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05.Sep.2017 Krithika Siddharth - eCommerce, eCommerce Store
With the steady growth in the eCommerce industry, we have witnessed both, the birth as well as the death of million online stores around the world. The main reason to fail as an eCommerce entrepreneur is the lack of awareness.
The fact is, people believe that once they launch their online store, sales happen magically. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. One needs to put in a lot of effort into their online business just like any other retail/physical business out there. In the last one decade, we have seen some disruptive eCommerce stores taking the world by the storm.
Let’s find some take-home points to implement in our very own eCommerce initiatives to build a successful small and medium-size store.
When Alibaba tried to establish its roots in China, the internet was pretty new. Not many people wanted to do online transactions, which was a big downfall for eBay.
Understanding the local’s sentiment, Alibaba tested the waters by providing a free Marketplace for sellers to list their products. This pushed the sellers in China to try the marketplace scenario and understand how it helped their businesses.
The lesson to learn: When you start out your online business, it’s good to target people in your own city and not someone who lives on the other side of the world. With a well-known target audience, you can easily find people to survey in the local coffee shop or even in the neighborhood park.
Now, you can sell products with confidence. Once you figure out the whole eCommerce fiasco, its easier to expand the area you serve to build a profitable and long-lasting business.
Amazon started as an online bookstore which later went on to become the most successful eCommerce store in the world. The approach they took to establish their online empire was to understand what customers want and build products that sell.
That’s not all, they are also known to provide one of the best customer support in the world. This makes them one of the trustworthy eCommerce platform for consumers.
The lesson to learn: Understanding your niche is essential. If you are in the fashion industry, then you must update yourself with the latest design trends. Staying ahead of your competition is essential to be successful. Also to improve customer retention rate, focus on building a robust customer support strategy.
When you look at Etsy and eBay, they more or less have a similar business model, but Etsy is 10 times more successful. It’s mainly because eBay stopped implementing new features on its website, but Etsy is innovative providing new tools to help sellers market their products better. This gives Etsy a competitive edge to build better relationships with its customers.
If you look at Etsy, the marketplace attracts women population between the age of 18 to 45. It shows in their design and color choices. They also took a lot of pain in building the relationship and conducting events to curate the sellers to fit their marketplace. The hard work paid off in terms of traffic and transaction.
Lesson To Learn: Focus on designs that will help you relate better to your end-users. A design-centric approach is the best way to engage shoppers. Pay attention to curating good quality products that customers will love, it will pay off in the long run.
The founder of JD.com, Richard Liu, forever focussed on the logistics part of his eCommerce business. He believes to have a successful eCommerce company, every aspect of the supply-chain system is important. This is how he was able to build his eCommerce empire in such a short period of time.
Lesson To Learn: Just because ‘free shipping’ works, it’s not possible to blindly provide this to all customers. It’s important to find the best logistics partner as well as a strategy that helps you not only provide the best possible shipping price, but also the shortest delivery time.
Macy’s digital initiative worked as they embraced an omnichannel approach. By connecting their physical store with its online initiative, Macy’s was not only able to improve their sales, but also their brand value.
Lesson To Learn: If you have an online store, you can try selling products on Facebook, Instagram as well as Amazon. You create multiple income streams giving you plenty of opportunities to bring new customers onto your website.
Walmart has been striving to succeed in the eCommerce market but they were unable to reach the record-breaking figures of Amazon. The recent acquisition of jet.com gave them the necessary growth spurt in the eCommerce space as they have access to the additional customer database as well as better logistics and supply chain set-up.
Lesson To Learn: Well, we may not have the necessary money to acquire other established eCommerce stores, but there are online entrepreneurs who are looking to sell their successful online business. If you find one in your niche, it’s a good idea to invest which will help you expand your business effortlessly.
Owning an online store is no piece of cake, but there are a lot of people who are successful. By analyzing these top eCommerce businesses, there are some common factors that helped frame their success. I will discuss more in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned!
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Senior Ecommerce Strategist9 Years of Experience Working with Multiple Brands
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