Advice for New e-Commerce Businesses

Starting an e-commerce business is hard work. First, you need to figure out what you want to sell. Then, you must pick a company name, obtain a domain name for your website, choose a hosting company, design your website, find sources for the products you want to sell, and open payment processing accounts.

Finally, your website is online. What should be next on your agenda? When you’re just starting a business, you need to be patient. Waiting for your first sale can seem like an eternity, but it takes time for your marketing efforts to generate traffic and for organic search activity to send visitors to your site. Here are a few suggestions on how to productively use the time before sales activity begins in earnest.

Review your initial website content

Now that the pressure to get online is over, it’s a good time to go back and look at your website pages and check for typos and to make sure your product descriptions are clear. Even though you’ve probably already done several reviews before going online, it’s quite possible that something that you missed earlier when you were more pressed for time will stand out now.

Sharpen your unique selling proposition (USP)

If you haven’t already done so, review the websites of your competitors, and make a list of all the reasons why customers should purchase from you rather than from them. Use that list to come up with your USP that sets you apart from the competition, and review your website again to make sure it reflects your USP. If it doesn’t, now is the perfect time to modify your site to give you a competitive edge.

Start a blog

The lull in activity is an ideal time to start a blog. Publishing useful, engaging content on a blog can increase traffic and sales, as well as increase awareness of your brand. Ideally, you should publish at least two new articles per week, and more if you have time.

Set up your social media channels

A presence on social media is an effective way to engage with your customers. Most e-commerce sites have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and so should you. Use social media to keep both potential and current customers aware of special deals and upcoming sales. You don’t have to post every day, but three to four posts a week should be ample to have a continuing conversation. Make it easy for visitors to your website to connect with your social media channels by providing links to them on your homepage.

Set up your web analytics tools

Your long-term success depends on knowing who your customers are and how effective your marketing campaigns are at reaching them, so decide which metrics are important for you. There are many free and paid tools available, so use this lull time to research them and decide which ones best suit your needs.

You also want to know how quickly your site loads or if your site crashes, so use a website monitoring service to inform you promptly when performance problems occur.

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