The e-commerce industry grew over 33% in 2018 to reach a value of US$830 billion and shows no signs of slowing down. As the market expands, it also becomes more competitive, and knowing what elements will make your boutique stand out is crucial in securing a successful online presence.
Creating a profitable e-commerce business doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to know what you’re doing and use an e-commerce platform that supports your business goals. A key element to a successful e-commerce branding campaign is product research and optimization. A report by Global Market Insights states that retailers that utilize online marketplaces to grow their business see a 25% decrease in ordering errors, a 48% increase in conversion rates, and a 34% increase in average order values.
A successful e-commerce business model is one that thoroughly investigates each product offered before recommending them to the consumer. This aspect of e-commerce marketing falls within the research phase, which can be characterized as follows:
- Product research: As the name suggests, this is the process of discovering everything you can about a product.
- Market research: This is the process of discovering who the product is aimed at and how they will respond to it.
- Competitive analysis: This is discovering your competition’s strategy and reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of your own business.
- Pricing analysis: This is to determine how you should price your products to maximize your profit.
- Short-term and long-term marketing plans: It is essential to know what actions you should take now and in the near future to maximize your business’ profit.
You should always strive to improve your product research skills and be critical of the data you find. However, don’t let this blind you to the more pleasant aspects of doing business online. Remember, the key to a successful e-commerce venture is to find an online marketplace that provides the tools you need to grow and prosper.
A crucial aspect of any e-commerce business is choosing the right e-commerce platform. With so much competition, it’s essential to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, there are several platforms perfect for online boutiques, and knowing which one to choose can be somewhat overwhelming. To make the decision easier, here are a few criteria you should consider:
- Security: Make sure the platform you choose is 100% secure. You never know what kind of threats you might face. If you’re going to be doing business online, there’s no reason to take the risk of having a site defaced by hackers, personal information stolen, or your entire site being knocked offline by a virus.
- User experience: The site’s user experience is incredibly important, especially if you want customers to come back for more. Does it load quickly? Is the layout easy to navigate? Are the images of high quality? All of these aspects go into creating a good user experience on your site.
- Features: With every update, platform manufacturers try to add new features to their products to make your life easier. You don’t want to choose a platform that doesn’t offer everything you need and that comes with a lot of frills. A good platform should have all the necessary features to give you a comfortable experience as a store owner.
- Support: No one enjoys dealing with a software program that doesn’t work. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you should consider choosing a platform that has an active community willing to help you out whenever you have questions. You shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for help because the platform you choose shouldn’t be hard to use.
- Transparency: It is essential for businesses, especially ones that sell tangible products, to be transparent about the products they offer and how they are made. Customers have the right to know whether or not the products they are buying are genuine or fake. If you want to stand out above the rest, make sure you are being as transparent as possible regarding the quality of your goods.
- Commerce-driven content: With every content marketing strategy, bloggers try to find ways to integrate a commerce theme throughout their articles. In other words, they want to make sure their readers know what product they’re talking about and that it’s available for purchase. A good platform helps you generate this type of content by providing you with several ways to monetize your site.
- Competition Analysis: In the previous section, we discussed how important it is to do your research before choosing a platform. This is even more crucial when doing business online because your competition is right next to you.
- Customer Lifetime Value analysis: This is the total amount of money a customer is likely to spend throughout their lifetime. It can be calculated by multiplying the average purchase amount by the average lifetime of a customer. Knowing this number can help you decide whether or not to sell a certain product.
- Product knowledge base: This is the database of answers to frequently asked questions about your product. For instance, if someone asks a question about your clothing line’s jeans and you don’t have an answer in your database, you will lose a customer.
- Tracking analytics: This is a tool that will provide you with information regarding the behavior of your customers. For example, you can use the tool to analyze conversion rates, sales volume, average order values, and more.
- Exportable reports: If you want to generate reports regarding your business, you can use this feature. For example, you can create a report that shows you the top selling products within a given time frame or compare sales between different products or groups of products.
Now that you have the basics about product research and optimization, let’s discuss e-commerce platforms that might be suitable for your needs.