So you plan to set 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 you are going to build a store, what you are going to sell, and how you will 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 visitors’ footfall to your online store. It could be mailing campaigns, search engine optimisation, social media posts, pay per click advertising, or product offers.
You can categorize your marketing effort into 2 parts :
- Hunting – Pay per click ads, Marketing Mailers, Banner ads, etc
- Farming – Social media posting, Subscription-based mailers, etc
One is not a replacement for 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 a minimum of 10 modes of marketing yourself at any time. Learn to measure and measure to learn.
How will you collect payments online?
This is one of the most crucial parts 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.
- Banks – like HDFC, ICICI Payseal, Axis Bank, etc
- 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 the other hand, allow you to accept payments via Net banking, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Amex, Discount Cards, or Mobile IVRS.
A Payment Aggregator provides a better ROI as a partner and is more organized (reverts faster) than a normal bank.
Though today buyers are not as a skeptical about buying online, we still advise an SSL certificate to add security cover and increase your customers’ trust. 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 thanks to the commerce growth in India, we have some companies that are organized 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? This is the most evident and important part of your business operations. We have seen many customers getting angry over the process of payments, waiting for deliveries, poor or negligible customer care departments, waiting for ages for refunds or returns, and even losing monies paid to a merchant.
You have to understand and convert a happy customer to a raving fan and not leave any stone unturned to achieve it. It is easy to achieve this if you have processes that manage these systems before starting your business venture. We have seen many businesses only focussing on sales and thus losing customer satisfaction and business profits. Few things you can do that can make your life easier are :
- Setting up a system to manage customer queries and put an SLA period on this so that your customers know what to expect.
- Implement Live chat support on your site to speak to your team for problems they are facing during or after the sales.
- Give links to track order status to your customers.
- Have a system that manages refunds/returns of orders.
- Ask customers for feedback on your service once a delivery is done and act to improve it.
- Ask the customer to 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.