In my last e-commerce blog post I majored on how, by being the same as your competitors, you’re likely to have a failing e-commerce site. This time, it’s getting the fundamentals right.
1. Think about your business
You need to think some more about your business and how you can make your customers feel happier buying from you than your competitors.
And don’t forget that thorny question from last time – can you afford to compete on price, alone?
Don’t tackle your competitors head-on in a show of price. Try to outflank them with a show of brains.
2. How is your business different?
If you haven’t already thought about your USPs (unique selling points), now’s the time – before you go wasting any more time and budget on your site.
Grab a piece of paper and start a brain dump of anything and everything that could make your online business better. If you’re stuck, you could think about these questions:
- Do you have exclusive products? They could be a reason for customers to come to your site and not your competitors’
- Is there something special about your people? If you’re a sports equipment vendor, do you have a champion on your staff? An expert with decades of experience? Someone well-known to your customers?
- Is your business’ location special? Are you near your customers? Can you deliver more quickly than some or all of your competitors?
These questions aren’t supposed to be exhaustive, but they should get you started thinking away from manufacturers’ products and if you can sell or deliver more cheaply than your competitors.
3. Think about your site
- Does your chosen platform allow you to publish a blog and other useful content? If it only allows you to show products, you should move to something more flexible as soon as you can. Also ask yourself how easy it is to use. Can you see you and your staff using it every day, or making excuses?
- Have you got the capacity and budget to make your product descriptions unique? If you don’t, you may always struggle to rank Organically on the search engines
- Can you make your site appear more attractive? Can you get a design professional to re-skin your site? Can your logo be improved?
Next time, I’ll look at how you can get customers to your e-commerce website.
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Thanks to Brad.K, Kate Ter Haar and pshutterbug for making their images available.