Every single year, thousands of individuals set out to build a business of their own. But, Forbes estimates that 9 out of 10 of them fail! Can you believe it? There is a 90% failure rate in building your own business. And if you are planning to develop an e-commerce store of your own, things don’t change much.
But, there is still a ray of hope. Perhaps, you can escape the misfortune of the 90% and become a Jack Ma or Jeff Bezos of the e-commerce industry.
Here are some pearls of wisdom we have gathered from successful entrepreneurs who have made their mark in the e-commerce industry.
It is not Capital Intensive
If you thought it takes millions to make a online shopping website before earning millions out of it, you got it wrong. If you know your way around coding and designing, creating an online store website is something you can do on your own.
Does coding irk you? There are endless templates available online that help you build your online store in minutes. Readymade scripts are also a fine option if you a plug’n’play option suits you best.
You Can Run an Online Store with Zero Stock
Online stores are mostly intermediaries, they are bridges that connect customers and sellers. They are popularly known as multivendor e-commerce store. In a multivendor e-commerce store, you don’t have to own stock. You can let sellers with inventory to put up dedicated channels in your online store.
Moreover, there is also the facility of drop-shipping using which you can directly have the goods shipped from warehouses of manufacturers or distributors to customer locations. With drop-shipping you don’t have to worry about how to start a online store when you have zero stock to call your own.
A/B Testing is your Best Friend
Plain truth: You can never understand customer expectations completely. There is no user manual which shows the ‘right’ way to build a online store that converts customers readily. It takes a lot of prodding, experimenting and failing before you can start tasting success in your e-commerce store. Since you are a website selling stuff online, you have to test it repeatedly before the website becomes something that easily attracts, engages and converts.
Do some tests to know which part of the website your visitors spend most time. Use heat-map analysis to breakdown the reasons why they could be staying or leaving. Tweak the website layout accordingly to increase time spent on website and boost conversion rates.
Check out this detailed article by BigCommerce on effective e-commerce A/B testing to know more.
Content is King
The only thing which pulls, convinces and converts customers is content. Content could be text, graphics, videos or even a mix of all of them. You need plenty of content on your online store to inform, educate and persuade customers to buy your products. Without content, a website is as good as a neatly designed shop with no stuff inside it.
Moreover, you need content for winning the SEO battle with search engines. Content optimized with keywords and commonly used search phrases will help your website rank higher up the search engine results.
Other benefits of good content in your online store include:
- Detailed product info leading to better conversions
- More engagement and time spent on website
- Nurtures leads by providing constant informative content
- Portrays your product/service as something of aspirational value
So, when you want to design an online store website of our own, keep in mind the importance of content to bring in natural traffic.
Conversion Rates are Meager
Every visitor who stumbles into your online store is not going to buy. That’s the sad truth of an e-commerce store. For every 100 visits, only 8 to 10 customers might actually buy from your store which works out to 8% conversion rate, says Smartinsights study on UK markets.
Further, there is also the threat of increasing cart abandonment rates. According to Baymard, online stores suffer 67% of cart abandonment on an average as a result of various reasons like high shipping costs, security concerns, complicated checkout process and so on. The key is to design an online shopping website that makes customers buy and not just not gaze at the products and click their way out of the store.
Here are some proven ways to reduce cart abandonment by turning your visitors into customers:
- Be transparent with pricing. Don’t reveal charges for shipping, packing, etc. at the checkout page
- Display trust badges for SSL certificates, authorized dealership, etc. to reassure customers
- Display customer support and order tracking facilities clearly and within quick reach
- Re-target customers using web push notifications to nurture their desire to buy into a purchase decision. See how web push notifications can be used best for e-commerce businesses.
- Show social proof of product worthiness through user reviews and ratings from customers
Hustle is Inevitable
Irrespective of the industry and the size of the business, one thing remains constant about running your own business - it is difficult. The hustle is inevitable. You have to commit yourself to long hours that stretches from dawn to next dawn and beyond dawn before you can become an overnight success.
Secondly, you must be prepared to battle out the cut-throat competition. Price wars, guerilla marketing, plagiarism, plenty are the challenges in running a successful business of your own.
Although starting an online shopping website is a demanding task, it does give plenty of rewards. If you are planning on creating an online shopping website with multivendor facility, take a free trial of this readymade script.