Amazon boasts of over 2 million third-party sellers worldwide, accounting for 40% of total units sold on Amazon. Shopify, one of the fastest growing eCommerce platforms, has over 200,000+ merchants since founded in 2006.
There are more retailers starting e-businesses. They start by opening their own webstore, marketplace account, or multiple stores across multiple platforms.
For 2016, what new strategy are you going to undertake to be a successful e-business? This article will cover a list of ideas to help inspire your e-business strategy.
6 E-Business Strategy Ideas
E-tailers have many opportunities to expand and grow their online business. Your strategy most likely depends on the state of your business.
Are you a new business just starting out? Are you an established e-business looking to expand your customer reach?
No matter where your e-business currently stands, here are some different strategy ideas.
Product Information Management
It’s time to put an emphasis on the product information you share with customers. Product information help customers find, compare, and decide to buy your products. It’s a crucial throughout the entire customer experience.
30% of online shoppers said they would consider buying from an online buyer that they never have bought from before, if they provided detailed product information.
That statistic says a lot to e-Tailers about the value that consumers place on rich product information.
So, why don’t more retailers focus on it?
Product information management can be difficult for retailers. It’s hard to take product data in multiple formats and standardize, manage, and then publish it across your channels. It’s a tedious and time-consuming project to pull off.
However, retailers are realizing the consequences when they don’t take the time to manage product information right. Their products aren’t found and customers decide to buy from competitors who do have rich product information.
This is why 33% of eBusiness and channel strategy professionals cited that investment in Product Information Management (PIM) technology was a top priority, as cited in a recent survey.
Making PIM a priority should be a consideration in 2016.
If you know your product management strategy is lacking, check out our article How to Increase Sales By Improving Your eCommerce Product Management Strategy.
One of the biggest challenges for e-businesses is delivering product to customers.
Customers have high expectations for shipping. They want free, or low-cost shipping that’s available in different lengths.
96% of consumers consider “fast shipping” to be either same-day or next-day delivery. Only 63% of people consider within 3 – 4 days as “fast.”
Not only do e-businesses have to have these options, they also have to deliver on-time, as promised. E-tailers who can do this consistently are considered reliable. This earns them repeat purchases, or loyal customers.
When you only have a few orders a week or month, fulfillment is a process you can handle yourself. But, when your business grows to hundreds of orders a month, you should consider using a third-party logistics, or pick and pack service provider.
These type of services pick, pack, and ship your items when you sell an item. Most of them even store your products in warehouses for you.
When you don’t have to manage this entire process yourself, you have more time to focus on other aspects of the customer experience.
This is why many retailers turn to services like Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon. Through FBA, retailers can provide the type of experience that Amazon is so well-known for.
It can be tricky deciding if you need to use a pick and pack service, and then which one to use. If you’re at the point in your strategy, you might find these resources useful:
As eCommerce evolves, so does its marketing. It’s no longer enough to just blast your customers will ads on tv or on paper. Customers are looking for personalized relationships with who they buy from.
This forces eCommerce marketers to truly know their customers inside and out. When they do, they can provide customers with the products they want, when and how they want it.
To achieve this type of experience, e-businesses are turning to companies like Hubspot who use inbound marketing to foster a personalized relationship between customers and e-tailers.
The inbound methodology is customer-focused marketing strategy that relies on empowering your customers with knowledge and content that they’re looking for. Inbound marketing focuses on providing different types of content, like blog posts, to customers depending on where they are in their buyer’s journey.
eCommerce sellers who take an inbound approach can attract more visitors, turn more visitors into buying customers, and create brand evangelists.
See what inbound marketing is all about at Hubspot’s Marketing blog.
If you haven’t invested in mobile yet, 2016 is the year to do so.
Technology advancements have made shopping on a phone, or tablet easier for consumers. In return, consumers are using mobile devices more often to research and buy products.
30% of eCommerce transactions in the US happen on a smartphone or tablet. Conversion rates are 2.1x higher on mobile-optimized websites vs non-optimized sites.
Mobile investment could mean making your site mobile responsible. It could also mean making an app for customers to use in or out of store.
Your customers must have the ability to research and shop your products across multiple devices, whenever they want.
As an established seller, you might already be executing some of these strategies. If you are, then your next move might be to expand your business to new sales channels.
Those with just a webstore can look to popular marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Marketplace sellers can look to create their own-branded site.
As an e-business, you can even consider opening a brick-and-mortar store. Retailers like Amazon, Warby Parker, and Birchbox are going from clicks to brick.
These type of decisions depend on your customer needs and where they can be reached. E-tailers looking to move offline plan to use the data they know about their customers online to create a great in-store customer experience.
Just know that expanding to other channels makes your business more complex. You must have the resources and structure in place to handle a true multichannel business.
True multichannel businesses need to integrate going forward. Integration allows for automation between your systems, which helps streamline your business processes.
If you’re selling through a webstore, Amazon, and eBay, real-time inventory updates and automated order posting is a must. Otherwise, you run the risk of overselling or missing orders.
It’s complex and time-consuming to maintain separate systems. If you don’t integrate, you’re stuck hand-keying data from one system to the next or having incorrect data across your systems.
Integration will help you streamline the experience your customers have across different touchpoints. To see what those type of solutions look like, see what integration solutions that nChannel provides for retailers.
What To Do Next
These ideas should help to inspire what your strategy as an e-business should focus on. They can help you become a more successful seller.