Retail sales will face a steady growth in 2017, according to the National Retail Foundation. Retailers are projected to see an increase in number from 2016 by 307% to 4.2%.
As impressive as the growth of retail might be, it has however been dwarfed by the projections for online retail. The NRF expects the e-commerce sector to from from 8% to 12% on 2017, which is up to three times higher than the growth rate of the wider industry. This only means that the e-commerce sales will be between $427 billion and $443 billion. Compare that with brick and mortar retail which will only see a growth of 2.8% this year, which us slower than the average growth rate of the overall industry.
Estimate show that there are now roughly about 110,ooo e-commerce websites that are generating revenue on a meaningful scale here on the internet. In addition, more than 12% of the 100,000 high traffic websites are e-commerce. Businesses often wonder how their business is going to stand out in the competition. How is your business different from your e-commerce competitors? Here are five of the most important secrets to help your e-commerce business become a successful one.
Behind every successful e-commerce company starts with a clear and solid business sense. If you’re thinking for starting a high volume business, first you have to educate yourself on the critical operations of business. Everything from building optimal inventory, to managing your taxes, to marketing strategies and achieving a steady ROI. The building blocks of business strategy will help set you apart from all your competitors. Without a strong business base you have nothing.
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce businesses still lack when it comes to customers receiving their purchase right away. When a customer purchases something from a physical store, they get to walk out of the store with the item they bought in hand. However, if a customer were to buy something off an e-commerce website, they will have to wait for the purchase to be sent to them. In this impatient world, waiting for something you’re super excited about can be tough. If you want to catch the attention of customers, you’re going to have to rival the e-commerce giants who are offering their customers a speedy shipping process. E-commerce giants such as Amazon are offering their customers next day delivery or even the same day delivery if you were to order from Amazon before a certain time. Offering your customers this option will definitely give your business an advantage.
Before deciding on pricing for your items, do some research first. Check out e-commerce retailers who are in the same filed as you are and see how much they are charging their customers. Customers today have a lot of websites to choose from, as said before the e-commerce world is very competitive. So, why would a customers pay more for a product when he/she can get it some where else for less? If you want to stand out from the crowded community, you have to out do your competitors when it comes to pricing. This is especially important when it comes to first time customers because this will either make them stay and make a purchase or leave the site. Obviously, at the end of the day we are all looking to save some cash, so the lowest price will get the sale.
Engaging Social Media
Another leverage that brick-and-mortar retailers have on e-commerce stores is the engagement that goes on between customer and employee when making a purchase. But, when shopping online, all a customer relies on is the website and the businesses social media pages. Hence, this is why it is important to be extra creative in the ways you as a e-commerce business owner engage with your customers. What you can potentially do on your social media channels to engage with your customers are host giveaways, special campaigns, sharing photos and Q&A’s. It doesn’t have to stop there, there are so many ways you can communicate with your customers, so get creative and bond them to your brand.
Great Customer Service
Lastly but of course not the lest, your e-commerce business has to be supported by a team of people who are customer service pros. How you and your staff treat your customers play a huge role in your company’s branding. If a customer is happy with your service, the more likely they are to come back and purchase from you again. But, if they weren’t happy with the service you provided not only will they not buy the second time but possibly spread the news onto their friends and family. An example of good customer service is when their questions are answers effectively, quickly in a friendly and helpful manner.
There is no doubt that e-commerce is a ever growing industry in the U.S and around the world too. It is booming faster than any of us expected. If your business does not have a strong presence in the filet yet, this five tips will definitely help you to be a competitor in the market.