We here at WP EasyCart have been in the business of online selling and e-commerce for many years. And as a developer of a WordPress Shopping Cart system, we can tell you from experience we have seen it all. We have seen start-ups struggle in the e-commerce world, and sometimes failing, because of unrealistic expectations, poor planning, or sometimes the lack of knowledge in what is available. Often times a small tweak to what a business is doing can push them from struggle to success!
So we thought we would release some helpful e-commerce tips for those looking to make their mark in the world wide web of online selling.
Rule #1: Sell something that people want
It seems like common sense. It seems like something you have probably thought of already. But many online business sell goods and services that just don’t have demand. This is a hard question to answer, because deep down you know people want your goods, otherwise, you would not try to sell your goods online, right? But take a deeper look at how large that pool of customers might be and see if the risk to reward is there.
Rule #2: Customer or Consumer?
Do you know which is which? Who is your website going to target? Your customer might not always be the consumer, especially in the case of children. We have seen many website owners build websites for children, when the actual customer will always be the adult purchasing the item. Don’t confuse your consumers with the customers of your website. If they are going to be the same, then you can design as such a shopping system that treats them as one. If they are separate entities, be sure to cater to your online shoppers and customers in the shopping areas, while giving the consumers a good place to view and ‘Read-Up’ on your business. Often the consumer is the one influencing the customer to buy the product, so both need space and both need to be impressed with information and flow.
Rule #3: Keep it Simple
Yes, you have a wealth of knowledge to give on your store, website, blog, and social sites… but resist! To much information is a turn-off for people visiting your site to look for goods and services. If you must have a lot of information, technical or otherwise, make sure the site flows well to that information, rather than smothering your home page with 10 pages of information because it’s important. Get a technical document repository somewhere in your site so IF people want to read it, they can. A good rule of thumb is to write your home page as you would like it with all the text, graphics, bulleted lists, etc… Then cut it in half!
Rule #4: Market Competition
Be sure to analyze your market place competition. If you sell goods in a neighborhood brick and mortar store and are looking to go online, be sure to compare the two market places. You may have a complete monopoly on a local brick and mortar environment, but venture online, and you now compete against thousands of online shopping systems. Will you stand out? Will you have something unique to offer? There certainly are ways to do this. Will your loyal brick and mortar customers buy online? will they continue to walk into your store? So be realistic about your expectations when entering a larger arena like online commerce. It is fair to say you can pick up some revenue streams, but it may not be fair to say you will dominate like a brick and mortar might. Be objective and be clear what your goals are before you begin.
Rule #5: Analyze
The beauty of online shopping systems is you can analyze your traffic patterns much better than any other avenue of selling. Be sure to tap into the Analytics market and study where traffic is going on your new start-up site. Make sure you let traffic analysis run for several weeks before making decisions, then change one aspect and analyze again. It is a long and repetitive process, but making small adjustments and looking for results is the only way to accurately tune your website or online e-commerce system.
In conclusion, be realistic, use good judgment, keep things simple, and analyze results periodically as you go forward in your new venture as a start-up. Remember, nobody is an expert at everything, so don’t let someone sell you that they are! We here at WP EasyCart try to follow our own rules as well, always rewriting, simplifying, analyzing, and adjusting to make the experience easier for customers and consumers.