I have seen a lot of people starting eCommerce businesses without knowing these five essential things. Knowledge plays a key role in any business endeavor. Your overall success is determined by these factors.
Consider these as a major step you need to take in order to have a competitive advantage over your competition. E-commerce business has emerged as a business model where the internet is at its core.
1. Understand Your Product/Service Line
Never make the mistake of starting or selling a product you know nothing about. I have seen online merchants who commit this heinous crime.
They sourced for the products from the market with an emotional connection but without the right knowledge of the products- their features and benefits.
Understand that features and benefits are not the same. Benefits are what consumers derived from the features of the products.
A car that has fuel-saving features is good for a consumer because it will save him money on fuel.
2. Understand Your Consumer and Know What They Want
Human behaviour is not static. It is dynamic because it keeps changing. What you know yesterday about your consumer is obsolete. You must be current about their current taste and wants.
Majorly you need to know their demographic information, where they gather because it will make it easier for you to reach them when you have right data about your consumers.
A proper way to understand your consumer is by conducting a survey that will give you an overall insight into what they need.
You can gather such information from Facebook groups, online surveys, etc. Serve your esteemed customers with the right products they want and money will follow.
Related Article: How to Start an E-commerce Business in Nigeria
3. Create a Marketing Strategy
Your plan on how to reach your audience must be put in the proper place before starting your eCommerce business. You don’t plan for war during the time of war. You plan before you start a war (during peace).
What’s the appropriate channel to reach your potential audience? What’s your budget going to be for the choice of the channels you are using. Facebook ads are one of the ways online merchants deploy to attract their customers.
It is a robust channel that pays off if properly used and targeted at the right customers. Other means include Google ads, LinkedIn ads, etc.
Understand that each has its pro and con. So, let’s all these be put in place before launching out.
4. Delivery Method
The choice of method to get your goods from your warehouse to the consumer who needs is very important. You must make sure that the right system is put in place for order processing, order shipment, and payment collection.
The efficient method will improve your business performance at the end of the day. Another factor you must structure very well is the payment method – There are two major delivery systems – Payment on Delivery (PoD) and Payment Before Delivery (PbD).
5. Branding and Packaging
These two elements are very important parts of your eCommerce business operation. The perception of your brand comes from your packaging.
And more importantly, your brand elements – logo, colour, etc. are intangible but play a long way in determining your success.
I can categorically tell that when selling especially physical products these matters. I have sold a brand that a lot of customers complained about the total branding.
We just needed to re-brand the product before it became a success.
All the five listed above must be put in their proper place if you intend to stay relevant and longer in the market. Never leave a stone unturned.
Plan and execute this appropriately and you will achieve the desired success in your e-commerce business.