According to Shopify, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach a whopping US$2.5 trillion by 2021. Source: Shutterstock

‘Water’ your e-commerce startup the right way

ADVANCEMENTS in technology have made it easier than ever for aspiring entrepreneurs to start an online business.

The e-commerce market is stronger than ever and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. According to Shopify, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach a whopping US$2.5 trillion by 2021. For any entrepreneur, this opportunity is exciting and promising.

While it is true that creating a modern e-commerce website has become more of a streamlined process today, there are still no guarantees that your website will be successful. It is crucial to put in the effort in order for your website to run efficiently and effectively.

So, if you’re thinking of creating an e-commerce site,  follow these simple tips to set you on the right path to selling success.

Work closely with social

Social is a crucial platform for connecting with customers | Source: Shutterstock

Social media plays a major role in the world of e-commerce, particularly in terms of ROI, customers, leads, and sales. An estimated 2.5 billion people are set to become social media users this year, giving consumers the power to connect with a large number of people from around the world, in an instant.

Your social media strategy can be as simple reaching out to your Facebook friends list, to a more complex process of targeted advertising, honing in on particular age groups, countries, or regions.

It is important to set goals for yourself when it comes to social media activity. For instance, determine what kind of content your audience will want to see.

This should not only focus on your own products or services but should also give your audience some behind the scene pictures. Doing so will present a more emotive and humanistic picture of your brand, building a greater connection with customers.

It is also crucial to consider what social media platforms are worth your time and money. According to Sprout Social, 59 percent of Instagram users are ages 18 to 29. So, if your target audience is a younger demographic, then you may find this to be a useful platform to reach them.

Improve the user experience


Is your e-commerce site easy to navigate? | Source:

Though this may seem like pretty basic advice, many e-commerce sites face failure because they have a poorly designed website.

You should treat your online store just as you would treat a physical brick-and-mortar store. Is the interior design easy on the eye? Is it tidy and easy to walk around? Does the floor layout enable customers to easily find what they’re looking for?

Having an attractive, fast, and easy-to-navigate website will ensure your customers have a positive experience, keeping them coming back.

Mobile first

With smartphone projection expected to reach 2.8 billion by 2020, it has never been a more important time to ensure your website is mobile responsive than right now.

It seems that mobile-commerce is steadily over-taking the desktop experience. Research by the iPrice Group has found that in the past 12 months, mobile has grown on average 19 percent in Southeast Asia, now accounting for 72 percent of the overall e-commerce web traffic.

“In order to succeed in the market, e-commerce operators need to nail their mobile strategies,” said Matteo Sutto, Vice President of Growth at the iPrice group.

Accept more payment methods


The ability to provide multiple payment options is crucial to success in today’s e-commerce market | Source: Shutterstock

A big part of ensuring the optimum user experience is the availability of multiple payment options. Today’s customers are becoming more and more demanding, and a user will simply leave your website if it is a hindrance for them to pay for their cart.

As consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with making purchases on their smartphones, there is a need for merchants to integrate mobile payment solutions into their business model.

Many of today’s consumers are switching to mobile wallets not only for accessibility purposes but also for the enhanced security measures they offer. Thus, incorporating mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and PayPal is a vital component in attracting customers and increasing sales.

Connect with your audience offline

Attending events where you can showcase your product or services will ensure more attraction to your brand | Source: Shutterstock

Though your business may be entirely online, this does not mean to say your marketing efforts should reside only in the digital world.

You can create deep and meaningful connections with your customers by going beyond the field of your online store and engaging with people in the offline environment.

Increasing your marketing initiatives to offline avenues has a number of benefits. For one, it adds an additional revenue stream to your online store. Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to further promote your brand.

Find events your target audience is most likely to attend and where you think your business could make a real impression. For example, for someone with a floristry business, setting up a stall at a Farmers’ Market and showcasing your online services may attract a whole batch of loyal customers.