In this blog post I would love to share some relevant feedback from a recent contemporary event we attended in the beautiful city of Barcelona called Dscoop Edge. I was given a great opportunity to interact in a panel discussion focusing around an e-commerce store. The discussion was of course centered on selling print online, as this was an event mainly for print service providers also in which some pertinent points and significant questions were brought up from our discussion and audience. These valuable points appeal to upcoming and running e-commerce stores beyond the printing industry which you might find enlightening.

  • Adding value:

Agreed that an online store is particularly aimed at increasing your sales but the big question of, what value are you bringing to your client and your business? well, a  simple example is if you are processing several cash sale orders on a daily but currently using human interaction and manual methods to process these orders, you are now able to easily redirect these via your online store for common orders giving your client better convenience whilst saving on business administrative costs. Win win? But, some would argue the loss of human interaction however the point of this is to focus on the path you desire for your business. Another example to look at is, when you have built strength in a particular niche and are finding a growing interest, this becomes a showcase for your rare abilities for lead generation and trendy product development.

  • Conversion rates

Developing and designing the fancy online store is now out of the way and you are wondering why there is no conversion of sales? You start exploring the possibilities as to why this is the case, is the pricing too high? Poor UI & UX or a plethora of negatives you can throw at it? The important thing to remember here is that Rome was not built in a day and it may take time for the sales to start rolling in as long as you keep consistent at your game and uphold your brand integrity. Store owners are more likely to rush at boosting advertising spend which is actually not always beneficial as consumers quickly get tired of seeing a brand too often on their feeds and you are blocked out! The panellists suggested that one should allow time for organic growth and concentrate on soliciting feedback in any way possible, which can be seen as advertising spend. Acting on customer feedback will be your greatest growth hack.

  • Methods of advertising

A thorough analysis of your target market is essential before blowing the marketing budget. Knowing your target market, their stats and where to find their attention will in fact add great value to your marketing budget. From local radio stations, to affiliate marketing, social media, outdoor graphics and everything in between, there are endless possibilities to advertising your store! The best money spent here will be on a professional statistical research exercise about your target market.

  • Where to stop

This point would be more relevant to e-commerce vendors in the manufacturing sector. A question in the audience was raised as to how do you go in terms of custom enquirers via the platform? Among the 3 panellists, answers ranged from their offering being fixed to what is on the site, only to being completely flexible and entertaining every single enquiry. Some prefer to only concentrate on what they have geared themselves to produce whilst others will feel that a sale is a sale and it would be income which was never gained previously. The answer to this question for each and every store owner should be set out in the mission of the platform. Regardless if the enquiry is taken up; it still serves as valuable feedback.

  • Goals

Commonly spoken about across various mediums is the process of setting goals. Similarly when starting an e-commerce store your goals have to be set out which then feeds into the value add of the business. Everybody wants to increase revenue as mentioned in point 1 and in my personal scenario it was to streamline inflow of orders thus creating a unified channel, secondly to improve time taken to provide pricing, as opposed to an existing email enquiry, whereas a person can find pricing immediately online for a certain range of items. The behaviour of browsers then serves as a feedback to you as to how product offerings can be better structured to bring improvement to its customers. Other points raised in the discussion included showcasing for a niche market as well as increasing velocity and volume of transactions. Some mentioned it is merely a touch point among any for others, it is the soul sales channel for large corporations.

Conclusion

With all this being said, an online store runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week  and is available all around the world which creates endless opportunities of success for you and your business! Challenges will always arise but success is not far off. I hope these points have helped you enhance and tie up all that you needed to know for this exciting journey for your very own e-commerce store.

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