So you just set up an online business. Congratulations! You’re now one step ahead of the brick-and-mortar stores selling similar products offline. But there’s more to online selling than just posting a product and waiting for sales. Here’s a quick top ten things you can do to improve your online business experience:
1. Get to know your market. Your market changes all the time. You may have been familiar with it back when you started, but new trends, fashions and styles keep popping up and changing the game. You may have been relevant to young men aged 20 to 45 before, but who knows what the future may bring? On the other hand, you may have thought your delicacies only appealed to titas of Manila, but tastes may have changed since you first started. So you need to be constantly aware of who your market is.
2. Discover market research. In line with knowing who your market is, it’s important to read up on what your market wants. Market research tells you all about what your market is interested in buying. It can come at a hefty price or can be done through less expensive methods — the easiest of which is simply looking at your own sales records or studying product reviews, blogs or websites of similar companies in the industry.
3. Set up on a reliable platform. This might be a step you’ve already done, or it might come in handy when you plan to expand. Either way, setting up on a platform that’s easy for you to use and one that you trust is important. At the very least, setting up on a platform with an easy UI means less time spent figuring out how everything works, and more time dedicated to what actually matters — selling.
4. Work on your products. Whether you think your product is doing its best or not, there’s always room for improvement. It can be in the form of an added feature for better mobility. It can be packaging the product to look more appealing both in and out of its plastic bag. It can be something as simple as adding a brand name so the product doubles as a marketing asset. Get creative, and don’t forget to test its marketability after!
5. Improve your logistics. Logistics can be a pain for both buyer and seller. But don’t slack on it, because quick and effective delivery can speak volumes for your brand and bring about the best compliments from buyers. Do your research and find the best partner for your logistics needs. You’d be surprised how easily you can please your market with something as simple as quick shipping.
6. Build your brand. No matter how big or small a business you run, marketing will always come into play. Word of mouth can only go so far; at some point, you’re going to have to turn to advertising via your product design, networking, and offline or online methods. As we mentioned earlier, your product can be another avenue to display your brand. You can also give out samples at events or create posters and flyers. Most of all, you can advertise online.
7. Create content. One of the best online ways to advertise your products is through a blog. It’s where you can post images, features, videos, or just about anything else you can think of to accompany your product. The best content usually teaches your customers something like how to use your product, or gives them a reason why they should buy it. Not only is it educational, it also shows your customers that you’re willing to take the extra step in helping them find the product that’s best for them.
8. Keep your business safe. If you’re set up on an online selling platform, this might not be such a heavy step. But if you have your own website, for example, you need to make sure your customers’ transactions and your business’ data are kept secure from prying eyes or hacking fingers. Apply firewalls, install passwords, and protect your team’s computers. Be proactive when it comes to safeguarding your business!
9. Educate yourself. There are so many avenues for you to get educated on how to run a business, most of which don’t even require payment. A quick Google search can tell you just about everything there is to know about marketing, advertising, creating a product, selling online, finding the right partners, and the like. If you’re looking for the answer to a specific question and can’t seem to find it online, there are events all over the country that bring experts right to your conversation.
10. Make new (business) friends. A great thing about attending the events mentioned above is that not only do these events educate you, they also present an opportunity to meet others who are in the same field. Yes, some of them will be your competitors. But just because they are doesn’t mean you can’t learn from these same people and their own experiences. Be generous and share your own business journey — you’ll never know who you might inspire.
And there you have it. These are just ten of the many things you can do to improve your online business after you’ve established it, but we think they’re enough to get you started. Good luck on running your new business, and don’t forget these tips!
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