In running your online store, are you doing all you can to make it a big success?
Having an online store can prove quite beneficial to businesses all across the country, notably those smaller ones not always getting in-person store traffic that larger ones typically receive.
That said it is imperative that your online store is properly formatted and equipped to serve customers on a regular basis. A regular basis pretty much means whenever consumers want to use it. If you have down times and/or continual gaffes on your site (consumers not being able to use the check-out option properly etc.), you run the risk of losing business.
So, does your online store warrant regular business from consumers?
If not, how will you improve things going forward in 2017?
Be a Technology Whiz with Your Business
So that you can add more online store sales to your cash flow, remember the following pointers:
- Technology – First and foremost, make sure you have a firm grasp of the technology needed to complete regular online sales. While some businesses rush to getting their online platforms up and running, others take their time. Those in the latter group typically end up with better overall E-commerce operations. The reason? They took the time to work out any kinks etc. that were in the systems. Those in the former group may very well do everything correctly as they hurry along, but there is typically more potential for error. If you are not a tech whiz by any means, don’t hesitate to outsource things like setting up merchant services for online payment processing, letting those with experience get you off and running;
- Customer service – As great as technology is and can be, you still need the human element to make your business hum. That said are you providing all the necessary customer service each and every day, especially as it pertains to online sales? While it should be relatively easy for customers to come on your website and browse/buy products or services, there will undoubtedly be the occasional glitch or two. As such, it is your staff that is likely to be there to help customers out. Having a customer feedback and/or “help” option available 24/7 is important. Even if you don’t have staff available round-the-clock, make sure you get to those customer inquiries as soon as possible. By delaying responses, you run the risk of some customers going to the competition.
Promoting Your Online Store
- Marketing matters – Even if you have the best online store going, what if just about no one knew about it? Sadly, that is the case for some businesses. For one reason or another, they choose not to invest the time and effort (including dollars) into their online store when it comes to marketing. As a result, not nearly as many consumers as possible know about all one offers online. In order to avoid that problem, look at where your marketing dollars are projected to go in 2017. If you have very little in the way of online store marketing planned, consider changing that before it is too late. Lastly, make sure the marketing and sales teams are on the same page when it comes to promoting your online selling activities. When teams are on the same page, it tends to be a win-win situation for the business and the customer;
Online sales are becoming more and more important to countless businesses these days.
If you want to improve your revenue stream, an online store presence can definitely lead to more dollars.
If you think your online store initiatives need even the least bit of work, do the required work before going live. In the event your online store is already available to consumers yet needs some fixes, take the time to get the repairs done.
That said make sure your online store is ready for prime-time and not some second-rate act.