With each passing day, the number of online companies operating in the world is steadily increasing. In 2017 alone, 1.66 billion people bought products online. By 2021, it is estimated that E-commerce will contribute 17.5% to the total retail landscape.
As the number of online businesses is growing, succeeding in the marketplace can also prove to be challenging. After all, this niche is no longer the blue ocean it once was. Now, merely launching an online business is not enough to stand out. Instead, you must take various steps to set your online business for success.
Here are the top ways you can do so.
Be compassionate to yourself
Whether it be an online business or a conventional one, as a business owner, you must practice self-compassion. Mistakes will be made. Wrong decisions are inevitable down the road. What makes a difference is how you choose to act after you have made mistakes.
You must learn not to be too hard on yourself. Don’t start doubting yourself the moment you slip up. The more shaken your confidence gets after a failure, the harder it is to succeed in a competitive online landscape.
Rather than wallowing in your failures and mistakes, learn from them. Don’t take them lightly but don’t be too hard on yourself either. One of the first steps to having a successful online business is to have the right mindset. Remember, the digital world is comparatively new. This also brings unpredictability into the equation. Cut yourself some slack if you fail to deal with the uncertainties the market throws your way occasionally.
Keep it simple
The layout and design of your website can make or break your online business. Now, it is easy to go overboard with it. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers. Try to avoid overdoing it.
What do we mean by overdoing it? Well, things like flashy animations and background music may seem like a good idea, but the more complex your website is, the higher will be its load time. And customers care more about their time than the beauty of your website. A site that refuses to load within seconds is not visited by the masses. Our attention spans are decreasing, and your online business must take this into account. You must grasp the attention and navigate traffic to their desired pages as quickly as possible if you wish to convert traffic into profitable customers.
Make sure your website design is simple and easy to read. The UI and UX should be sophisticated and easy to navigate through.
Offer something for free
Did you know that 80% of customers of today are value-conscious? We are a generation that loves coupons and freebies. The key to having a successful online business is ensuring that your potential customers try your product. After all, only then can they be impressed by your offering, right?
To get that first purchase, you must entice your audience with freebies. For instance, if you are an online platform that sells cars, offering a free car valuation can increase the likelihood of people using your platform.
Don’t hesitate from offering free samples or services to your customers. They might help you in establishing long-lasting relationships with your clients. And it’s the long-term approach that genuinely sets any business for success.
Leverage outsourcing opportunities
Online businesses are not restricted regarding the operation. You don’t need to have an on-site manufacturing facility. You don’t necessarily need to have a huge team. Instead, you can outsource various aspects of your business and retain only those departments that you are good at.
We live in a global village. Rather than doing it all yourself, you can outsource different departments to other cities and countries. This will help you in finding talent across borders while also ensuring cost-effectiveness. You can either of these to gain a competitive advantage against your competitors. Did you know this is the basic model of Nike? It outsources its manufacturing to other countries while merely retaining the designing function. Online business also can benefit the same way as this conventional company has.
Ensure the safety of customer records
While the move to digital platforms has undoubtedly been beneficial and revolutionary for the masses, it has also been accompanied by its fair share of threats. One of the most significant threat is security. It is possible for hackers to access customer records now that everything is digital.
If such hacking incidents occur in your online business, you won’t just lose customers but might also have to go to court. Not to mention your credibility as a safe and secure company will also be tarnished.
We aren’t trying to scare you. This is just the reality of today. If you wish to succeed, you must protect your customer records at all cost. Always keep backups of customer records and invest in making your website and database as secure as possible. Have a system that would allow you to destroy sensitive customer information like credit card details once their purpose is served.
Have a solid team
Your online business can be as good as your team. The best group of people can take your business to new heights. Do it wrong, and you will have a hard time surviving in the market. This is why having a reliable and talented team is the way to set your business for success.
Make sure your team is well aware of the digital landscape. Not everyone is cut out for the online world. Online businesses require owners to be delegators. For this, you need people who can work independently.
These are just some of the many ways you can achieve success in the online landscape. The world is changing. We are going digital. Make sure you use this opportunity to your advantage as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want to get left behind, would you? Start your online business. Do it the right way and experience success.