What You Need to Know About Running An E-Commerce Business

E-commerce continues to grow in popularity as more customers turn to online shopping. Fortunately, more service providers offer intuitive tools to help you quickly and affordably set up your virtual shop. There’s a huge audience to tap into online, but you need to consider the distinct demands of e-commerce carefully before you jump in.

Marketing is Essential

Image via Flickr by schizoform

It’s easy to get so lost in the design and implementation of your e-commerce business that you overlook the marketing aspect. However, this is an essential piece of the puzzle when you’re operating in the overcrowded online marketplace. It takes time for even the best sites to leverage outstanding search rankings. You need to implement a strong marketing strategy that will help you pull ahead in your industry and capture the interest of your key audience. Do optimize your site for SEO, but use other strategies as well, such as social media campaigns that will boost business through shares.

You Must Build Trust

Though 79 percent of Americans now shop online, there are still some trust barriers that exist in the digital world. Customers can’t see and feel your products, so they need to use other means to verify your value and authenticity. Welcome customer reviews. Send samples to industry influencers and invite candid responses. Be transparent with your audience and address everything from everyday questions to major security concerns promptly and honestly to build confidence with your customers.

Convenient Payments are Key

When you’re setting up an e-commerce site, it’s important to consider your payment methods. The more options you accept, the easier it is for your customers to make a purchase in the way they feel most comfortable, whether that’s a PayPal transaction or a secure credit card payment. Make sure you’re working with a reliable payment processing system that will keep shoppers’ information secure from online threats.

Shipping Demands are High

Online shoppers have high expectations when it comes to shipping. Customers want their items quickly and affordably, but this isn’t always an easy package to deliver. Consider working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company if you don’t have your own warehouse space and shipping staff. Third-party logistics providers can streamline your costs by grouping your company’s warehousing and shipping activities with those of other clients.

You Must Watch for Fraud

Fraud comes in many forms in the e-commerce industry. Some common issues include:

  • Customers completing a purchase but initiating a chargeback and keeping the goods
  • Criminals using stolen credit card information and circumventing fraud detection
  • Affiliates manipulating sign-ups to cash in on rewards

Every solid e-commerce business needs to implement strong security measures to prevent and detect fraud. You should also have recovery plans for the occasions when a fraudulent purchase occurs despite your best efforts.

With proper planning, you can set up an e-commerce business that’s safe, secure, and well-marketed. Make sure you’re staying ahead of the trends in online threats and customer demands so you can develop a continuously evolving commercial front that’s always poised at the forefront of your industry.