So you plan setting up an online store? Just like your brick and mortar business you need to create a strategy when you plan to sell online. Missing on the obvious points like how are you going to build a store, what are you going to sell and how are you going to get your payments online are some points that need your attention before you get started. Here are the few things that we recommend you consider when planning to sell online.

How will you promote your store?

So how do you promote a brick and mortar business. YES you do Advertising. A store not promoted is like an ad not printed. No Traffic means No Sales, you need to put in a strategy that increases the footfall of visitors on your online store. It could be mailing campaigns, search engine optimisation, social media posts, pay per click advertising or product offers.

You can categorise your marketing effort into 2 parts :

  1. Hunting –  Pay per click ads, Marketing Mailers, Banner ads etc
  2. Farming – Social media posting, Subscription based mailers, etc

One is not a replacement of another and we recommend that you put both the strategies in action to get maximum results.

As told to us by a wise gentleman you should have minimum of 10 modes of marketing your self at any time. Learn to measure and measure to learn.

How will you collect payments online?

This is one of the most crucial part of your e-commerce store. A person wants a product and wishes to pay you online. In the current world there are 2 types of payment service providers who are available at large.

  1. Banks – like HDFC, ICICI Payseal, Axis Bank etc
  2. Payment Aggregators – like EBS, CCavenue, Zaakpay, PayU etc.

The distinctive difference between Banks and Payment Aggregators is that though Banks only allow you to pay thru Credit or Debit Cards the Aggregators on other had allow you to accept payments via Net banking, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Amex, Discount Cards or Mobile IVRS.

A Payment Aggregator provides your a better ROI as a partner and is more organised (reverts faster) as compared to a normal bank.

Though today buyer are not as sceptic about buying online but we still advise an SSL certificate to add an additional security cover and increase trust of your customers. You can also offer a Cash on Delivery mode for those who still are not comfortable buying online.

How will you get your products delivered to your customers?

You got an order and you got the payments now WHAT ? Hey you need to ship the products, though you can use your existing vendors to ship your products but thanks to the commerce growth in India we have some companies that are organised and can provide you with good services at competitive prices. They manage COD and you can even look out for a drop shipper model with them as the sale peaks. We recommend you to try and get quotes from companies like DTDC, Ecomexpress, Fedex or Aramex.

How will you give your customer a world class experience?

It all comes down to a single point, how will you provide a world class experience to your customer cause this is the most evident and important part of your business operations. We have seen lot of customers getting angry over the process of payments, waiting for deliveries, poor or negligible customer care departments, waiting ages for refunds or returns and even loosing monies paid to a merchant.

You have to understand and convert a happy customer to a raving fan and should not leave any stone unturned to achieve this. Its easy to achieve this if you have processes that manage these system before you start your business venture. We have seen lot of businesses only focussing on sales and thus loosing customer satisfaction and business profits. Few things you can do that can make your life easier are :

  1. Setting up a system to manage customer queries and put a SLA period on this so that your customers know what to expect.
  2. Implement Live chat support on your site so that your customers can speak to your team for problems they are facing during or after the sales.
  3. Give links to track order status to your customers.
  4. Have a system that manages refunds / returns of orders.
  5. Ask customers for feedback of your service once a delivery is done and act to improve it.
  6. Ask customer for review the product so that you know he is happy with the same.

In a nutshell selling online is about EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS thus converting your HAPPY BUYERS to RAVING FANS.