So, you have come up with an idea for an e-commerce business and you want to kick things off, but where do you start? One of the first things that you should do as a new business is come up with an e-commerce business strategy. This details everything someone needs to know about your business, from the part the website plays in marketing to how orders are shipped to customers. This might sound like a daunting task, but hard work pays off, and it’s really not something that you can do without.
When you are creating a business strategy for your e-commerce business, you need to think about what your business is providing and what success looks like to you. It will help you to set goals, share information with shareholders or investors, and it will highlight what gives your business a competitive edge. In fact, according to Harvard Business School, a business strategy determines four key factors; price, suppliers, employee recruitment and resource allocation. All of this information acts as a guide or blueprint for the business, seeing it through from being a startup to a successful enterprise.
Without a clear business strategy, an e-commerce business is unlikely to succeed. It’s easy to get lost in the industry, overlooked by customers in favour of successful competitors. Without a business strategy, how will you know what the next stage of your business’ journey looks like?
Below, we have listed some of the key things that you should do when formulating a business strategy for your e-commerce business.
Establish Your Brand
One of the first things that you need to do as a business is create an e-commerce strategy, and establishing your brand is a key part of this. There are a lot of businesses out there, and some of them are going to be offering very similar products and services to you. If you want to succeed in the competitive world of e-commerce, you need to make sure that your brand stands out and makes a statement. When you are formulating a business strategy, you need to decide how you will position your brand to stand out from the competition. You need to find your voice and value, and clearly convey what you have to offer.
Identify Your Market
As an e-commerce business owner, you might be tempted to target everyone online, but this is rarely a good idea. Targeting more people doesn’t necessarily mean more leads, conversions and sales. It means more work and more money being spent, but rarely does it mean more profit. Not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer, so marketing to them is often a waste of time and money. Instead, identify your market and know who you are targeting. This is essential to developing a successful e-commerce strategy, and it helps you to tailor your marketing and advertising efforts accordingly. Research your target market to understand their needs, preferences and buying habits, and then create a business strategy with this in mind.
Build Your Site for Success
There is no denying the importance of having a strong online presence as an e-commerce business, and a website is a key part of this. You need to have an attractive and informative website, one that grabs the attention of users and provides them with information about your business. A website is often the first thing a customer sees of your business, and so it needs to have an impact. This is why a lot of businesses enlist the help of a professional website design and development team, such as Profici. It’s also important to use various social media platforms and social media marketing to build an engaged community, which you can then direct to your website to boost traffic. Leverage search engine optimisation, SEO, and other online marketing strategies to drive as many people as possible to your website. Once they are on the website, you can market your products and services.
Establish Your Fulfilment Process
Once you have everything up and running, you need to establish your fulfilment process, and add this to your growing business strategy. Your fulfilment process should be fast, efficient and cost effective. You don’t want to spend too much time fulfilling orders, as this will take your attention from other aspects of running a business. You don’t want to spend too much fulfilling and shipping orders, as this will reduce your profits, and leave you with less revenue to put back into the business. You should be able to find and distribute products without wasting too much time or money doing so. Take the time to develop a system for picking, packing and shipping orders. Deciding what works best for your business could be a case of trial and error, and you might even consider outsourcing fulfilment if necessary.
At Profici, we have been lucky enough to work with a range of businesses over the years, so we know how important a business strategy is. It doesn’t matter what type of e-commerce business you have, or the services and products you provide, formulating a business strategy is key. With an e-commerce strategy to guide you, it’s a lot easier to stay on target, and to ensure that you are doing everything right by your business, your brand and your target market. Everything from establishing your brand to fulfilling orders is set out by your business strategy. Find out more about how to boost your e-commerce business by getting in touch with our talented team.