1. Having a website does not mean your business is online
The website is just a business card displayed in a large screen. It does not do anything beyond that. You should have a complete e-commerce platform whether you sell products or service. It must be connected automatically to search engines like Google so people can find you. And you should be allowing people to purchase online and pay easily.
2. Be serious about your online business
Online and off-line or not two different platforms for a business. Your customer service, marketing plans and operational speed all should be in sync for both platforms. But just know that screwing an online customer can hurt your business the most. You may just not know it and in all cases it can never be reversed. So take it seriously.
3. Find the right e-commerce platform
Let me help you with that. You may be blinded or brainwashed by a company as global presents, buy the expensive TV commercials, billboards or by they are high paid Google ads. But the fact is… all those are necessary for their business and not yours. What you need is a company that does 2 things.
- Do they have all the features needed for your business to make a sale online and thereby profit.
- Do they pickup the god damn phone and talk.
That is all. The rest is all propaganda.
4. Beauty of the website is not your first priority
Your online store may look beautiful, but if it does not have what it takes to engage your customer and keep your cash register ringing, then there is no point in having one at all. You dont want people to praise your website’s look. What you want is sales.
5. Drive your offline traffic to your online store
This is the most cheapest and sure way of getting your online business started. One, This proves to your existing customers that your business cares for them and it is growing in the right direction. Two, your existing customers are already loyal to you, so they will share it with their friends, family and connections quickly. They definitely do. Three, You don’t spend anything except putting a few posters about your newly launched online store.
6. Go for SAAS or Pay per use Model, ONLY!
Yes i mean it. Don’t go and buy an ecommerce software, like you would buy a car. Whatever promise they make, a system built today is no good in the next quarter. One time purchase of ecommerce system even if you have all the IT capability is a big mistake. I have seen people buy for huge price and the system goes obsolete even before it is finished implemented fully. Always go for SAAS model. Where the ecommerce provider owns the system and he rents it out to you along with a contract that he will keep the system up to date. And you save huge amount of money, by paying only for what you use. Isn’t that what business i all about?
7. You can never fail online
Ofcourse a good product or service is needed. If not, it is not a business at all. But the point is, you can never fail online as you would fail in an offline retail store. Retail stores are dependent on many factors. Like locality, foot fall, parking facility, traffic conditions, time of the day, time of the year and the list goes on. But online business demand your only 2 things.
- A good product/service that you provide.
- A good ecommerce system that runs flawlessly to keep your transaction smooth.
8. Taking your business online should never be difficult
People might tell you very mixed stories, that taking your business online could be very difficult and time consuming etc. You might as well worry that you are not technical enough for it. But in fact a good Ecommerce platform provider, will tell you that it is only filling up a few forms and you are ready to go. Just worry about the correctness of the data provided in the system and take care of the orders that come from your online customers. The rest can all be put on auto pilot.