Theodora Evans
Theodora Evans 14 October 2019
Categories Ecommerce

6 Tips for Running a Successful E-Commerce Business

So, yes - anyone can start one, but many small businesses struggle to keep up and stay afloat. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips that will turn your road to e-commerce success into a smooth ride.

It’s never been easier to create an online store but there’s more to running a successful e-commerce business than simply putting products on a website and waiting for the orders to start coming in. You need to get customers to your website, convince them to buy and to come back again, which requires some work. There is vast competition out there and customer expectations are just getting higher. You don’t just have to deal with regional and local brands, but you’re also competing with international giants such as Walmart and Amazon. 

So, yes - anyone can start one, but many small businesses struggle to keep up and stay afloat. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips that will turn your road to e-commerce success into a smooth ride. 

Don’t Skip the Groundwork

The number one reason why e-commerce entrepreneurs fail is that they rush in or force the launch of their website. This is like building a house without a foundation. Without a proper background or skillset, you can find yourself needlessly spending time and money on projects that will ultimately be pointless. Fortunately, for those wanting to acquire the necessary business credentials, there are educational institutions that provide relevant accredited courses. 

A diploma in business will provide you with insight into what’s right for your business and what could get you in trouble. You’ll acquire skills that can be used across many industries such as finance, administration, marketing, and logistics.

Once you acquire this base knowledge you need to lay the foundation before the launch in terms of content marketing, social media, SEO, etc. It’s perfectly okay to purchase a domain name and even create a ʽcoming soonʼ page, but don’t reveal your business before you’ve got the substantial groundwork covered first. 

Don’t Go Too Broad

As important as it is to have a wider business skillset when it comes to finding your niche you need to narrow your focus. E-commerce websites filled with dozens of categories and hundreds of products have no real focus. You may be proud of your overall idea, but you need to know that there are hundreds (thousands?) of others who are thinking the same way. The only way to strengthen your position is to capture a true niche market by specializing in your concept further.  Maybe you think that this only leads to a significantly smaller number of total customers, but the fact is that you can’t become the next Amazon overnight. By finding a unique niche you’ll be able to carve out a loyal following which is what’s truly important. Skip anything that’s dominated by major brands and go as far as you can from the overly crowded niche. But, keep in mind that the area still needs to be competitive since the complete absence of competition means there’s no market at all. 

Take a Customer Point of View

We don’t need to mention the great importance of testing and analytics. It’s not something that should be done just before the launch, but also during and after. There are many testing tools available, so that shouldn’t be so hard but the real trick is in the approach. The only way to truly figure out what’s working and what’s not is to take the customer’s point of view. Learning how to think like your customers will provide you with the most important component - the ‘why’ behind those answers.  

Remain Involved in Social Media

We live in times when social media is the heartbeat of every business. We can’t imagine an e-commerce website without social elements included - social login options, follow buttons, testimonials, product reviews, ads, etc. If you don’t have good-looking photos of your products to share and post on Instagram, you’ll be run down by the competition. Everyone’s aware of this, but many make the mistake of outsourcing social media or delegating it to other team members. The biggest importance of social media is that it provides an uninterrupted insight into the lives of your customers so it’s crucial to remain involved personally. Having a social media manager is perfectly fine, but without personal involvement, you’ll lose connection with your customers. 


When you think about it, the whole e-commerce business is based on compensation. Customers are not able to see the products firsthand before reaching the decision, nor are they able to smell, feel, or touch them. So it’s all about making up for that shortcoming. The most important part of that compensation is designing a site that’s enjoyable and easy to use. It needs to be visually appealing, mobile-friendly, it needs to have a fast loading time and easy navigation. Furthermore, you want simplified shopping carts, an easy checkout process, free shipping, appropriate pricing, running a giveaway, providing them with coupons, etc. The key is to provide them with things they’ll enjoy as much as trying out things in brick-and-mortar stores. 

Partner up

E-commerce websites that have become successful on their own are rare. You may have a great skill level and a lot of experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from partnering up. The key is to do it strategically and align yourself with brands that already have an established influence and sturdy brand equity. You should always be on a constant lookout for such opportunities, but also ready to help other brands since partnerships are two-way streets.

E-commerce is a very variable market in which customer tastes, trends, and technology constantly change. That’s why it’s important not to look at these tips as final solutions but as a proper foundation for future evolvement and growth.

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