10 Tips for Running a Lucrative E-commerce Business
The E-commerce business in Africa has grown widely, becoming a huge industry for entrepreneurs to venture in at this time. As a result of the global pandemic, consumer behaviour and habits have changed, tilting towards online buying as almost an absolute necessity as a result of the lockdown. This is in contrast to a few years ago where the African continent saw online shopping as “fancy” or not trustworthy.
The founder of Afrikerea describes this twist as “…a game-changer in Africa”. Not only is the lockdown and movement restrictions a reason for SMEs in Africa changing their operations to E-commerce, but it means that goods can be delivered much quicker, especially to cities plagued with traffic gridlock.
SMEs in Africa have predicted the future of E-commerce and have begun to move on to these E-commerce platforms. There are simply no boundaries for the success of businesses in Africa, and any entrepreneur who decides to launch into the lucrative E-commerce business is sure to experience success! If you are thinking of starting an eCommerce business, or perhaps you wish to switch to E-commerce as your business operation, you need not think any further!
In this article, we will run through 10 tips for running a lucrative e-commerce business. Let’s dive right in!
1. Capture a Niche Market
Yes, you have a lovely idea about starting out your E-commerce business, but think about it. The likelihood of someone having the same idea as you is very high. To stand out, you will need to narrow your market to the barest minimum. Yes, you would have a much smaller set of audience, but you will have a greater chance of carving a loyal following. For example, instead of selling all types of mobile device cases, you can stick to selling phone cases for only tablets.
2. User friendly
To run a lucrative eCommerce business, you must make sure your website is user friendly. Your store is online, right? Treat your eCommerce site like you would treat your physical store. Let your customers have a pleasant experience coming to your site. Invest in the development of your site and make your system flawless. Make sure your site load time is not slow, or you will have more bounce rates than customers.
3. Utilise the Power of Social Media
According to Shopify, in 2014, eCommerce orders spawned from social networking sites increased by an incredible 202 percent. People value the opinions of their peers and will buy your product if a friend has shared a link to your site. Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, build an online community, and direct traffic to your website.
4. Have a powerful content strategy
Content is queen, and it’s important to invest heavily in content marketing if you want to grow organically. Ensure you share valuable content on your social media, start a blog, and build connections.
5. Build Partnerships
Partnering with other established brands who have gained influence and brand equity will increase the visibility of your brand. Look for various ways you can help other brands when possible.
6. Collect Information
It’s important to collect customer databases to help you with future launches of newer websites and marketing campaigns.
7. Test Everything
As an eCommerce business owner, you cannot do the same thing week in week out. It’s important to get your analytics right. Test what’s working and what is not working and the reason why. Understand how your customers think and behave. Create new experiences for your consumers. Pay attention to the details and adjust accordingly.
8. Reviews and Testimonials
One of the easiest ways to increase sales is to include reviews and testimonials from happy customers on your website and social media. People will buy from an eCommerce site with positive reviews. You can get such reviews by simply asking your customers for one. You could send an email requesting for feedback immediately they buy from your site, or you could request for one form your social media pages. Remember to keep it real—no fake testimonials.
9. Abandoned Carts
Every eCommerce site has the problem of abandoned carts. You can address this by sending follow up emails, reminding them of the products they intended to buy or you could offer a discount or infuse urgency to get customers to make a buying decision. You could also invest in remarketing where the cart follows them everywhere on the web until they complete their sale on the site.
10. Continuous learning
To run a successful eCommerce business, you must be willing to keep learning and improving. It is by no means an easy journey to success. You will make mistakes but use each opportunity to learn better ways of becoming the best.
So there you have it! Those are ten tips that will help you run a lucrative eCommerce business. Take advantage of the vast opportunities available in eCommerce today. Remember to stand out of the crowd, be creative and don’t be afraid to take that first step!
Do you have any questions or suggestions on SMEs in Africa? Kindly drop them in the comment section below!