Even though online retail sales amounted to $5.2 trillion in 2021, carving out a space for your store in the rapidly growing online retail market isn’t as simple as it may seem. With more and more stores launching every day, markets are becoming saturated and only entrepreneurs who understand the best practices will have a chance to succeed.
That’s why when launching a new eCommerce store, having a structured process you can follow is essential. It will help ensure you don’t forget any essential details and are actually ready to launch once your store becomes visible to the public.
In this article, let’s go over some of the most important items you should have on your eCommerce checklist to maximize your chances of success.
Ready to get started? Then read on below.
Take Control of Your Product Management
One of the biggest challenges apparel companies face is staying on top of their products, inventory, and sales. You need to have a centralized system for tracking and managing your product inventory effectively and without the need for too much manual oversight.
And that’s where having a comprehensive apparel ERP solution can be so useful. Today’s leading software tools come with a long list of powerful features and are designed specifically for apparel stores. That means that these solutions utilize the best practices of apparel eCommerce and are always enhancing the performance of available tools to provide you with a system that works flawlessly.
If you’re just starting an online store, it’s likely that you don’t have the necessary experience to set up an inventory and product management system from scratch. Because of that, it makes sense to leverage the expertise of others and use leading solutions that will put you on par with some of the most established competitors in your niche from day one.
Prioritize Social Media Growth
It’s almost impossible to succeed in today’s eCommerce world without at least some presence on social media. The variety of social media platforms is used by billions of people around the world, and they are designed to create countless opportunities for raising brand awareness, engaging your customers, and driving sales.
If you’re in the apparel niche where visuals play a big role in how your brand is perceived, getting Instagram followers organically can be a great way to fast-track your growth and start building a loyal audience of followers who are primed to be interested in your offers.
You can also use effective social media marketing strategies to define a distinct brand different from your competitors, building a strong brand voice that your audience will love and want to see more of. Since most eCommerce markets are becoming more competitive, being a content-driven brand can help you stand out from the crowd and become appealing not just for the products but for the entire brand experience.
Provide a Seamless Experience
Even though online shopping surged during the pandemic and more people than ever are comfortable buying almost anything online, they also have high expectations about what businesses should provide and how issues should be handled.
That means that even if you can get in front of the right buyers and get interested in your products, the way you handle their questions, complaints, or various issues will ultimately determine not just the individual sale but also your online store’s future.
Reputation might be the single most important thing that you will need to cultivate over the long term, and providing your customers a seamless experience in any circumstances will be at the center of the reputation you end up having.
If you can create a customer support system that can quickly address issues and provide helpful resources, that can have a hugely positive effect and result in good reviews that will make it much easier for people to trust your claims and business. But even a relatively small number of negative experiences can create a permanent mark online, making it much harder to compete against well-established brands in your niche.
Talk to Your Customers
Figuring out what your customers want isn’t easy. You can do a lot of market research, analyze competitors, and identify trends, but the best way to collect insights will always be by talking to your customers.
This is absolutely essential in the beginning as you’re preparing to launch your store, but it will be important throughout the journey of growing your business as well. At every stage of your business growth, it’s a good idea to consult with your buyers and prospects about how they perceive your brand, what they’d like to see improved, and what matters to them the most.
Whether you organize one-on-one interviews, organize surveys, or collect data through social media interactions, you need to create a process for getting real voice-of-customer insights you can use to make informed decisions and not disappoint your customers at any stage.
Consider partnering with a third-party fulfillment company as another strategic option for your business. These companies specialize in essential processes like receiving inventory, efficient warehousing, order processing, precise picking and packing, and much more. By entrusting these tasks to experts, you can significantly enhance your inventory management, elevate the overall customer experience, and create the conditions for rapid business growth.It’s essential for every business to delve deeper into their specific needs and goals to determine whether collaborating with a third-party fulfillment company aligns with their overall strategy. Such a partnership can provide the necessary infrastructure and expertise to streamline your operations, reduce overhead costs, and ensure that your products reach customers promptly and in optimal condition. Ultimately, making an informed decision about engaging a third-party fulfillment company can be a pivotal step in maximizing the efficiency and success of your business.
If you’re a new eCommerce store owner, figuring out what to focus on can seem overwhelming. But if you prioritize product management, finding your audience, and providing a great experience to each customer, that will cover some of the most important basics.
In this article, we’ve explored some of the main ways to set your eCommerce business up for success in the long-term future.