3 Key Factors to E-commerce Success
No matter what business your are in, you need customers. Products and services both require buyers. Every small business needs to meet basic requirements to succeed. In this article we will discuss 3 requirements of e-commerce success.
Relevant to Customer Wants
Relevance is defined as: the relation of something to the matter at hand.
Fundamentally, e-commerce is all about customers. I mean, what good is it if you have a product or service for sale but you don’t have customers? Getting and keeping customers begins with having a product that is relevant to the customer’s needs or wants. Finding relevance (or in some cases creating it) can happen in a couple of ways:
- Developing a Product That Meets Customer Needs
- Locating a Market That Needs Your Product
So, it is a matter of connecting a market to a particular product or vice-versa. Successful small business owners get those customers by knowing who they are and where they go on the Internet. It is all about relevance. Is product A “relevant” to customer group A? Is Customer group B having a specific problem that we can solve with product A? Can we create product B to help customer group A?
While having a product or service that is relevant to your customers’ wants or needs is a beginning, but more is needed.
Just because you have a product or service that meets the needs of a specific group of people, does not mean that you will automatically achieve e-commerce success. Why? Because of the second requirement in our discussion of how to be successful in e-commerce. That requirement is convenience.
If the customer cannot easily buy and use what you are selling, many of them will give up and find another product or service that fills their need. This means that your e-commerce site must be easy to navigate, well marked, and consistent. Additionally, your check out process must be understandable and easy to use.
Convenience is important because it is what actually accomplishes the objective you set out to reach. Namely, to fill the need of the potential buyer. Some business owners set out to just make sales. This is not recommended because of the third requirement in our discussion; trust.
E-commerce success requires that the customer trust the experience. Why did I word it that way? Because trust is important in a number of points along the way, including:
- Before the Purchase
- While Using the Product or Service
- If An Issue Arises
Before the purchase the customer trusts you and buys. During the purchase, she trusts that she will be charged the correct amount and that the transaction is secure. While using the product or service, she will be measuring the performance of the product or service. Customers compare what actually happens to what they perceived while deciding to buy. If an issue arises, how you solve the problem will either build trust or erode it.
These are key aspects of doing business. If a small business owner is untrustworthy, a potential customer can usually sense it. And nearly all customers figure it out after the fact.
Make an effort to provide an experience that makes your customer secure. If they sense that they are secure, it will make it easier for them to trust you.
In the end, there is no easy way to attain to e-commerce success. However, trying to follow these requirements makes it easier. After you gain customers and work at keeping them the success snowballs as they share their experiences with others.