How Entrepreneurs & SMBs Can Capitalize On E-Commerce Trends
Entrepreneurs often need to move quickly in the marketplace. If you can identify a gap in the market or spot a trend, you can quickly establish an e-commerce site to capture early trade and build a solid customer base. Small and medium businesses can also build solid online reputations when it comes to launching products in the e-commerce space.
The question is, how can entrepreneurs and SMBs capitalize on these trends? What does ‘move quickly’ really mean, and how do you do it? This article will give you three concrete tips to put into action today.
Do your research
The first step to taking advantage of online trends is to do some research. Straightforward Google searches can reveal a lot about the levels of interest and the quality of the current competition (if any). Keep an eye on social media for trending hashtags, as well, as they can indicate where early adopters are moving online.
Enter some simple queries that reflect your current e-commerce trading area. Start with broad search terms like, ‘best selling baking tools’. Investigate what established brands are offering and take a peek at traders that operate on third-party platforms like Amazon or even Etsy. If you’re starting from scratch, you can use these same searches to reveal the most popular items and consider launching with competitive offerings.
Brand well from the start
The way you establish your brand online can make or break your business. Make a concerted effort to launch with a well-rounded brand that accurately reflects the values of your business. Everything from your color scheme, your choice of shopping cart and methods of customer service delivery will all count when a potential customer is eyeballing your site. Consider making your brand social media friendly so it’s easily shareable. Building social proof and brand loyalty takes time but pays off in spades.
Make it easy to buy from you
Clunky websites and shopping carts that refuse to disclose shipping fees are frustrating and off-putting. Enable customers to shop without signing up for an account or entering onerous amounts of personal information. You will see an increase in sales if you can make the cart process clear, quick and simple. Let customers find answers to common shipping, tax and returns questions without needing to search for it. Invest in superior quality product photography and encourage customer reviews. Providing a secure cart to transact credit card sales should be a minimum requirement to protect both sides of the transaction.
If you start with solid research, build a reputable brand and reduce barriers to sales, any entrepreneur should be able to see sales grow over time. Leverage your current branding and infrastructure to reduce upfront costs and you’ll see profits sooner rather than later.