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5 Essential Tips for Starting an E-Commerce Business that Thrives

5 Essential Tips for Starting an E-Commerce Business that Thrives

The e-commerce market is competitive and rewarding, and it provides business owners with the potential to thrive. If you’re willing to be the type of entrepreneur who spends time setting goals, invests their own money into marketing and advertising, and seeking to always grow, you will see the results. By focusing on the customer and keeping your business tuned to their needs and desires, you will reap the rewards. This article will provide five tips to help ensure your e-commerce business succeeds.

Always Improve

One way to attract new customers and ensure that you have return customers is to constantly reinvent your business. There is always room to improve. Don’t settle for what you have now; plan a year, or longer, ahead of time for changes you can make that will help your business to boom. Whether it’s a change in your website, marketing on third-party platforms, or offering special deals, keeping your online shop new and interesting will help bring in business.

Consider Crowdfunding

Starting (and running) a business takes money. You can have a top-notch product and killer service, but if you never make a profit, the business will eventually fail. The early days of a company are often the toughest financially, as most businesses don’t start with a lot of capital. One modern way of getting funds up front is crowdfunding, which countless entrepreneurs and nonprofits utilize. If you have garnered a few satisfied customers, you can ask them to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign. In return, offer the customers various levels of incentives or discounts depending on how much they invest.

Change Your Inventory

While your online store had some great items that initially attracted customers, you’ll see growth by bringing in new inventory. If your customers are always seeing the same old stuff, they will have little reason to come back. If they know that you change your inventory, they’ll come back often to see what’s new and perhaps pick up a few of your best-selling staples as well.

You can also drive traffic with newer inventory. Many people looking for something specific may find your items in a general online search — people who may otherwise never be introduced to your store. For instance, if you sell wholesale clothing, four seasons in a year means you have four opportunities to change the items you offer and attract new customers. Inventory is a great way to easily and creatively grow your online business presence.

Make Good Customer Service a Top Priority

This may be the fourth tip on the list, but it’s among the most important aspects of owning a business. Customer service is actually more valuable than the quality of your products. It will not only help you build your brand and customer base, but it will also sustain you through hard times. Always keep customer satisfaction as your primary goal, and always look for ways to create the best experience possible for your customers. It will ultimately make you more money because many people will pay higher prices for a great experience.

Market Yourself Well

Last but not least, invest in marketing. Start by networking. Talk to people, shake hands, and exchange business cards whenever the opportunity presents itself. Also, sign up for conventions, seminars, and other business events. Use email marketing to reach existing customers with seasonal coupons and promos, and offer giveaways to people who post about your company on their social media pages. Also, make sure your website is kept up-to-date and that it’s always appealing and easy to navigate.

There’s a reason the e-commerce market is growing so rapidly in popularity. It offers people a way to succeed at business on their own terms. For your online company to thrive, be sure to stay open to improvements, and look into funding options like crowdfunding. Change your inventory frequently and focus on customer service. Finally, invest time and money (if necessary) into marketing your company. If you follow these steps and fully commit to your business dreams, there’s no limit to what your company can be!

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by Lucy Reed // Lucy Reed has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent's driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college. She created GigMine because she was inspired by the growth of the sharing economy and wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find the gig opportunities in their areas.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.