Most business owners will tell you that just starting out is the most exhilarating and stressful time of owning a business. The excitement and anticipation run high, but the funds run low. How can you make ends meet and ensure success for your new business? Our e-commerce tips will help.

1. Rely on E-Commerce to Boost Your Business
You may have heard that e-commerce can boost businesses, but you might not know exactly what e-commerce is. According to BigCommerce, “Essentially, e-commerce (or electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods (or services) on the internet. From mobile shopping to online payment encryption and beyond, e-commerce encompasses a wide variety of data, systems, and tools for both online buyers and sellers.” Because e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing aspects of retail today, business owners turn to it as a solution for growing their business. In fact, many find that they are more successful online than they are in a brick-and-mortar store because they can reach so many more customers.

There are several other reasons to rely on e-commerce, according to The Balance:

●      A website and online store establish your presence and improve your company image.
●      You can sell 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year; you never close, and your customers             can always buy.
●      You can provide better customer support by creating videos, sharing frequently asked questions (FAQs),          offering product spec sheets, and making it simple for customers to contact you using a contact form.
●      You will have low start-up costs if you are starting from scratch online; you won’t have to purchase or                 lease a building, buy or rent vehicles, or hire excess staff.
●      You take advantage of the fact that the internet was built for business; customers are one click away                 from your online store, and you can accept orders and payments directly.
●      You have the flexibility of living and working from anywhere when you sell online. Simply set up your                 home office with any special equipment you might need, and you’re ready to go.

2. Put Your Business Online in the Right (Inexpensive) Way
The trick to relying on e-commerce is creating a website that appeals to customers and delivers a seamless shopping experience. Thankfully, there is a plethora of online website builders and services that help small business owners build their websites, even if you don’t have any web design know-how or experience.

Many small business owners who are just starting out choose a free website builder and then hire a website designer when they can afford it. These designers and developers have the experience needed to migrate your original content to your new site and to make the transition without affecting your existing customers.

3. Use Information Available Online to Boost Your Business
Today, customers rely on online reviews to make purchase decisions more than ever before. In fact, 84 percent of people now trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends, and 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Because online reviews matter, you need to give your customers a way to leave reviews for your products and services. Consider emailing customers after they make a purchase to entice them to write a review, give you a star-based rating, or complete a customer satisfaction survey.

You also can create social media profiles for your business to give customers another avenue for finding you, and writing and reading reviews. Also, link to your social profiles from your website to make it easy for customers to start following you, and so they can share news and reviews about you with their followers. In fact, social media marketing is one of the best ways to increase sales and drive more traffic to your site.

You also can decide which products to sell and ensure you meet more customers’ needs by using information available online. For example, read reviews on Amazon or your competitors’ sites. Uncover what people like and dislike about the products, services, and companies and what they would improve. The more insights you can gather online, the better positioned you will be to meet needs and grow your business.

To succeed in business, you should rely on e-commerce. Put your business online by creating a website, online store, and social media profiles. Then, use other information available online to make sure you have found your niche market and are meeting customers’ needs.

Written by - Larry Mager

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