Crucial Factors You Need to Know to be Successful in Ecommerce

Getting success in an eCommerce business is not going to be the proverbial cakewalk in 2021 and beyond. During the Covid-19 pandemic that struck in early 2020, we have seen countless companies across the world downing shutters for good or declaring bankruptcy. And quite a lot of these business owners revive their enterprises by going online, thanks to the powerful eCommerce.

Furthermore, we see a noticeable increase in the number of eCommerce websites due to the new normal. As people continue to fear the pandemic well into 2021, shopping for anything from brick-and-mortar outlets remains at an all-time low. Consumers realize that anything they usually get from their local shop is also available through eCommerce websites.
Both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) markets reflect on the increased popularity and quality of online shopping. In either scenario, success in eCommerce has various crucial factors at play.

So, what makes success in eCommerce? Let’s take a closer look.

Crucial Factors for Success in Ecommerce

There are few central questions, the answer to which would reveal the culprit. The obvious one would be this: What are the crucial factors for building a working eCommerce?

Focus on mCommerce

There are countless projections by the eCommerce industry experts about mCommerce. Mobile services will soon account for over 72 percent of all online trade. This phenomenon implies that mCommerce is something that you can’t afford to ignore or postpone for any reason if you want to be a success in eCommerce.
Online commerce does shift quickly to mobile, and rightfully so – the most convenient channel for the consumer is also the one most wanted by the provider.
Focusing on mCommerce isn’t tricky, though it does involve a few key steps. First, you’ll require a mobile-friendly website. The website should enable consumers to go through it quickly. Second, you’ll need a superb, user-friendly app to help people find what they require fast, place orders, and process payments.
Online shopping via mobile devices, including smartphones, laptops, and tabs, is trendy nowadays since they allow the luxury of placing orders anytime from any place. Never before has the label ‘consumer’ have had such broad meaning. Gone are the good days when a ‘the market’ indicated an arbitrary spot where merchants unload their wares. The goods now target the consumer, wherever they may be, and whatever they happen to be doing.

Open a Blog

Having a superb blog is one of the crucial factors to be successful in eCommerce nowadays. According to content marketing experts worldwide, between 75 percent and 90 percent of all consumers read blogs for honest and easy-to-understand information about what they wish to buy. And if they find accurate information on a blog, they’ll shortlist the product or service your eCommerce. They also visit blogs to compare products and services to determine what best suits their needs and fits into their budget. Blogs are what consumers use to analyze and confirm their shopping choices and decisions.
There’re strong reasons behind that fact. The main one is that B2B and B2C clients tend to trust popular opinions compared to what company websites advertise. Honest reviews and unbiased information come from blogs, and consumers use them widely to help them in their shopping research. Well-rated blog authors determine, to a degree, the shopping patterns of customers. Additionally, through blog posts, you can show your clients your expertise is not the result of pure luck or circumstances but hard work and in-depth knowledge.
During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and even well into 2021, offline shopping is something people tend to avoid. As a result, they’re unable to get that first-hand look and feel or a product or sample some service where possible due to the need to avoid crowded places and social distancing. In such situations, honest blogs are proving a very vital online marketing resource for eCommerce businesses.
A superb blog attracts followers that generate interest and loyalty in your eCommerce business. A contact page on the blog enables you to develop a fantastic email list for email marketing. Interacting with potential customers or leads could help convert them into loyal clients.

Provide Multiple Sales Channels Online

Since you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s apparent that you’re already online and probably have a running website. If that is the case, consider opening multiple sales channels online. Now, this might sound like an expensive proposition or even something that involves tremendous efforts. That’s a myth. Here’re some superb ways to provide multiple sales channels and get the customers you always wanted.
The first step towards a multi-sales channel is affiliate marketing. Often, I cite the example of Amazon while writing about affiliate marketing. An estimated 42 percent of all sales on Amazon—the single largest online retailer in the world—occur through affiliate marketing.
Therefore, you can leverage affiliate marketing to be successful in eCommerce too. Affiliate marketing allows you to open several sales and marketing channels through bloggers and social media users for almost free. You’ll pay affiliate commissions only when there’s a confirmed sale from any affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is a booming industry, and you can ride on this wave easily.
The second channel would be Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Business. With some 1.69 billion users worldwide, Facebook is a social media platform that anyone serious about succeeding in eCommerce cannot afford to ignore.
And the third online sales channel would be selling through major retailers such as Amazon and eBay. You can create an Amazon Seller account free to sell your eCommerce products if they’re for B2C-type customers.
If you don’t have a marketplace on Shopify, it’s best to create one. That way, you’ll be giving additional sales and marketing channels to buyers.

