Have you ever thought about starting an internet business? It could really be as simple as opening a Yahoo Store, or on the other end of the scale, as complicated as building your own, professional, dynamic, e-commerce website. Regardless of your approach to internet business, to ensure the success of your business, you need to know of, and apply the following 7 key points.
Lets say for instance, that you have a really amazing product, and a website that looks like a million dollars–but what if you have no demand for your product? In saying that, you aren’t going to be left with a sword in a gun fight. In the online world, there are many ways to advertise and generate demand for your product. There are the choices and possibilities of advertising in Ezines, joint ventures, affiliate programs, referrals, and even as simple as encouraging word of mouth. Remember, without demand, what do you have? No sales. Where does a business without sales end up?
Its all well and good to have visitors to your website, but they don’t do anything for us unless they become a customer. However, its not as easy as it first appears. Now, once your visitor has turned into a customer, you need to ensure that them becoming an actual customer, is as easy as possible. A straightforward and simple ordering process will do wonders for your business. Less clicks and less time it takes for a customer to complete his or her order, the better it is.
If there was any part of your business that you would not want to get wrong, it would be this–how payment is actually being transferred between you and your customers. Generally, when taking into account online businesses, the most popular method is credit card transactions. Not only are they an easier and quicker method than most other forms of payment, but it also goes to a psychological level. Credit Cards exude a „buy-now, think-later“ attitude. Taking this into account, as a business, you’d be making more profit and sales if you accepted credit cards. However, in saying that, it would also be a wise decision to use alternative methods of payment. After all, the easier it is for your customer to find ways to pay you for your product, you’ll see a more efficient increase both in sales and customer numbers.
Now payment has been received from your customer, the path isn’t clear just yet. This is a mistake often made by new businesses. Your products need to be delivered, remember! Generally, if you sell digital products, the industry standard is for the product to be delivered instantly; generally through a download link. Your customer expects this, so ensure this is in place. Physical products require more attention to detail; namely physical delivery. Ensure that your customer is informed every step of the way. Communication is essential. If at all possible, send your customer a means of tracking the product through the course of its delivery. Feeling insecure is something your customer should never have to experience.
5) Service and Support–
A good and trusted business will always endevour to provide and utilise excellent customer service support. To a decent extent, your online business customer support will determine whether or not you get repeat purchases, or if your customer requests a refund. The support abilities of your internet business should be efficient as possible; after all, this is the industry standard. At the least, a well-structured and timely e-mail support service should be available to the customer. The more professional your online business becomes, so should your support methods. More advanced methods such as utilising online helpdesks, FAQs, live chats, a ticket system, a knowledge base, will help greatly; these are just examples, there are more support methods out there which you can use.
The internet business world is filled with people who are honest, trustworthy, and are willing to do everything to help the customer. But, on the other hand, the opposite is also very true. And as such, the internet community at large are getting more aware of ways to protect themselves from the internets less desirable people and activities. Namely, E-commerce frauds.
Because of this, it is upto you and your business to ensure that your visitors are protected, and to prove to them that they can trust you. Simple things, such as using a secured server to process your payments, can help more than is seen on the surface. A digital certificate can also help your business, so purchase one if you can. Physical mailing addresses, and even a phone number where your customers can contact you. Whatever you can do to provide your customers with some piece of mind.
Your online business has begun to flourish, and you have now received more than just a few sales–by now you should be thinking about starting a community. A community in any sense is about belonging to something; in this case its no different. Use your customers as a community development team for your product. Use their suggestions and comments to develop and change your product(s). Not only is this an excellent way to increase product ideas for your business, but with every new product release or update, you’ll see an increase in sales ratios, and you will also have built a loyal customer base.
Well there you have it! Utilising and practising these 7 keys will not only help your online business grow and flourish, but will also ensure your customers are happy, too!