Setting up an online store seems easy enough, right? You need a sound business plan and marketing strategy, sellable products, great domain, excellent hosting, and a sound content management system, among others. The low overhead is also appealing, and you don’t even have to pay rent if you don’t need space or already have room for your inventory. Plus, online stores are usually easier to manage and run than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
In reality, however, it could be challenging to create a successful store and run it properly. The truth is, there are various tasks you should regularly accomplish to make sure that you run your online store efficiently. With this in mind, here are some practical tips to help you run your online store as efficiently as possible and ensure its success.
Sales Must Be Reviewed Daily
Make it a point to allot some time each day to review your sales from the previous day. Check the reports to spot any indicators or surprises you should monitor and act on. For example, if you found that your latest products sold well, investigate the possible reasons. Maybe you ramped up your social media efforts and/or email marketing strategy?
Perhaps you reduced your prices, but some of your products still did not sell well as your other products. In simple terms, the main goal of reviewing your sales daily, besides accurate inventory and bookkeeping, is to look for insights that will aid you in making better business choices.
The Online Reputation of Your Brand Should Be Protected At All Costs
An excellent online reputation is key to eCommerce success because a seemingly minor mistake could tarnish your brand’s reputation, maybe forever. The key to protecting your brand reputation is regular monitoring and proper reputation management practices.
Use Google Alerts to notify you whenever someone mentions or posts about your brand online. Also, make sure that you have firm rules on social media and branding activities so that the people on your team responsible for posting online know what to do at all times.
New Arrivals and Inventory Must Be Planned in Advance
Having fresh inventory in the rotation will help draw more people into your online store and promote repeat customers. Likewise, staying on top of your inventory will ensure that your best-sellers are always available. This is why reviewing and planning your inventory accordingly is crucial to your business operations. How often you should order products will depend on how fast you can move your inventory.
Regular inventory reviews will likewise tell you how much merchandise you need to order. For instance, for products that sell quickly, you can set aside a higher budget in advance to ensure that you have the funds to order them. In addition, keeping track of your inventory will help ensure that you don’t run out of supplies in case a vendor suddenly can’t deliver what you need.
Your Content Marketing Strategy Should Be On Point
A solid, comprehensive, and well-executed content marketing strategy is crucial to the success of any eCommerce business. This is especially true if you intend to increase your traffic and grow your sales. Content marketing entails producing and distributing content about your brand, such as blog posts, videos, photos, and guides, among others, across various online channels.
These channels include your website, other blogs via outreach campaigns, and your social media accounts. Leveraging various channels and content types will enable your eCommerce business to reach more people and drive targeted traffic to your online store.
Your Customer Experience Must Be Topnotch
Without your customers, your online store will fail. And the best way to deliver a topnotch customer experience is to review the following regularly:
- Customer reviews, testimonials, and surveys: All these contain valuable insight into your customers’ shopping experiences.
- Website heatmaps: You can determine specific areas that site visitors are clicking on your website.
- Comments on social media, your website, and other sites: These will give you information on what your customers love and don’t like about their shopping experience on your site.
Depending on the insights you have obtained from reviewing these things, make sure to adjust your customer experience whenever needed. For example, it would be best if you learned how to manage customer feedback, solve your customers’ pain points, and ensure that you consistently deliver a superior customer experience.
Your Ecommerce Business Must Always Comply with Relevant Laws
Ecommerce businesses must comply with the same laws as physical businesses, but with subtle differences. Online companies should likewise follow some rules that are specific to online businesses. These commonly include privacy, handling identifiable information, and intellectual property laws. Ensuring that your business also has the proper legal structure is likewise immensely crucial.
You may need professional legal advice regarding business structures and compliance with online laws to avoid having issues with the IRS. Remember that trust is crucial to your customer and business relationships. So it would be best if you safeguard your business by running an online store that complies with the necessary legal requirements.
Manage Your Finances Properly
Keeping on top of your online store’s finances is vital to ensuring financial stability and positive cash flow. Otherwise, you might end up lacking the funds to grow, invest in, or even maintain your business. It would help if you prioritized bookkeeping, accounting, financial planning, tax planning, forecasting, and risk management because these are crucial tasks that should be incorporated into your business’s financial plan. Do not hesitate to obtain professional help when you need it.
Running your online store will take a lot of trial and error, consistent actions, habit building, and perseverance. But when you craft a routine, with help from the tips above, you can leverage it to scale and grow your business.
Talk to an Experienced Virginia Business Lawyer Today
Whether you are planning to start an eCommerce business, need help with your existing business, or want to expand your online business, McClanahan Powers, PLLC, can help. For more information, call 703-520-1326 or contact us online to arrange a meeting with our Virginia business lawyer.