Provide Various Payment Options

Providing various payment options to buyers is extremely important and contributes to making your eCommerce business successful. There’re countless payment options available around the world, and you could consider any of these.
Credit cards and debit cards remain the most common and preferred mode of receiving customers’ payments for any eCommerce business. Additionally, you could also accept payments through Internet banking that people commonly use nowadays.
You could also consider accepting payments from payment gateways such as PayPal, Skrill, Payoneer, and other popular ones. However, payment gateways charge service fees to remit the money to your bank account and, in some cases, from the customer too. Therefore, you’ll have to select a payment gateway that doesn’t charge much service fees that would eat into your profits.
If you’re flexible enough, accept payments in Bitcoin too. The number of businesses worldwide that are accepting Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies from customers is on the rise. There’re two reasons for the rising popularity of Bitcoin in eCommerce. Firstly, it allows the customer to remain somewhat anonymous. And secondly, with Bitcoin rates surging often, you stand to make more money, too, in terms of fiat currency.
And if possible, explore the possibilities to offer expensive products in easy, short-term installments. It’s worth remembering that nothing fascinates and attracts customers more than the opportunities to buy expensive items on easy installments. To do so, you may require an agreement with a finance company or bank to provide such facilities to your customers.

Tie-Up with Reliable Shipper

In the US, several eCommerce companies have tie-ups with the United States Postal Service (USPS). And there’s a strong reason why they prefer USPS: the postal service delivers to every ZIP code in America, regardless of its remoteness. In stark contrast, some logistics companies cannot deliver to specific locations or operate through other local logistics providers. This inconvenience causes inadvertent delays in deliveries.
A good shipper would not only be able to deliver on time or sometimes before the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), but they’ll take every care to ensure the shipment isn’t damaged in transit. They will also offer instant tracking of shipments to you as the sender as well as your customer.
Excellent shipment standards usually enable e-commerce companies to grow. That’s because they can build a healthy reputation for on-time and seamless deliveries.

Excellent Returns Policy

An excellent returns policy holds one of the vital keys to be successful in eCommerce. That’s because eCommerce means you’ll be attracting customers from distant locations. Often, your shipment can get damaged while in transit. Or a customer might lose interest and not want the stuff anymore. You’ll also have to consider consumers that’s disappointed with your product for any reason. After all, nobody can predict a consumer’s thoughts or what can happen while something is in transit.
It’s essential to convince your customers that their money is safe with your eCommerce business. Customers prefer to know in advance if they are entitled to a refund, should their purchased items arrive with damages, or if there is a requirement mismatch.
For returns, too, you’ll need to tie-up with a logistics provider to pick up the stuff from a customer and deliver it to your address. And, of course, the facility to reimburse the money to a customer.
A superb returns policy clearly defines the period during which an eCommerce business will accept the stuff back and explicit terms and conditions. Of course, there’re also exceptions to returns about the type of goods you can take back and what you can’t for any reason. Therefore, your returns policy must be unambiguous and reflect on all products you list on the eCommerce store or website.

More Factors for Success in Ecommerce

Apart from the already mentioned, you need to know a few more factors that have a strong link to success in eCommerce. One of these is keeping the right kind of products. There’s no point in having an extensive list of items, especially if only a chosen few have a chance to sell.
And the other factor is after-sales service. Indeed, after-sales service can play a decisive role in defining your eCommerce business’s success or failure. Therefore, your post-sales service policy should be rock solid.

In Conclusion

There are, indeed, quite a few factors to look for when furnishing your eCommerce strategy. It would help if you got to the top of Google results when someone searches for something your offer. Search Engine Optimization is what makes undiscovered opportunities so much more potentially profitable.
Eventually, with optimized content in check, you can take it a step further and merge content with commerce. This is a bold step and requires a lot of meticulous planning and elaborate execution. But once your company becomes ready for it, your potential for eCommerce success changes dramatically.

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Author

David Dorr, Head of eCommerce

David is the Head of e-Commerce at CodeCoda where he is responsible to lead several teams of eCommerce specialists. In his previous role as a data scientist for London Metropolitan Police, he was developing deep learning NLP algorithms as part of the Crime Prediction initiative. He then switched over to combine AI with e-Commerce.
He received a B.Sc in Physics from the University of Surrey, Guildford in 1996. With this scientific background, he switched relatively early in his life towards Neural Networks and e-Commerce and has ever since been fascinated with what AI and Machine Learning can do for Online Commerce.