Starting an e-commerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time.
There are many options and platforms out there for businesses looking to sell their own products, so how do you know what opportunities are right for you?
We spoke to e-commerce specialists and GO! Network members LaBrand to discuss how to know when and where to platform your products when building an e-commerce strategy.
How do you evaluate the options when it comes to e-commerce?
When choosing to implement an e-commerce site, companies have three main options. They can either:
- Custom build the e-commerce website
- Choose an e-commerce packaged solution
- Go with a hosted e-commerce solution
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
When evaluating these options, Paige Nunu, Director of Strategy at LaBrand Agency, advises that “all aspects of e-commerce should support your defined strategic direction, meaning no decision is made in isolation.”
“The tech platform of choice should be guided by your customers’ journey and functionality requirements.
3PL partnerships should meet customer delivery expectations and marketing tactics should be driven by your upper vs lower funnel objectives. The many complexities of e-commerce should be evaluated in how well they bring your strategy and objectives to fruition.”
What are some common mistakes people make when trying to sell online?
The internet can bring many opportunities when selling online, but only when you understand the best way to control your position. 87% of UK retail purchasing is made online and by 2023, online shopping is expected to reach up to $6.5 trillion in sales.
However, as the market continues to expand, so too does the competition. As such, common mistakes can easily hinder sales and prevent growth. We asked LaBrand to list some that they regularly see:
- Poor implementation of e-commerce strategy due to lack of alignment and consistency
- Lack of a value proposition and ‘reason to purchase’ on DTC channel vs online retailers
- Tech stack and platform isn’t scalable and can’t evolve with NPD and traffic growth
- Use of trading and conversion mechanics that do not add valuer nor resonate with customers
If you’d like help avoiding these mistakes when building an e-commerce strategy, we have agencies that can help! Let us know your requirements here.
What are some key measures of success to understand how well your e-commerce platform is performing?
The list of e-commerce metrics is a long one. Google Analytics, social media, the product pages, homepages, checkout, cart etc are all rich data sources that capture quantifiable data for you to interpret and measure trends.
With so many key performance indicators available, how do you know what’s important to understand success?
Here are the ones LaBrand have suggested to keep an eye on:
- Traffic to site; % of customer acquisition vs % of returning customer
- Source of traffic to site; organic vs paid channels. Understand level of spontaneous awareness vs prompted discovery through marketing
- Sales and revenue
- Engagement with site functionality; product selectors, try on technology, account profiles
- Participation with loyalty schemes
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate and time on various site pages
What advice would you give a small business starting out selling on an e-commerce platform?
Starting an e-commerce business is an exciting time, but it can also be quite daunting at first.
The process of making it successful should be considered like a marathon, not a sprint. Spend the first-year testing, reiterating and reinvesting sales back into the business.
To summarise, we asked LaBrand to offer their own advice to a small business starting out selling on an e-commerce platform.
“Ensure your customer is central to the end-to-end operations of your DTC, which may sound obvious, but is difficult to accomplish without thorough upfront strategic planning.
Establishing a compelling proposition for your site, which is guided by true consumer insight, is essential to ensure you brand is valued beyond price and promotions. It will furthermore help customers decipher between your website, competitors and even your products on other retailer sites.”
If you’re wanting to start out selling your products online and feel like you could benefit from agency support, GO! can help. Get in touch here.