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If you’re running an ecommerce store, it can sometimes be frustrating to be up against the real online retail giants, such as Amazon, eBay, and the like. However, it’s important to remember that those companies weren’t just born at the top of the chain: it took many years and a lot of hard work to get them there. Instead of lamenting their success, learn from it. By adopting some of the practices that they used to become successful, you can focus on making your business it can be. Here’s how.
Innovation is Key
You might have begun with one particular service, niche, or target audience, and it might have worked very well for you; but you can’t rely on where you started to bring in money forever. As such, it’s important that you keep innovation at the forefront of your mind. Remember, Amazon started out just selling books, and now look at them: is there anything you can’t buy on that site? They got to where they are by always looking to the future, and trying new things. Where can you innovate and try new things?
Excel at Customer Service
The big companies have always known one thing: that customers are everything. While it is easy to think that, it’s a factor that most companies are better at talking about than actually doing. Not so the big online companies. They know that public trust is the foundation of their success. Being there as a source of support for your customer’s queries is a good starting point, but it’s much better to go above and beyond. If a customer has an issue, don’t just work to resolve it to minimum satisfaction. Instead, ensure that they’re impressed by the quality of your response. An bonus will make them think of your businesses all the more highly.
Expect The Best From Your Partners
You’re not just trying to make your online business a success all on your own. You’ll be working with suppliers, shipping companies, warehouses, and so on. But remember: while all of these companies will be working independently, they’ll be a reflection of your business. So make sure that you’re working with the best. While you might be tempted to go with the cheapest or most convenient, it’ll be worthwhile vetting all your potential partners to ensure that they have standards that are in line with your own.
Amazon and the like figured out a money making tactic a long time ago: that personalising your marketing can boost online sales. Everybody wants to feel like an individual in the real world, so why wouldn’t they want to feel the same in the digital world? By using your data to personalise the items, content, and advertisements that your website visitors see, you’ll be creating a closer link between you and your customers, and will make it them much more likely to revisit your website later on down the line.
Spread Your Net Wide
You’ll have a select number of products or services that your company excels at. But you don’t just have to offer only those things that form your core duties; you can spread your net wide, offering add-on services that have the potential to top up the value of each of your customers. Take again, Amazon, which should be considered the standard bearer of online success. They offer many, many services. Of course, it’s important that you only do this when you’re financially and logistically able to do so; you should not compromise the quality of your primary services.
Be a Pioneer, Not a Competitor
It’s possible to get lost in a battle with your competitors. If they do something, you’ll try to incorporate it into your own business. However, your aim should be to stand out from the crowd, not simply keep up with it. While it’s important that you keep an eye on what similar websites are doing, they shouldn’t provide a blueprint for your future. Instead, be a pioneer. You want to be the company that other businesses are trying to keep up with. Essentially, play your own game, and let the others figure out their own path.
Stay True to Your Vision
Your branding is your company, and it should feed into everything that you do. Yet while it’s recommended that you update your look, goals, and your operations from time to time, the initial vision you had when you established your company branding should remain watertight. It’ll help you to stay focused when your growing. Otherwise, you might find yourself veering off course without even realising it. If you have a rock solid foundation, then you’ll always have a steady platform from which to do bigger and better things.
Do you remember hearing about Amazon’s plans to deliver items via a drone? In the end, the fanfare was much bigger than the reality (though they have actually made a delivery this way). In all likelihood, the online retailer knew that the media reaction was much more hype, but did they care? Of course not, because it was good publicity. You won’t be able to offer anything quite so advanced, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull your own stunts from time to time. Another good example is the Cards Against Humanity company. They’re always in the news because they do interesting things.
Take Your Problems Seriously
The biggest corporations can be accused of putting too much pressure on staff and employees, but they’re trying to reach perfection here. If you have a problem, then don’t let it take care of itself: fix it straight away. If you don’t mind, then you might find that the public trust you’ve been working so hard to acquire can vanish overnight.
Finally, it’s important that have a mindset that is ready to handle rapid growth. If you think big, then you’ll be ready to take on the world. Conversely, a small minded attitude will get you nowhere new. Reach for the stars; if you don’t reach them, you’ll still be on the moon!