How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

People who decide to ditch their ‘9 to 5’ job in favor of starting a blogging business, e-commerce website, or finally writing and publishing a book on Kindle are almost always well-intentioned but may lack a true understanding of what it takes to be successful in business.

Of course, it is good to set big goals and dream big, but surprisingly many budding entrepreneurs and business people at various stages of business development either don’t or can’t grasp what’s fully required to hit their goals. Sure, generating a million dollars within five years from start-up with an online business is an admirable goal. However, do you know what it’s going to take to get there and ensure that you don’t become today’s “flash in the pan”?

With that in mind, here are five online business success tips that if followed will make you and your business stand out and help you reach your goals:

1. Be Yourself!

Your business is an extension of you, no matter how big or small it is at the present time. It will succeed or fail by how others perceive your brand, and ultimately how they feel about doing business with you. All aspects of your business (customer service, product creation, back office) should respect your values.

The old adage that people like to do business with people they “know, like, and trust” is even truer today. Even with the largest companies, people want to see the CEO come out to represent the company and speak on behalf of it.

Authenticity is the key. You’ve got to be you, whether it’s the smooth, sophisticated type or the person with rough edges and an attitude to match. Only you know what works for you and your target audience, but the one thing that can guarantee failure is not being authentic.

If you’re not comfortable being the representative of your business you’ll still want to create some type of persona to represent your company and brand and humanize your business as much as possible.

2. Over Deliver

Set benchmarks for yourself with your products and services, and try to exceed them, simple as that!

This is especially important with your initial offerings, because a strong first impression may mean a host of customers for life. Just imagine the glee on people’s faces because they feel that they have got the better end of the deal! It’s your reward for having given so much value at such a low (or reasonably low) cost. Certainly, expectations will constantly be high, but that’s the way it should be.

Note: When I refer to “low cost” I’m not referring to the actual price. I actually don’t believe that competing on price is the best way to compete; rather the perception of the price should be considered a great value from the standpoint of your customers and clients; even if you are charging premium prices.

Over-delivering means going beyond the call of duty at all times to become not only a viable business but a market leader that all others admire and envy.

Remember the purpose of a customer is not to make a sale, rather the purpose of a sale is to get a customer. Make their first purchasing experience with you a great one and they’ll continue to buy your products over and over again increasing the lifetime value of your customers an maximizing your revenue.

3. Focus on Serving, Not Selling

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” is a famous quote from the legendary Zig Ziglar (1926-2012) and it’s more than just a quick phrase to throw around at cocktail parties. Teaching and coaching are known as “giving” professions, but in the 21st century, more businesses will have to adapt their techniques in order to earn customer trust and ultimately sales.

Learn how to identify your target market’s problems, concerns and issues to better create and position your offerings as the best solution in the marketplace. The better you can relate and speak to them with effective copywriting the more they’ll realize you truly are the solution to their problems.

“How much money can I make for myself?” Answer: As cliche as this may sound, don’t even think about the money. As a business person, real money always follows from demonstrating the benefits of your services and products to the ideal customer.

4. Meet Your Customers Where They Are

Thanks in large part to social media, the world is transitioning from a corporate-dominated, sales-based economy to a trust-based economy. In the past, dominant companies could count on “blind” brand loyalty from customers to guarantee steady profits, even if their products and post-sales service were severely lacking.

Not anymore. Today, there is truly global competition across many industries, and the smallest glitch or weakness shown by corporations are quickly exposed, spread virally by consumers through the Internet, and exploited by ruthless competitors. The auto industry is a great example. No matter how big the company (e.g. GM, Toyota) individuals have the power to make them fall to their knees if they fail to deliver. Social media generally isn’t friendly to the airline industry as well, but the dangers are worse for smaller businesses who don’t have the time or money to invest in online reputation management.

On the plus side, when used properly, social media marketing and Facebook provides a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners as it’s a great way for your most loyal and enthusiastic customers to share their love and excitement for your company and brand.

5. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It so easy to forget the people who gave you advice, introduced you to key suppliers, or simply served as a sounding board for your crazy ideas. Quite frankly, many of them wouldn’t take it personally that you are not contacting them anymore. They know that you are busy and have time-consuming obligations.

However, part of what makes success stories stand out is paying attention to little details, and calling your mentors to say ‘Thank You’ really goes a long way. So what if a teacher, former employer, or business coach has retired to Florida and isn’t part of the scene anymore. They’ll appreciate your gesture that much more because it will remind them that they helped someone achieve their goals. This could also lead to opportunities for them to feature you to their audience, use your success as a case study, and potentially drive more traffic and sales into your business.

On a more practical note, keeping contact with key members of your inner circle gives them a reason to continue following your progress and helping you even more in the future. This could be done on a one-on-one basis or even facilitated through an email newsletter.

Follow these five simple steps and you’ll surely be laying the foundation for a long-term, sustainable, and profitable business.

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

Whether you’re just starting your ecommerce business or you’ve been in the business for a while, you probably know that it’s hard to be successful which is why we have compiled this guide on how to run a successful ecommerce business.

There are so many mistakes one can make with an online store. For example:

  • You might use an outdated design that makes visitors leave your site.
  • Your site may be not responsive, forcing mobile visitors to head elsewhere.
  • Your site might have a poor user experience, lowering your conversion rate.
  • You’ve failed to generate an email list and you’re not able to communicate with leads and customers.
  • You might use PPC ads, but you can’t reach everyone on Facebook & Google.

