Small Business E-Commerce: 3 Dos and 3 Don’ts

small business e-commerce

E-commerce isn’t necessarily a large part of your small business’ plan – but it should be.

By 2021, e-commerce is expected to have 2.14 billion global buyers and account for 17.5 percent of all retail sales. And with the pandemic forcing more people than ever to shop online, those numbers could very well turn into a laughable underestimate.

And yet, nearly half (46%) of small businesses don’t even have a website.

Even if you’re a brick-and-mortar operator, it pays to have a foot in the digital door. Today, we’re going to help you improve (or start) your small business e-commerce operations with a few dos and don’ts of the trade.

DO Regularly Update Your Website and Social Media Pages

We’ve all stumbled across an e-commerce product list that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the turn of the century. We’ve all visited a business’s Facebook page only to see outdated posts and unanswered customer questions and comments.

This kind of online presence doesn’t exactly instill confidence in your brand.

Instead, make sure your website and product pages are updated on a consistent basis. And also make sure you’re responsive on social media, even if it takes the help of chatbots. Potential customers want to see some signs of life to make sure they’re doing business with a real, active site!

Don’t leave them wondering whether it’s a good idea to do business with you — or worse, whether you’re still in business at all!

DON’T Overcomplicate Things

Your e-commerce site should be simple enough for even the most technically challenged person to navigate. Don’t make them scroll endlessly to find what they’re looking for. Don’t make them sell their soul to sign up for your email list. Let them check out as a guest if they don’t want to register for the site.

If a website is too complicated or asks for too much information right off the bat, people will bounce long before you buy. Hear that? That’s the sound of you losing a sale and a potential future customer in one fell swoop.

DO Define Your Target Market

Marketing is an important part of any e-commerce business, but there are only so many ways you can stretch a dollar. Don’t waste money shooting for the wrong target!

What does your ideal customer look like? That is, what’s their annual income? Where do they live? What do they do with their spare time? You need the answer to all of these questions and plenty more before you can define and begin to market to the people most likely to buy your product or service.

DON’T Ignore Customer Service

The transaction doesn’t end once your new customer has hit the “buy now” button. From shipping concerns to product questions to potential refunds and returns, your customer service skills need to be on point at all times.

E-commerce often seems impersonal. You don’t have a living, breathing customer in front of you; you’re each behind your own respective computer screens or at either end of a phone line. The more you can do to personalize the transaction and make the customer feel important, the more you’ll stand out!

DO Use Technology to Make Things Easier

Keyword planners. Analytics. SEO tools. There is plenty of technology out there to help you manage everything that goes on behind the scenes of your small business, so there’s no reason not to use what’s on offer.

Using technology wherever and whenever you can will free up time that could be better spent elsewhere.

DON’T Spread Yourself Too Thin

Remember: E-commerce is supposed to help facilitate sales — not just by widening your potential customer base, but by freeing up your time so there’s more of you to go around.

Don’t waste that advantage by overtaxing yourself elsewhere. If you get burnt out, you won’t be as effective in any part of your role, including reviewing your e-commerce process and making sure it’s as optimized as can be.

Our advice? Make a list of your priorities and tackle them in descending levels of importance. When you discover you need help? Well, there’s no shame in asking for it!

Make an Exceptional Small Business E-Commerce Experience

Now is the perfect time to tweak (or create) your e-commerce strategy. Online shopping is big and on course to get bigger, so don’t get left behind!

Is e-commerce your Achilles heel? Mischa Communications can take some of the pain away. Let’s talk!