How to Succeed as an e-Commerce Startup
The lure to starting an e-commerce site is quite high in the current economic climate. Startup costs are relatively low and the ability to grow or scale seems to be almost infinite. Moreover, the e-commerce sector is growing at a rapid rate of 19% a year, 10% in the U.S. alone, and has a market value of roughly $1.4 trillion. With such a big and tasty pie, it’s pretty common for everyone to want a little piece.
Unfortunately, this is the main challenge facing e-commerce startups today: market saturation. So how do you ensure that your company thrives amidst all of the competition?
Find the Hole and Fill the Gap
There is no use adding to the noise by offering something that is already out there. What you need to do first is assess the competition, see what they are doing right, and then find the gaps that still remain: those areas where there is a need that no one has addressed yet. In other words, you need to start small with a narrow focus. Once you have found the right niche market and are doing well, you can then evolve from there as business develops.
Design with the Customer in Mind
Because an e-commerce site offers a product that can’t be physically touched or tried on, you need to design your website in a way that is aesthetically pleasing with exceptional product photos and descriptions, is ideally interactive, and has a layout that is easy to navigate. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are some good e-commerce website builders out there like what 1&1 offers, which will help you create a responsive and user-centered e-shop.
You should also include images to partnerships, particularly to reputable payment methods in your check out, in order to add a sense of authenticity and security to your site. Ultimately you want your customers to be able to trust your product and your business operations. Even displaying a money back guarantee can go a long way. All of this will encourage confidence in your consumer and can help to increase conversion rates.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
It’s best to ensure that your site is responsive and optimized for mobile or you will be missing out on a very big piece of the aforementioned pie. According to a statistical study by Conversioner, mobile site traffic increased by 125% in 2013, whereas desktop increased by only 12%. This study also stipulated that, “60% of local searches now originate from smartphones and tablets.” If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, then you will lose authenticity in your consumer base and will end up facing high levels of cart abandonment.
Leave no Marketing Stone Unturned
Obviously a huge part of any company’s success is how they market their brand. Be sure to market effectively, including marketing over your social media channels, and maintain impeccable customer service. If you invest in building a personal relationship with your market base then you are more likely to secure brand loyalty and see higher ROI.