And I could go on and on until it gets dark…

Customer expectations are high and there are always new growth hacking techniques to increase your conversion rate. It’s hard to keep up, right?!

In this article, we’ve collected all the best articles, how-to posts, and case studies you will need in 2022 to help make your ecommerce store a success.

How to build a perfect ecommerce store?

To be successful, it’s critical that all the elements of your ecommerce store come together to make a perfect experience for your customers.

Of course, your homepage is important, but there are so many more places to pay attention, e.g. your category pages, your product pages, your checkout page, and more.

If you’re using WordPress, designing these pages is made easier thanks to flexible builder themes like the Total WordPress theme.

If you’re still trying to find the best ecommerce website builder, here’s a list of the top 10 solutions.

Your goal should be to make people fall in love with your online store and a little personality can help you connect with your customers too. In this section, we’ll look at best practices and tips for creating and optimizing your ecommerce store.

Getting customers

Once your ecommerce store is ready to provide an incredible customer experience, you need to start driving traffic to your site and convert those visitors into buyers.

In this section, we’ve gathered together all the tips you need to drive traffic, generate leads, and maximize your conversions and sales.

Read time: 5 minutes

Online shopping is growing fast in Canada and that means e-commerce is quickly becoming a necessity for Canadian retailers and even many B2B companies.

The good news is it’s never been easier for smaller companies to get into e-commerce and reap the many benefits.

Here are four key advantages e-commerce can bring your business.

1. Lower operating costs

It’s inexpensive to set up an e-commerce operation thanks to low-cost platforms. These services make it easy for entrepreneurs to start an online store with everything from an attractive, mobile-friendly site to taking payments to managing inventory and shipping. They can also integrate sales and inventory management between your online and bricks-and-mortar operations.

Of course, there will be lots of details to work out and challenges to overcome, but your upfront investment will be relatively low, especially compared to setting up a physical store.

As you become more successful, you can ramp up your spending to increase your product offerings, do more targeted advertising, create content and eventually build a custom site.

The three founders of From Rachel, a Montreal company that sells funky, high-quality stockings and leggings, used a WordPress platform to launch their online store in 2014 and will soon be launching a new site using Shopify.

Thanks to their cool branding and highly personalized service, partners Carolyne Parent, Alyeska Guillaud and Mélanie Heyberger have tripled sales every year and are now exploring the U.S. market.

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

2. Track your customers

The beauty of e-commerce is the amount of information you can harvest about your customers thanks to web analytics.

You can track where they come from, where they go on your site and what they buy. You can then use the data to optimize your online store. What are your most popular products? Where do people leave the site? What design tweaks and promotions generate increased sales? You can also use many of those insights to boost sales in your physical store.

Nicole Smith’s team works hard on analytics at her company, Flytographer. It’s a platform that connects vacationers with professional photographers in more than 200 cities around the world.

To improve sales and create new products, Flytographer constantly studies data generated by its website, online marketing efforts and booking platform. The Victoria company “tries to understand how we can remove friction and inject delight” at every customer touch point, Smith says.

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

3. Improve your customer experience

An ever-growing number of consumers are shopping online, but many also want an in-store experience—the ability to touch and try merchandise while getting advice from your staff. An e-commerce site gives customers the best of both worlds.

Your site will provide customers with the convenience of 24/7 shopping from anywhere. You can make the experience even better with apps that allow customers to examine your merchandise up close and chat with your staff.

At the same time, you can use your e-commerce capability to improve your in-store experience by arming your employees with smartphones or tablets. They can show shoppers products online as they accompany them through your store and even take orders right on the spot.

Empire Sports, a fast-growing chain of skateboard, snowboard and clothing stores, caters to customers both online and at its 10 bricks-and-mortar locations across Quebec.

“There is a fair number of customers who will buy a snowboard online without touching it with their hands, but others won’t do that,” Empire President Philippe Grisé says. “A lot of them want to come in-store to get technical information from competent staff and also touch and compare the product to other brands and models.”

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

4. Expand your reach

E-commerce allows your company to punch above its weight against much larger competitors and expand your geographic reach beyond your community to your region, the whole country or foreign markets.

The 7 Virtues is a Halifax company that makes “peace perfumes” from essential oils imported from rebuilding countries, including Afghanistan, Haiti and Rwanda.

The fragrances sell in 70 Hudson’s Bay and 70 Sephora stores in Canada and President Barbara Stegemann expects to soon expand to Sephora stores across the U.S. The 7 Virtues also sells to customers in Canada via its online store on a WordPress platform.

“Our online store really complements our bricks-and-mortar presence,” Stegemann says. “You really need to go into the store to figure out what your signature scent is. Then, once you know and you want to replenish, online is the perfect way to save time.”

“It also works the other way. We post articles and have a magazine featuring female role models and when people go online and read these insightful articles on our site, it makes them curious and they visit the stores.”

How to start and build an ebusiness into a successful online company

Tips for e-commerce success

1. Start small

Don’t get bogged down trying to create a huge, high-end website featuring hundreds of products. Start with a free or low-cost e-commerce site, and test three or four products to gauge customer interest while working out the kinks in your ordering and fulfilment process.

2. Test, learn, improve

Don’t expect to be flawless with your first efforts. Technology allows you to try things quickly and economically and improve.

3. Be attractive

Feature attractive product images, clear descriptions and an easily navigable layout, so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for and make a purchase. Also, engage visitors with fun and educational extras: How-to tips for products, interesting videos and background information on the story of your company.