that, the technology development allows retailers to deliver top-notch services.

According to data from Statista, the retail sector has generated sales worth over $2.3 billion in 2017. The expectations are that by 2021, the B2C industry will exceed the $4.8 billion mark. Put simply, e-commerce is expected to double its current size in just 4 years. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be more online stores. The chances are we will just purchase more goods online than in actual brick-and-mortar stores.

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Source: Statista

Best E-commerce practices

Do you know why Amazon is the most successful online retailer? The key to the company’s success lies in its efforts to please the customers. Amazon has tons of data and we have to say that it makes good use of it. It knows what each customer likes and what not. This information is crucial in delivering the best user experience possible. Amazon is so obsessed with its customers that it’s more likely to adapt to their behavior than to try to change it. Naturally, visitors turn to customers and come back for more. As a result, Amazon is valued over $1 trillion as of September 2018.

How can you utilize Amazon’s tactics? If you have an online store make sure every product or service you offer is described in details. People like it when you tell them valuable information about each product, shipping, return policies, refunds, etc. Keep it short, keep it simple.

In fact, it doesn’t even matter what you sell. Just make sure there are no shipment delays as there is nothing more annoying than that. We guarantee you that even if you offer products with the best quality/price ratio if your customer support sucks, you will lose your clients. In addition, if your shipping is poor, do not expect your customers to ever come back.

How to fail?

Perhaps, the easiest and the fastest path to failure is to neglect automated processes. You should always try to automate as many tasks as possible. If you skip this step, you will have to manually send order confirmation messages, manually input shipping information and so on.  You get that this is time-consuming and in case your business takes off you will end up being unable to process orders timely. What happens then? You will receive hundreds of emails from angry customers. They will also set your customer support telephone line on fire. This will further consume your time and make your situation even harder.

Undoubtedly, the most notorious example of a business that failed to scale is Toygaroo. It had the idea of lending out toys, which the parents returned after their kids got bored with them. In no time Toygaroo grew so large that it was incapable of meeting customers orders. It also ran out of money so just two years after its establishment it filed for bankruptcy.

What else should you consider?

In times where cyber attacks happen on a daily basis, you have to really pay attention to security. Especially, if you support credit/debit card payments or other means of online payments, security should be your top priority. If customers’ data gets compromised, you run the risk of being prosecuted by the law. Not only that, but you will also ruin your reputation.

Once I purchased something from AliExpress and somebody hacked my card. Needless to say, I do not even visit AliExpress’ website anymore.

Nevertheless, if you think you can handle e-commerce, you’d better rely on established and trusted e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce. Using one will save you a lot of the above-mentioned headaches. The most important thing is to offer products (or services) of good quality and to have top-notch customer support. Remember, success depends on user experience.

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