Guide: Getting Started in E-Commerce
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Already have an e-commerce store online which is not performing to your expectations OR you are thinking about getting started on e-commerce with a brand-new product or taking your offline business online- this is your guide.
First – You have made the right decision. e-commerce is critical part of any business success, you can’t ignore online, if you don’t move into the space today your competitors will or are already in the space taking revenues and sales away from you.
Global online spending will exceed $4 trillion by 2020 and will make up nearly15% of all retail sales (eMarketer)
Getting started on e-commerce requires more than just having an e-commerce platform i.e. more than a website with a cart. The complete end to end experience requires a thorough understanding and investment to back
- e-commerce platform
- Digital Marketing
- Store management (customer experience, site speed, usability etc.)
- Store back-end management (inventory management, product uploads etc.)
- Payments integration
- Warehousing & Fulfillment
- Customer Service/Call Center
According to Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is almost 69 percent.
A good process is key in owning a website that converts visitors into sales. A good process involves collecting requirements from the business stakeholders, prioritized them and on the back of them create a website design and architecture which is usable and creative leading to excellent customer service.
The platform should be modern, taking into account changes in the way people now use the internet i.e. different devices at different locations and has all the basic integrations like shopping cart, product catalogue, secure payment gateway and hosting, there are numerous e-commerce software solutions available, onewood uses Magento due to its various strengths e.g. leading e-commerce platform for over a decade, open source, option to upgrade to Enterprise version, history of success and backed by leading technology firms.
“You can’t just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic.”-Joel Anderson, CEO/Five Below, former CEO/Walmart.com
Once the store is setup online, your next big challenge is to drive relevant traffic/visitors to your sites. By relevant we mean that these visitors are genuinely interested in your products and will consider making a purchase now or in future.
To market online there are various ways depending on where your target traffic is online e.g. if you are targeting parents then LinkedIn is not the right channel and you may consider Facebook or Google as your marketing channel.
SEO – Search Engine Marketing
Most of the journeys online start with the search engine like Google. You will need to be ranked high on page one of the search engines, especially Google, SEO requires specialized expertise in keywords and content optimization. At onewood we aim to achieve this in several ways, we start by ensuring that your site is accessible by leading search engines and contain all the well-written content related to your business and industry, we then link your website with other website who are interested in the content available on your website, overtime this build authority for your website as more people visit which generate more traffic and ultimately more business.
Online Advertising/PPC (Pay Per Click)
When searching via google you will often see an advertisement on the top or on the right-hand side of the page. This is just one form of PPC advertisement. These ads are run against relevant keywords that people are searching on search engines. The other types include PPC using banners and social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Onewood offers complete transparency on all the campaigns we run for you, reporting on every detail and how we are spending your budgets, additionally we provide monthly reports and recommendations so together we can maximize results.
Interesting and engaging content is written to drive traffic to credible sites e.g. buzzfeed and other reputable sites in your industry. This requires using blogs, videos, ebooks, newsletters etc. This form of marketing complements search engine optimisation as well.
As the adoption of tablets, mobile phones and internet devices is increasing so is the increase adoption of social media, currently services like Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat and twitter etc. has opened new ways to access this base. Using social media as part of your marketing strategy can allow you to increase customer outreach, gain wider audience and interact with customers both old and new.
E-Mail marketing produces an ROI of 4300% (Direct Marketing Association)
Email marketing requires specialist skills in the way content is written, subject lines are crafted, call to actions inserted and emails are tracked.
We know how important it is for you to contact your existing customer base regularly, that’s why our design team will use strategic content, call to actions and social emphasis to create email marketing campaigns, that will help bring your customers to your online shop.
Online Reputation Management
In the digital age we are living, for something good or bad to go viral can only take seconds and business reputation can be ruined in no time. This is the reason it is vitally important to do brand protection online for reputation and sentiments.
Onewood brand reputation service engage your visitor when they mention your brand name negatively online on social media or on forums, we monitor and proactively solve their problems working alongside you to make sure no negative comment is left without being addressed.
A recent study by Bizrate said that 34% of respondents say they hesitate to buy online because of fear of data theft. The same study showed that 69% of those who hesitate say they look for web sites that display trust symbols before making a purchase.
When designing your website make sure that you show the symbols that your suppliers have provided to you e.g. Verisign secure lock sign, it is also important to seamlessly integrate payment solution with your website without visitor feeling that they have to leave your site to make the payments.
In the age of data theft visitors are increasingly concerned about data security of their credit cards. Onewood payment integration service connect your website with all the mainstream payment providers e.g. master card, Visa and merchant accounts from banks.
Security of your website
As mentioned earlier it is paramount that the visitor data is secure and protected. This is now a major concern for people shopping online with increase hacking activities online.
Onewood make sure that your website infrastructure is secure, card holder data is protected, strong access controls are in place and there is regular monitoring and testing of the network in place.
Over the years onewood has organized this arm of the business around PCI and DSS standards.
Warehousing & Order Fulfillment
The Achilles Heel for small business is ignoring this very important aspect for an online business. If you are a business which send small items to customers frequently then you would know the challenge. It is important to cover four major areas when considering warehousing and fulfilment.
Managed facility – deals with managing orders, packing and returns.
Integration – with website for orders, customer service, status, processing, returns & security of customer data.
Shipping – carrier integration, rates negotiations, packaging and branding.
At onewood we have vast experience of dealing with fulfilment for big customers managing orders over country wide territories.
Statistics compiled by Invespcro.com show that up to 89% of online shoppers have switched companies after a poor customer service experience.
In today’s Omni-Channel experience customer or visitor want service no matter which channel they are on. When thinking about customer service for your online store consider.
Self-service, live chat, search, comprehensive FAQ, and call center support. This should be backed with a CRM where you can maintain customer history so customer queries, complaints and issues are recorded, tracked and monitored to closure.
onewood has an in-house help desk team that provide our e-commerce customers with above support so they can focus on their core business operations while we take care of customer satisfaction.
We Provide End-to-End Solutions
From above it is clear that running an online e-commerce business is a complex operation with multiple parts where all these parts need to work together.
We not only provide you a good-looking website, but we also take care of the back-end applications, without which your website will lack speed and will show errors on and off. We will do the programming, look at the numbers and design and develop a website that not only looks amazing but works amazingly well also. We couple this with Digital Marketing, Store management, Store back-end management (inventory management, product uploads etc.), Payments providers, Warehousing & Fulfillment and Customer Service/Call Center.
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