Last modified: January 19, 2018
Running a profitable online store isn’t just about having the perfect product or the savviest marketing. In order to be truly successful, you need a strong infrastructure to support the day-to-day operations. In this post, we’ll discuss how to build a solid foundation for an online business, including operational musts and recommended marketing strategies and services you should look for in an ecommerce solution.
Your speed to market and market relevance are supported first by appropriate infrastructure. The following three tools are essential for your business to deliver a seamless, positive customer experience and function in accordance with government tax laws and consumer regulations:
- A robust, reliable platform: Selecting the right platform that includes built-in scalability and responsive tools is essential for your company to grow sustainably and keep up with your competitors.
- Payment processing: It is crucial to effectively optimize the moments leading up to making a payment and the immediate experiences after to create a holistic customer journey and drive overall growth.
- Fraud management: Flexible screening engines, smart analytics and process controls are all necessary tools to help you manage your security effectively and increase consumer trust.
Once you have a solid platform, optimized payment processing and reliable security taken care of, you need to think about your customers. You can grow and retain your customer base by forming strategies around the following three goals:
- Customer acquisition: Gaining new customers should always be a top priority. Be sure you’re touching all the necessary points in the customer journey with a range of customer acquisition tools including analytics, display advertising, search engine marketing, email marketing and site optimization.
- Improve customer retention: Total care for the customer journey is essential for businesses looking to increase long term loyalty. Keep customers coming back for more with trackable, intelligent analytics and targeted marketing, as well as seamless processing and great customer service.
- Increase conversions: To ensure a successful website conversion optimization program, your business needs to be ready to use analytics and tools to improve defined key performance indicators (KPIs). From back of house to front, your website needs to be optimized with SEO solutions that handle all components for solid conversions.
After implementing a solid infrastructure and meeting your marketing goals, hopefully business will be booming. At this point, you may need resources not available internally. If you want to compete with the best in your field, creating a smart and valuable virtual organization is key. Outsource to an ecommerce partner who can handle every aspect of your online store with the highest expertise, mitigate risk and ultimately lower your operating costs.
When you are ready to look for an ecommerce partner for your business, make sure these four requirements make your must-have list:
- Path to revenue: Make sure your choice offers a superior combination of speed to market and strategic direction for global growth.
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Considering a SaaS-based ecommerce provider with end-to-end solutions and Merchant and Seller of Record (MOR/SOR) service support is wise because the total cost is usually less over time compared to outsourcing all of the required services and tools to multiple vendors.
- OpEx (vs. CapEx): Leaning on a virtual organization means that you can spend your money on operational expenses while they provide flexible accounting – letting you determine exactly where your money is best spent.
- Risk mitigation: Find an ecommerce partner that will be the MOR/SOR for your business so that they take on the risk and provide expertise on a variety of strategies to grow your business immediately and continue developing it over time.
With a strong infrastructure, a marketing strategy for each piece of the customer journey and an ecommerce partner you can trust, you will have a solid foundation for a successful online store.
In the next installment of this blog series, I’ll discuss the next step in growing your online store: expanding globally.
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