The idea of online retail has become more prominent as the Internet has become a guiding force in our lives. Sure, there are the virtual equivalents of big box stores, where anything under the sun can be found with little difficulty. For those that want to make a little money on the Internet, however, there’s room for specialized websites that deal with stock, which may not really be available through bigger retailers. However, the ups and downs of e-commerce are certainly something worth considering before launch. Racing into the world of online selling is a quick way to ensure failure quickly and lose much-needed money in the process.
That’s the case because there have been many startups over the last two decades which haven’t survived in the long run. They have had a large marketing blitz and a successful launch, but prolonged success eluded them. A year is an eternity in regular business, and that time is sped up further when you include the online element. So it’s vital to cover all possible routes before putting pen to paper and trying to start an online retail store. In this case, make sure that you’ve laid out the entire idea behind the company. What you hope to sell, how to get the stock and plans to reach out to potential customers.
Why the Selection of CMS Matters
The most important letters in e-commerce are easy to remember: CMS. Short for content management system, any website needs a good CMS check out companies like Shopify if you are looking for one. The key thing to look at is how that choice will affect everything going forward. The system is important for all sorts of websites, but vital for most stores. This is amplified quite a bit when you launch the store. As the popular blog Hongkiat lays out, any new store needs to have a few things at launch. It might be wise to have a sensible design and a catchy logo. Perhaps there’s a way to get a design that the eye notices. All of these can be tweaked with the right CMS.
What to Be Wary of With the Store
It’s vital to have your guard up, especially when your new store launches and everything is essentially riding on its success or failure. Making sure that you have a solid ISP (internet provider) is definitely crucial, along with everything else. After all, having a strong website at launch is necessary. Frequently it is the backbone of anything the company does, so double-checking any part of the site is smart before letting the public see it.
This also dovetails into the need for steady service from the ISP, since there’s always the chance for a brownout if the provider isn’t good enough. Losing potential customers because they can’t log onto your site is something no one wants to deal with, after all. A little bit of research will be a big help to see what ISPs can match up with your budget and needs. Otherwise, it might be a struggle to find a provider that matches up.
Customer Service in the Online World
There are certainly people who get into the e-commerce world and appreciate the lack of a human go-between. They prefer the quick and formal world of email, not the potential awkward silence of a phone call or video conversation. However, even those people understand the need and desire that customers have in wanting to talk to someone about an issue they may have had about their order. It’s very easy for a customer to get frustrated with the automated methods available, so having some option to talk to a live person is a good way to alleviate that frustration.
Having that personal touch will absolutely smooth over any possible problems a first-time user may have with the site. You want to keep that user as happy as possible, so perhaps a brief email of apology and an offer of resolution will take care of the problem. Otherwise, it would just be another lost and angry consumer looking to take care of their needs with other retailers. It’s certainly something that all retailers need to keep in mind, whether they’re brick and mortar or online businesses. Of course, the job of resolution shouldn’t end with that one customer. It’s something that a smart company needs to be vigilant about as much as other elements of business.
That’s because most customers will give the company one more chance, at best. After all, one slipup is considered a mistake; two of them can rightfully be called a pattern. A company that’s good with customers can make sure that their systems are constantly updated and less likely to crash. That reputation of quality will be something, which follows the company around for years to come, if it’s positive. If it’s not, those years will shrink into months and maybe even weeks.