eCommerce — an industry both exciting and unknown at the same time.
Navigating through eCommerce complexities require long-term planning and guts to survive an increasingly competitive online world. Aden knows your struggles, so here are seven golden tips you need to keep in mind before setting the D-day.
Launch only when ready
No matter how big or small the business is, venture into the wilderness of eCommerce always prepared and ready for all possible challenges, obstacles and hindrances. Unseen circumstances do bring a bump or two, but a carefully-crafted business plan steers the course, even through rough weather.
Tip: Be sure to get everyone involved from top to bottom, no suggestion, big or small, isn’t helpful.
Plan and make original content
“Content is king,” so says Bill Gates, but that was dated not 2016 but 1996! The rise of Google from obscurity to a preferred search engine since 2004 also marked the popularity of “search engine optimization” or SEO. Sounds scary for laymen, isn’t it? It does, but a quick check on how Google developed would tell you that the only secret to SEO is great, relevant content, all else second.
Tip: Just as “copying” will land you into trouble in college, so will it get you in trouble with “Google University.” Be sure to not just produce content, produce original, constantly-changing content.
Automatic processes, plan ahead
The “e” in eCommerce means a lot when formulating processes for your incoming business online. E for “electronic” implies a certain level of automation. Automation means easier, streamlined inputs and outputs, so user-friendliness must always remain key. It saves you time for other processes that matter, and environment-friendly too with less use of paper. But of course, there will always be room for manual audits seasonally.
Tip: Talk to your tech and computing personnel for available options for automation. It doesn’t have to be expensive, for open-sourcing gave us the miracle of free apps in beta or even full versions for free!
And no, mobile does not always equate to mobile apps. While mobile apps give you liberty for monitoring mobile-based sales, it runs you the risk of lost investment due to low downloads and extra maintenance. In fact, please delay that mobile app until two to three years in operation. Thankfully, just mobile-optimizing your website will do the trick. The beauty runs with careful planning and of course, a great website template to work with.
Tip: Look out for add-ons or website apps you can embed to count usage and access from mobile devices. This may give you a timeframe in launching your store app.
Regularly foolproof your system
Never play God, nothing man-made will ever be 100% perfect. All systems have loopholes or bugs, maybe not now, but sooner, it will manifest. Regularly updating not just your tech components, but also process workflows, will save you and your business. It would lessen emergency decisions nor even prevent you from arriving there in the first place. Just as meetings may sound preposterous to some, it does help you be aligned with the process.
Tip: Management should meet once a week in order to discuss recurring or new issues. While managers ought to meet with their subordinates at least once a month. Go grassroots, and it isn’t just meant for government.
Always remember local context
Regional pride exists in places like Southeast Asia as a consequence of colonialism, and does exist too in countries like Thailand, which was never colonized. Tailor-fitting your strategies in the local context attracts attention from otherwise untapped markets. But how about archipelago countries like Indonesia and the Philippines? Daily contextualization is impractical, but careful planning and a note on nuances would do them justice.
Tip: Have a list of major festivals in large locales like big cities and provinces. A greeting in their local language or even a locale-specific sale would boost site traffic, popularity and even website authority.
Keep it “professionally personal”
Relax, infusing a bit of casual would not kill you. But yes, always keep a bit of respectable distance between you and your customers. Interspersing your usual press release and corporate news with relevant “breathers” or articles that attract or address your personal need goes a long way. It tells your customers that after all, your company is still composed of real people. Real people that understands their concerns, ergo, consistently good services.
Tip: Be in touch with the latest trends and current events, do articles like movie reviews on a blockbuster movie. But a simpler recourse can include answering comments on social media seasonally.