Home Insights & Advice How you can master Ecommerce for your small business

How you can master Ecommerce for your small business

by John Saunders
21st Jan 19 2:49 pm

If you have a small business ready to get your piece of the over $550 billion pie of ecommerce sales in 2019, you are certainly forward-thinking. Ecommerce is booming and any small business retail store that has products to sell can increase annual revenue via online sales. However, competing against online retail sales giants, like Amazon, can be tricky.

There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to capitalizing on ecommerce. Launching an online store, having consumer friendly payment options, and shipping nationally and globally are all aspects to consider. This is why it is important to keep your ear to the ground in the ecommerce industry, so to speak.

For instance, social media. “Brands need to begin devoting more time and resources to their specific social media selling approach that represents them and their unique audience,” according to a Forbes article. “Instead of just being one touchpoint of many, social media selling has quickly become one of the most important factors in a purchasing decision.”

The following tips may serve useful for you to take your small business online and master ecommerce. Let’s dive in!

Diversify online marketplaces

Choosing the right marketplace for your small business products is important. But try not to take a narrow approach when it comes to online marketplaces in general. Try to list your products for sale on as many marketplaces as possible, that makes sense for your small business.

For example, having your products listed on Amazon is certainly great, and advisable. But don’t leave out Wish, eBay, or other marketplaces. You should also not rule out creating and launching your own marketplace. This can have serious value, especially since you won’t need to pay percentages of products sold to a third-party. You can keep all the profits for yourself.

Automate as many processes as possible

This is a very important aspect many small businesses will run into if they are just starting out in ecommerce, and if they are listing their products on multiple marketplaces. The reason is that a bottleneck can form when processing orders, printing labels, and shipping from multiple ecommerce marketplaces to customers.

How can you streamline these processes? By automating them, or at least as many processes as possible. For instance, you can automate shipping orders to print correct labels for products bought across all marketplaces. You can also automate the most efficient and cost effective shipping after a purchase is made. These may seem like small wins, but when dealing with hundreds of orders a month, having an automated process is critical.

Consider having a global presence

When it is time for your small business to enter the ecommerce ring, try to think a bit outside the box. Sure you want to serve your region, but why not take your small business internationally? This is one of the benefits of online retail sales, having the ability to reach a larger online target audience.

You are probably thinking about shipping costs whenever global sales are mentioned, and that is perfectly understandable. However, there are now companies serving up easy ways to ship and receive products internationally, like BluePostal for instance. Companies like them provide free returns, flexible shipping, free warehousing, and even tax benefits.

Never stop thinking about returns

Returns management may be an afterthought when it comes to small businesses entering the ecommerce space. But by not thinking returns, you could very well be digging a hole to bury much needed profits in. If you are going to offer products for sale online, you need to be ready to get a percentage of those products back from unsatisfied customers.

Having a strong returns management process in place is important. Most consumers do not want to pay for return shipping, which means you are left on the hook to pay the shipping if you want to keep satisfactory ratings and reviews coming in. What does a returns process look like? It could be simply letting customers keep products and issuing money back, if you sell high-end items. It could also be budgeting for returns. It all depends on what is most profitable for your small business.

Wrapping up . . .

Launching your small business into the ecommerce space is a big step, but doing so opens your inventory up to a much larger market. From national to global sales, you can increase your sales exponentially by serving up products online, and marketing them correctly. What is your top small business ecommerce tip? We want to hear from you.

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