According to 2018 research from eCommerce agency Absolunet, eCommerce accounts for up to 10% of all retail sales in the United States. It’s no surprise that e-commerce sites have cropped up everywhere in the last decade. In addition, the sector itself has gotten very competitive, and there’s no guarantee that any new site being launched will garner instant success.
Given that context, it’s an extremely brave move to open an e-commerce business of your own. Surely, it’s taken a lot of hard work to lay out the blueprint for running the business. But how do you know that you’re headed in the right direction? What are signs that you’ve set up your business for success instead of failure?
Here’s a list of seven good indicators of a healthy, well-prepared, and potentially lucrative e-commerce business. Check off all the items to start your own eCommerce business now.
- You’ve got a good grasp of your market. Ecommerce entrepreneurs often make the mistake of thinking that just anyone will shop on their site because the internet makes the store available to them. In reality, your e-commerce business will be more successful with certain types of people—and you’ll have to identify which types. If you’ve got this down, and you know what type of shopper to focus your marketing efforts on, then that’s a big business victory for you.
- You’ve chosen the right eCommerce platform. Not all platforms are created equal, and you can’t choose just any host for your eCommerce site. You will need a platform that links seamlessly to all the services your customers need—something that includes digital modes of payment, shipping options, as well as discount and coupon capabilities on your virtual shopping cart. If every necessary feature works well on the platform, then you’ve got one of the most important things down pat.
- You’re committed to launching at the right time. Points for you if you haven’t succumbed to the pressure of opening quickly just because your competitors have. There are several factors to consider when launching your site, such as ensuring all of its features work properly and having the right number of developers assigned to ensure smooth business operations.
- You know where to source your products, and you have the resources to manage different SKUs properly. When running an eCommerce business, you always have to have an open line with your two main sources of support: your suppliers and your logisticians. Suppliers will make sure that there’s an available product to sell and that such products are sourced in a reputable manner. On the other hand, your logistics point people will take care of warehousing, inventory management, packing, and shipping. A good relationship with these people sets a good precedent for your eCommerce business.
- You’re customer-oriented. Thinking of running a viable eCommerce site? Never forget the most important people in this equation: the customers. If your mindset is to go the extra mile for them—to handle all queries, address all mistakes, and keep abreast of their behavior and trends—then you’re on the right track to winning their satisfaction and loyalty.
- You have an edge over your competitors. The best eCommerce entrepreneurs out there know that they shouldn’t sleep on their competition. Take their lead and think of things that will distinguish your business from similar ones, whether they’re related to customer service, shipping speed, unique perks, or a mix of these. If you know for sure that you’re a step ahead of the competition, then you’ve got this aspect covered.
- You’re always open to innovating. Ecommerce is an industry where having an open mind is non-negotiable. Trends can become obsolete very quickly, and customers can change their allegiance to a store at any time. You will always have to stay on your toes, evaluate the decisions you’ve made in your business, and adapt to new ways of doing things when it’s necessary. As long as you are flexible enough to innovate, then you’ve got good chances of keeping the business alive.
These are just a few suggestions for gauging the readiness of your business. If all goes well, you will eventually get very good at navigating the eCommerce world yourself. That said, make sure that you have laid out the groundwork for all of that to happen, and you’ll surely have what it takes to be a successful eCommerce entrepreneur in the end.