You may be struggling to run an online business, but you don’t know how to take a proper dive into that enormous ocean known as online business.
There is a relatively large number of online sellers, but very few of them manage to harvest and enjoy the fruits of online business. Since many people who try to do online business miss the important things to be considered before and when performing online business, quite a big number of those who engage in this business end up failing.
If you are one of the people who are trying to identify the key things to be considered by any online seller aiming to succeed, let me share with you the following twenty principles of successful online business:
1. Offering useful products
Always buyers purchase a product that will add value to their life. However, a buyer doesn’t buy a product just because you have labeled it ‘for sale’ or attached a price tag to it.
Always ensure you don’t sell garbage or irrelevant products on your online platform. Selling useful products will build trust and loyalty to your business.
2. Selecting the appropriate platform
You may select one among many web platforms used today to start an online business within minutes. You don’t need to become an experienced programmer to begin coding your marketplace application or hiring an expensive coder.
There are many affordable solutions such as Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, Square Online, BigCommerce, Zyro, Big Cartel, etc.
Make sure you choose a platform that is affordable for you and which fulfills your required features for your online shop.
3. Utilizing the power of online advertisement
The way advertisement is significant in other forms of business; it is also essential in online business. The online marketplace is full of products and services from various sellers.
Consequently, through proper product advertising, your products can outstand other products and services in the market, giving you more sales and profit.
You can use free and paid advertisement modes for advertising your products. Make sure you choose an advertisement mode that suits your business.
4. Creating a trustworthy delivery system
Many people hesitate to buy products online because they are concerned about delivery. Unfortunately, many online sellers don’t have a reliable and affordable system for delivering products to their customers. As a result, buyers find themselves amid hidden costs, product loss, and other unexpected complications.
5. Correct price setting
Customers will not be willing to purchase a product with a higher price in your online shop when they can get it cheaper from another online store. Therefore, ensure you adequately study your competitors’ prices and market price culture before pricing your products or services.
You can relatively win a chance of success in online business through proper price setting.
6. Having reasonable customer support
Some online businesses are available to support their customers when everything is fine, but they are unavailable when their customers are facing problems. You should build and protect your business’s trust through reliable customer support. Make sure you have a well-established system of providing support to your customers.
It is the best practice to ensure that every customer’s pre-sales and after-sales queries are adequately solved.
7. Maintaining a secured and diverse payment system
Customers are diverse, likewise their payment options. Therefore, to avoid missing any customer, you should adopt various popular modes of payment such as credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Dwolla, Stripe, Braintree, WePay, etc.
You should ensure these payment gateways are appropriately integrated and well secured on your online shop platform to protect you and your customers’ sensitive data.
8. Having a correct return and refund policy
Sometimes there is a time when a customer faces problems with the purchased service or product. Therefore, a customer needs to return the product to the seller or be refunded.
As a seller, you should explicitly define and let your customer fully understand your return and refund policy before doing any business with you.
A good return and refund policy will help the customer become fully aware of the purchase aftermath, which will help the customer make proper decisions that will not bring confrontations later.
9. Utilizing the role of offers and discounts
Often customers are attracted to offers and discounts. However, you should understand that customers cannot purchase from your online store while there is another online store where customers can get the same product by discounts or offers.
Always create the best discounts and offers for your services and products to attract customers to purchase from your online store.
10. Leveraging the power of social media
We are in the era of social media. This means that everything takes its direction to social media, including business, health, entertainment, religion, education, etc.
Social media users can turn into a valuable base of customers. However, first, ensure you collect the correct type of followers that can turn into customers because not everyone who likes or follows your page can be your potential customer.
If you do the following things, you can greatly succeed to convert social media followers into very potential customers:
(i) Create your social media marketing strategies.
(ii) Build brand trust and loyalty by leveraging user-generated content.
(iii) Provide authentic customer support through social media.
(iv) Actively engage with your audience.
(v) Leverage the role of social media advertisement.
11. Providing sustainable product description
No one can buy a product with inadequate or wrong descriptions. So make sure your product information is adequate, correct, and convincing. Thus, use your product’s authentic and high-quality images.
