E-commerce is undoubtedly a booming industry in the current marketplace, with many customers and businesses heavily invested in this business model. According to Digital Commerce 360, US e-commerce grew by 44% in 2020 alone. Therefore, now is an excellent time to set up an online business and enjoy a steady income stream. However, you’ll need some helpful tips to ensure your enterprise's success, such as finding the right online tools and even looking for the best site to buy Instagram likes. If you want to know more about starting an online business this year, please consider the following points.
Set up a payment gateway
Since your storefront is a digital one, keep in mind that your method of accepting payment must also be via the internet. The days of mailing checks, printing, and faxing order forms are long gone, so you’ll need to be able to process transactions and accept payments directly on your website. Therefore, it’s prudent to invest in a quality payment gateway to ensure that your enterprise can receive payments from clients worldwide in varying currencies. A payment gateway processes and verifies credit card processing on behalf of merchants via a secure internet connection. Without one, you can’t charge clients when they buy from your website. It’s essential because it helps transfer information regarding a transaction between a payment portal and the bank or front-end processor. However, you must invest in a quality payment gateway to reduce the frequency of credit card fraud and ensure that customer data is encrypted and secure.
Invest in a top-notch business website
Selling on an online marketplace or via your website are your only two options when deciding where to sell products online. However, many experts agree that any enterprise interested in successful e-commerce must invest heavily in an excellent business website. Your website is the face of your company and is the first thing many clients will see about your business. It’s also the avenue through which clients will browse and purchase your products.
Thanks to your website, you can also build a client email list and market directly to your target audience. Compared to marketplaces, selling directly to consumers allows you to collect their contact information, so you can send them email marketing promos, announce new products, offer discounts, among others. A website is also necessary to learn more about your audience, establish and solidify your brand, and run creative marketing campaigns. Nowadays, since over half of all internet shopping traffic comes from mobile devices, prioritize making your website mobile-friendly to ensure that you can convert more casual mobile browsers into paying customers.
Ensure that you satisfy a need
Every business type must address specific needs to be successful, and an online company is no exception to this rule. Therefore, make sure your idea solves a genuine need in the market to make your efforts worthwhile. You can conduct thorough competitor research for starters to observe what rival businesses are up to. This way, you can notice what services and products customers seek and obtain insights into how you can position your brand to answer their needs. You can also do market research to know how viable your idea is and what gaps exist in customer expectations. Finally, consider conducting consumer surveys to acquire first-hand information on your target audience's wants and how your enterprise can deliver on those needs.
Handle all legalities
A successful online business must be legal, so ensuring that your e-business is legally compliant is vital. First of all, you must lawfully form your business and file for the necessary legal paperwork to register and establish it within your state. As a sole proprietorship or partnership, filing a DBA ("Doing Business As”) is essential if you’re using a name that doesn't include owner(s) legal first and last names. Also, you should set up a business bank account to separate your finances from company income. Additionally, obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) and all necessary business permits and licenses to operate legally. Learning online business laws is also essential to understand trademark considerations, shipping restrictions, and others, so you don't violate the law.
Leverage social media
An estimated 50.64% of the entire global population uses social media nowadays, so it must feature heavily in your online enterprise launching plans. Brands now rely on social marketing to promote awareness and boost sales, and yours should be no different. Consequently, use known social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for your social media marketing efforts. Social media also helps you engage with your client base, and you can even offer timely customer service through these channels. Therefore, invest in your social media presence to make your online business more visible and boost its chances of success.