Nobody sets out in business to fail, and yet plenty of start-ups fall by the wayside. Even established businesses can come unstuck in they fail to grow and develop, so it’s important to keep reviewing your e-commerce strategy, even when it seems to be working perfectly.
Every business operates with a degree of uncertainty due to factors beyond our control, but you can significantly minimise the risk with the help of the following five useful tips.
1. You’ve Got to Have a Plan
Writing for the Guardian’s Small Business Network, David Mellor lists planning as the most important factor in any business venture. It’s not enough to have a great idea or great products or to offer a fantastic service.
The nuts and bolts of the business are important in holding it all together, so don’t skimp at the planning stage. You need to know your profit margins, your overheads, your budgets and how your business will evolve. Do you know how many customers you will deal with or how many units you will sell within a given period? Does your plan evolve over time to allow for change?
2. Good Internet Presence
According to Investopedia, your web presence is as important as bricks and mortar on the high street used to be in the pre-digital era.
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is proving incredibly powerful in driving businesses thanks to the power of information-sharing between groups of friends and acquaintances. If you don’t have an active Tweeter feed and Facebook account in your company’s name, then it’s time to get your name out there.
3. Information Must Be Clear and Accessible
Too many websites fail thanks to inattention to the fine detail that makes the difference. No matter how good your products or services, if your website is difficult to read, with small fonts, distracting backgrounds, unclear descriptions and tricky navigation, then customers will fail to stick around long enough to spend their cash.
You don’t have to spend a small fortune to source great and effective web solutions. Whether you live in Scotland or Somerset web design professionals are available to help you with every aspect of designing and creating a site that perfectly suits your needs. In many instances, local companies such as somersetwebservices.co.uk can offer a more personalised and friendly service than the larger London organisations.
4. Delivery and Returns Information Must Be Clear
The digital era has brought with it new demands from customers, including the need for clear and concise information about delivery charges and returns procedures. Visitors to your site expect to be able to find information about delivery costs, estimated times and the procedures you have in place to deal with problems or concerns. A lack of a return address or contact details will deter many people from proceeding to checkout, so make it easy for them to find the information they require.
5. Make Shopping Easy
It shouldn’t need to be said, but too many sites make the shopping experience difficult for their customers. Hard-to-find products and interminable forms to fill in do not make for a pleasant experience, so make the process as painless as possible.