Over the years, we see that the online sales sector continues to grow in Europe and the rest of the world.
Indeed, getting into e-commerce has many advantages:
- No geographic barriers
- Visibility on the web
- Flexibility of commercial activity
- Low costs to start …
The only thing is: you don’t really know where to start to make your e-commerce project a reality. To help you get started on the e-commerce adventure, here are 10 valuable tips.
1. Choose the Right Product
First and foremost, you need to find a product to sell online. In addition to popularity, demand and competition, there are several criteria to consider before making a choice.
It is, therefore, crucial to do your research well and also to consider the available resources. To help you find a good product to sell online.
Some criteria to take into account when choosing your product:
- Quick to prepare
2. Do Market Research
To make sure that people will be interested in your product and that the competition will not be too tough, it is a good idea to do some market research. It could not be easier! Go to Google and type in the keywords that match your product. If you see that there are a lot of great online stores, then find out how to stand out.
Analyze Google’s results. If you see that there are Adwords ads at the top right of Google’s results, it means that professionals are finding it profitable to pay Google to promote this product. If there are blogs and forums for your product, it means people are interested. Use these sites to promote yours.
3. E Commerce: Finding the Ideal Customer
Defining who your future buyers will be is essential in knowing how to communicate with them to sell your product. For example, you will adapt your speech according to the age, the job of your client
To help you define who your customers are, you can set up a survey on Google Forums or Survey Monkey. In this survey, you will ask questions about the age and employment of your potential customers.
For a better response rate, offer a discount coupon to those who will complete the survey. Also remember to ask them for their email to contact them again, once your store is launched, in order to provide them with their discount code.
4. List its Competitive Advantages
How to set your e-commerce apart from others? For this, you need to have something that other online stores don’t have. Find out what is the reason why customers would buy more from you.
Your added value could be personalized advice, expertise, the purchasing experience, delivery methods and times, breadth of the product range, new products, etc. Rely on your added value!
5. Define your Online Point of Sale
The question you will need to answer is: “Am I going to sell my product on my site or on a marketplace?”
Selling your products on a marketplace like Amazon eBay or some well-acknowledged B2B platforms such as Alibaba, eWorldTrade, Shopify certainly fast, but such an agreement includes certain obligations to be respected. Analyze all the general conditions as well as the terms of the contract that bind you to these sales platforms. On the other hand, if you choose to open your own online store, you will enjoy complete independence and much better profit margins. But it still involves a heavy workload.
6. Choose between a CMS to Host or a SaaS Solution
If you have decided to sell directly on your own e-commerce site, you will need to make a choice. Either create your site using a CMS, which involves managing your hosting or contacting a web agency, or using a SaaS solution? Your choice will depend on your technical affinities, your budget, your objectives …
7. E Commerce: Define Logistics Flows
Once your store is online and the first orders arrive, you will need to have already organized the product flows (stock, deliveries, returns). This will guarantee better management of your e-commerce! Visualize the journey of your product from its arrival in stock to its delivery to the customer. List and manage all these procedures as well as possible (orders, returns, deliveries, etc.)
8. Respect the Legal and Fiscal Obligations of e-commerce
In addition to legalizing your activity by setting yourself up as a self-employed person, online stores must comply with certain specific legal obligations. Each e-commerce must include several mandatory pages such as legal notices (company identification data) and general conditions of sale.
Make sure all your customers have accepted your terms and conditions before finalizing their order on your store. Also, take into consideration the General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ). You need to communicate to your customers how their personal data will be collected and used.
Then, like any business, you will have to obtain a VAT number. If your online business delivers internationally, it should be noted that when the revenue thresholds are exceeded in a country other than the country of origin of the company, you will have to apply the VAT rate of the customer’s country. It will then be necessary to apply for a VAT number, especially in EU countries.
9. Take Care of Customer Service
Customer service is one of the biggest issues in e-commerce. In front of his screen, the customer is in lack contact and becomes more demanding. It is therefore important that you establish a relationship of proximity and trust. Guide them through their shopping experience and even after.
To take care of your customer service, there are a variety of e-commerce tips:
- Bet on transparency
- Be there for your customer
- Let him express himself, give his opinion (especially on social networks)
- Listen to your customer
Add little surprises in your packages (discount coupons, thank you note, gifts, etc.)
10. Training in the Professional use of Digital
If you want more experience in e-commerce, you are strongly advised to take training in the use of digital to get your project off to a good start.
Indeed, online sales also involve other themes: social networks, natural referencing, online advertising, regulations, etc. All the more so as social network trends and good practices related to these themes are constantly evolving.