Most entrepreneurs start an online store to grow it and increase profit margins over time, yet many of these businesses close after growth stagnates. Several external factors may lead to this stagnation, but some problems come from inside the organization. A business won’t just grow by itself. Just as a plant needs soil, water, and sunlight to grow, a business also has requirements that only its owner can provide. If you decide to purchase an online business, be prepared to put in a lot of hours working to strive to improve it and increase its value continuously.
Here are five things you should be doing:
1. Improve your website
Many sales fail because the website is not designed correctly. If you are going to be in the e-commerce business, you cannot afford to have a site that doesn’t offer customers a pleasant sales experience or that keeps crashing.
While you might have designed and set up your original page, look for expert advice when your business starts growing, especially if you want to expand it.
Your website should be engaging, user-friendly, and eye-catching. It must also include relevant, well-written content, photos, images, and videos. They add value to the website and build your online presence. Include customer testimonials about their positive experiences on your website as these encourage potential customers to trust you and your services.
A vital part of your e-commerce shop is the checkout page. Billions of dollars of sales are lost annually when people cannot check out successfully. It should not take too many clicks from the point of selection to payment.
Experts suggest that two are sufficient. Another way to improve the checkout process is to offer multiple ways to pay, as this will increase the number of customers you have.
With a functional website that is enjoyable to use, you will see more traffic on it, with people buying more products and recommending you to their friends. This will immediately add value to your business.
2. Look at the competition
If you want to expand your business operations, find out if you can buy smaller e-commerce websites, and consolidate them. There may be business owners in the same market sector as yours who want to sell their enterprises.
A good place to start looking is Exchange Marketplace, a platform where online businesses for sale are listed, and you can set about finding the right online business that suits your needs.
Buying an existing business has certain advantages. It comes with a customer database you can use to market your products. Many of these e-commerce stores already have solid reputations, and you can build on them instead of trying to build one from scratch. In this instance, you can add your products to the e-commerce store and expand its product offering.
Not all e-commerce stores that you can buy are turning a profit. In that case, it might be better to move the products to your store and build a new reputation. There is a lot of work in marketing your online store and getting potential customers to shop there.
It requires effective marketing and building a brand that clients see as synonymous with outstanding service and high-quality products.
Online business owners soon discover that there are not enough hours in the day to process orders, package goods, and send them out for delivery, all while trying to build the business and grow its worth.
All the time spent doing these tasks is time you should be spending on getting more sales. And there is also the issue of finding physical space to store your inventory, which can be expensive.
Once the store gets busy, outsource this work to a third party. Many companies will store your goods, package, and ship them once a sale is complete. This saves a lot of time and effort on your part.
Very often, it is cheaper than trying to store and organize deliveries alone. You can sign performance contracts with third-party service providers to ensure that they do not let you down and give customers a reason to give you poor reviews.
4. Try new sales tactics
People love feeling like they have secured a bargain when they shop, and online shopping is no different. Here are some tried and trusted tactics for getting people to buy your products and walking away pleased that they got a good deal.
Tiered pricing is when you offer three similar products at different prices. People are psychologically programmed to opt for the middle price, thereby avoiding the cheapest and most expensive choices. If you are selling jewelry, offering three necklaces that have much in common but that are at different prices will see sales of the middle option rocketing.
Include pop-up offers on your website that offer free shipping or a discount coupon for the customer’s next purchase. Ensure that customers give you their contact details in exchange for the offer as this builds your customer database
5. Limit choices
It must sound crazy to suggest to an online store owner that they should offer fewer products when it makes business sense to have a variety; however, too many choices can overwhelm a customer and lead them to shop elsewhere.
To avoid slashing your product range, arrange your stores in narrow categories that only offer a few options. This approach makes your store more navigable, and customers appreciate that. It allows them to find what they are looking for with greater ease.
Using the previous online jewelry store example, do not settle for rings as a category. Sub-divide it into men’s and women’s rings and then further into plain bands, gemstone rings, wedding ring sets, gold rings, silver rings, etc. With each click, the customer narrows down their options and increases the chances that you will generate a sale.
So there you have it folks, five ways to give the value of your business a boost. Improve your website, check out the competition, consider outsourcing your hires, experiment with pricing and sales tactics, and try to limit the number of choices you are offering.