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E-commerce Best Practices for Small Businesses

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According to the United States Census Bureau, a small business can be based on the revenue generated (between $1 million to $40 million) and the number of personnel (100-1,500 employees). 

This definition is also aligned with the United States Small Business Administration’s definition and other elements presented in various presentations of small business statistics.

To say that e-commerce is a dynamic industry is an understatement. Ever since e-commerce existed, the digital shopping experience has been undergoing constant change. 

As technology evolves, so does e-commerce. More and more consumers are delving into the world of online shopping, and at the same time, more business owners are also expanding into e-commerce.

What does this mean for small business owners trying to make a name in the HUGE world of e-commerce? 

Well, the first thing you need to focus on is to stay relevant. 

Sounds relatively easy?

Think again. Staying relevant takes time, effort, skills, and the right marketing strategy.

In this article, we’ll share with you the e-commerce best practices for small businesses. Let’s start with – 

  1. Making a good impression

Cliche as it may sound, first impressions play a big role in how your business is received by your target market. 

Making a good impression is nothing less of a prerogative when you’re going on a first date, right? 

It’s just the same with your small business! The world of e-commerce is full of “fishes in the sea.” From big name brands like eBay, local brands, to budding businesses, you’ve got competition in every corner.

Think of your small business as an emerging “David” in an industry dominated by Goliaths. How can you possibly get the attention of your target market?

The answer is simple – make a good impression.

To be able to do that, you need to put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Consumers can make a decision to patronize or ignore your store in just a few seconds.

That’s why you need to create a good impression that’s directly inclined to your branding. Remember,  you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it count!

Be as inventive as possible.

Get straight to the point.

Make sure your graphics on your product landing page are attractive and engaging. 

You also need to learn how to write product descriptions because they play a huge role in convincing a potential shopper to click the checkout button.

Put yourself in a shopper’s shoes and ask yourself – 

Would I want to know more about what this store is offering?

Would I trust this brand?

Speaking of trust, you may want to consider using a trusted e-commerce platform like Amazon. It’s easier for you to reach your target market if you’re using a well-known and highly-trusted e-commerce platform.

Amazon is known to be one of the best ecommerce platform for small business. It has a wide market reach that gives small business owners a huge potential for growth.

  1. Put your customers first

In comparison to a physical store, an online shop’s method of providing customer service has its own set of dynamics. 

Brick-and-mortar stores have sales clerks or sales associates to assist customers. With online shops, a customer cannot touch, smell, feel, or try on your products.

With this in mind, you need to give your customers assurance. It’s not enough to make shoppers realize how convenient shopping is at the comfort of their homes because that’s already a given.

You need to provide assurance that you are offering high-quality products that add value to their lives.

And here’s the most important part – give your shoppers the assurance that you are not just after SALES. 

Make your customers feel that you truly value them, and are looking after their shopping experience and product satisfaction. 

You could, for instance, provide perks every now and then. If the budget permits, you can offer free shipping or vouchers. 

In a nutshell, try your best to make the entire purchasing process—from selection to checkout—convenient, easy, and rewarding.

  1. Harness the power of social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok can help you expand your consumer base and brand exposure. 

It’s wise to invest on social media branding and networking. If you’re still working on your operating or marketing expenses, you can maximize the power of reaching your target audience through hashtags. 

Create fresh and engaging posts to increase your organic reach. You can also tap social media influencers to increase your brand’s reach. 

Social media, when handled correctly, is a potent tool that can dramatically increase your brand’s reach, boost traffic, and generate revenue.

Bottomline

When it comes to managing, promoting, and sustaining a small business, it all boils down to providing what your customer needs.

There’s no exact formula that can be considered as the best e-commerce practice for small businesses. 

As a small business owner, you need to understand that the e-commerce industry is very fluid, volatile, and can make a 360-degree turn in a snap. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to reach more customers. 
Be flexible, adaptive, and never get tired of finding new marketing strategies to attract new shoppers, retain existing customers, and increase brand recall.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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