Online businesses are extremely popular, evidenced by the fact that, in just the US, eCommerce sales reached over $365 billion in 2019. Customers love shopping online, and there are plenty of advantages of selling online for business owners as well. Online businesses can be scaled indefinitely, they operate 24/7, they have access to customers across the globe, and they can generally be started with much less capital than a traditional business would require. This makes them an excellent option for those with good business ideas but not enough money to invest in a store.
While an online business does have many advantages, they still require a great deal of work, and things can go wrong like with any other business. Here are some of the most important things you’ll need to consider before starting.
Start With Your Market
You might believe that online businesses start with a product idea and then search for a way to sell that product to a wide audience. This is true in many cases, but it’s also one of the main reasons so many online businesses fail. Before you start planning the rest of your business, you need to think about who your target market is so you can have a defined business with a consistent identity. Knowing who your audience is will naturally bring you to your products and services.
Be the Solution
Once you have an idea for your market, you can start thinking about the problems they have. The goal of your business is to solve those problems, and you’ll need to establish your business as the best to do it. Let’s say you’re a food and cooking expert, and you’re planning to market towards chefs and other kitchen workers. There are many sites already out there that sell high quality and durable kitchenware and accessories, such as outletsale.com. This particular site specializes in providing European kitchen equipment. To make your business stand out, you’ll need to find a different niche to offer specific solutions for your customers’ specific needs.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is absolutely critical to the success of any online business, and you’ll at least need to know some basics in order to improve your site rankings. Link building is one of the oldest principles in SEO, and it’s still a good place to start today. You can earn links on high authority sites by contributing guest content or promoting your own original content that shows off your expertise in your field. It’s also a great idea to make a Google My Business account to increase your odds of appearing in local searches.
Plan Your Customer Support
There’s nothing more important to your business than your customers, and you need to show them how much you appreciate them by offering the best support possible. You can do this with an omnichannel call center that offers an amazing customer experience. With this call center software, customers can contact your agents using their preferred communication methods including voice calls, text, webchat, SMS, and more. Customers expect options and personalized experiences, and these options ensure customers reach the most qualified agents as soon as possible.
Speaking of contact centers, if you’re planning to use one for customer outreach, you’ll need to ensure it’s a TCPA compliant call center. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from solicitation from automated devices (robocalls). The national Do Not Call (DNC) registry forbids automated calls, voice messages, text messages, etc. to numbers on the list unless they’ve given prior consumer consent. Compliance with TCPA rules needs to be a top priority for any business that uses a call list to contact customers.
An online business can be a great success with proper planning, but you’ll need to carefully plan how to stand out amongst your competitors.