Some unfaithful online sellers use misleading descriptions and images to con customers, but in the short run, they kill their own businesses.
12. Moving with trends
Many products and services move with trends. For example, during the peak of COVID-19, hygiene, and health products were in high demand.
To succeed in online business, you should be fully aware of current demand and trends. Always try to supply products and services which customers highly demand.
13. Collecting and using customers’ reviews
You cannot succeed to evaluate your business performance if you are not listening to what your customers say. First, it would help if you always allow your customers to provide their reviews and feedback about the services and products offered by your shop.
Moreover, do not just collect customers’ reviews and feedback and throw them into the dustbin. Instead, use them to improve and enhance the standard of service and products you offer.
Many applications and services are so available around the web that you can integrate them into your online shop to collect customer reviews and feedback.
14. Avoiding hidden costs
Do not trick the customer into purchasing your products or services by hiding some charges and costs. Instead, it would help if you allow your customer to see the actual price for a product or service before making a purchase or payment.
Hiding other charges like product delivery, tax, processing, refund charges or handling fees will make customers unsatisfied because you have charged them what they are not prepared to pay.
15. Learning from big sellers
Albert Einstein, a great philosopher, said that “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Einstein’s statement is quite true for any online business. If you don’t learn from other successful sellers, you will not succeed in your online business.
So, you always have to learn from successful sellers (big or small) about how they have overcome various challenges and achieved their level of success. However, remember that you should only use them as a lesson and not copy them.
16. Creating a trustworthy business image
Many successful online businesses and brands continue to do well in online business because they have built a good and trustworthy business image.
Building a trustworthy business image will help your business to speak for itself. You will not be required to run many advertisements and campaigns to make your business noticed because your business is well recognized and trusted.
To succeed to create a trustworthy business image, do the following things:
(i) Sell helpful products and services.
(ii) Focus on customers’ satisfaction and not money.
(iii) Fulfill your promises.
(iv) Cooperate with trusted brands.
(v) Deliver products and services as expected.
17. Building and utilizing an e-mail list
Building an e-mail list is valuable because it will help to reach more customers easily through their e-mail addresses. Ensure you send worthwhile e-mails to the subscribers, and do not spam subscribers with junk or irrelevant e-mails.
Create a promotion or advertisement e-mail with an excellent call to action (CTA) that will lead to more sales.
18. Open source solutions
There are vast numbers of useful open-source applications available around the web. Many open-source software and applications available today can be helpful in various ways, such as running an online shop, editing and creating product images and videos, as well as being used as a customer support platform.
As a seller, using open-source solutions will benefit you in various ways, such as saving money, giving you flexibility and control, or even enhancing your creativity through customizing your services.
19. Creating a loyalty program
A loyalty program is the process of rewarding customers for repeated purchases. It is a program that targets to create customer retention which has many advantages based on the following facts:
(i) Retained customers bring better returns than new customers.
(ii) Retained or loyal customers are a good source of referrals.
(iii) It is easier to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.
(iv) Retained customers advertise you and your business wherever they are.
As an online seller aiming to succeed in your business, you should design a loyalty program that suits your business and budget.
20. Utilizing the power of blogging
Statistics show that over 4 billion people use the internet worldwide, and estimates show that more than 60% of internet users read blogs regularly. So, if many internet users are regular blog readers, why not utilize your blog to bring you more customers?
The following are the benefits of blogging in the online business that should be borne in mind:
(i) It brings new customers by converting traffic to leads.
(ii) It enhances link building.
(iii) It gives you a more extensive ground to describe your services and products.
Judging things from these benefits, start the blog today and make sure you use it to convert your blog readers into potential customers.
Also read: 15 Habits for Becoming a Successful Blogger
We have discussed important things which every online seller should consider to succeed. To succeed in an online business, you should constantly apply and experiment with various items listed above over a certain period.
Do you have other opinions? Have you applied any of these things? If yes, what were the results? Please, let me know through the comments section below.