It seems as though everyone is starting an ecommerce business lately, and with good reason: it’s one of the more flexible business opportunities out there – you can literally start one from your home – and you have instant access to a vast customer base anywhere in the world. Additional benefits include not having to be anchored by a brick and mortar store, and having minimal start up costs. There are a number of ways you can go about it, such as registering with a provider like 1&1 or building the website yourself. Regardless, it’s a quite painless affair. But, there are those who stand out and those who don’t, and if you’re looking to start your own online business, there are a number of things you should note that constitute a successful and well-run ecommerce store.
A great product or service
This is arguably the most important feature of any ecommerce business and one that should be given ample thought before any such venture is undertaken. After all, what’s a great website without a great product or service? But don’t all ecommerce businesses provide one or the other? Well, yes, but, in the case of products, some make the mistake of stocking too much variety, especially in the shadows of giants such as Amazon and eBay. Taking time to research the market, identifying gaps that might exist in certain areas, and buckling down on a niche product or service can sometimes be easier than trying to cater for everyone. A good example of this is the WileyFox website, which only sells its own products to a customer base it knows is receptive.
High quality images
As loathe as some people might be to admit it, appearances do matter, and no more so than with an online store. One major benefit that brick and mortar stores have over their online counterparts is the option for consumers to see, touch and feel the products they have on offer. In order for ecommerce businesses to make up for the lack of tactile sensation they have to rely on images to sell the product for them. In this regard, high quality and crisp images are the hallmark of a good online retailer. Not only that, but there should be multiple images of each product on sale. This way the customer can see it from all angles and make a more informed decision about what they’re buying.
Incredible customer service
This is one that applies to all businesses whether physical or not, but one that above all shouldn’t be overlooked. There is no faster way to lose a customer than through inattentive customer service, and that’s what makes an online store great. Contact details should be easy to find, and there should always be someone on hand to answer emails, accept returns and speak with customers directly to ensure no miscommunication. In fact, many ecommerce sites are turning to live chat services that enable them to communicate with their customers in real time. This means that if the customer has any query or concern, they can speak directly with the business rather than having to wait days for a reply email. There are a number of different chat services out there, but with a little research you can find one that works best for your business.