17 Steps To Create A Successful Online Business In 2018 ~ Definitive Guide For Smes

E-commerce grows and building an online store, rather than a fashion, became a necessity for SMEs. Sales through the Internet are estimated to reach around USD 434 billion by 2018, and this is only in the United States.

Many people, especially millennials, are already used to making purchases online, and payment procedures are increasingly diverse and secure thanks to international products such as Paypal and 2CO, for example, and other locations depending on the country. This brings the customer much closer to the experience of shopping online with more confidence.

In Latin, America eCommerce grows a little slower compared to Europe and the United States, but creating an online business is increasingly a necessity for companies that want to anticipate the competition and look for other sales channels that will be very important in the future.

According to data published by Ami Americas Market Intelligence,  corresponding to the year 2016, e-commerce in Latin America grew as follows:

  • Argentina: 60% growth in the first six months of that year.
  • Brazil: 5% growth during the first half of 2016.
  • Chile: 42% growth between 2013 and 2016.
  • Colombia: 50% in electronic commerce in the last three years (2013-2016)
  • Ecuador: 166% between 2012 and 2015.
  • Guatemala: 22.8% in e-commerce between 2013 and 2015.
  • Mexico: 59% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Paraguay: 31% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Peru: had an annual growth of 8%
  • Uruguay: an increase of 192% between 2010 and 2015.

The following e-commerce tips and strategies will help you develop a sustainable plan to create your online business, and so you can focus on what needs to be done to succeed.

Tips For Creating A Successful Online Business

Give A Good First Impression

A user takes about 2 seconds to decide whether he likes your website or not.

The design of your page is your business card. To sell, you have to keep your users interested in clicking. That is why it is necessary to be as creative as possible. We recommend that you first see the trends in web design 2018.

Why do the photos matter?

Users will generally remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. Good photos of products along with excellent web design are two areas in which you should invest more.

Some advice:

  • To place images on the web page, consider using a white background for the product to stand out.
  • It must go large to capture the interest of its user and so that it knows precisely what it is buying.
  • Enable zoom so that the customer can see every detail.
  • Provide photos of products from all angles, if you do not want or do not have the right equipment, trust a professional photographer, although it is not the most profitable option.

Improve the navigation of your web

Visitors should easily find what they are looking for because if they can not see it, they can not buy it. Your shipping should be friendly and free of complications.

E-commerce sites tend to have a large number of products, so it is common for product descriptions to be short; this implies a problem because the short content generates few resources for search engines.

Easy to apply and effective strategies:

  • Add the category “News.” Customers who return to your page will want to see your latest collection. They do not want to explore old things while looking for new products.
  • Include a tab “New products” in the main navigation to make it more visible and also to motivate new visitors to stay on your site.
  • It must have a “Recently Viewed” function.
  • Use drop-down menus

Have a unique idea

In many countries of Latin America, it is very competitive to open a new online store. Being creative and selling something that people do not even know you need should be your starting point.

Ask yourself:

  • What can you do?
  • Which skills do you have?
  • What products do people want at the local level?

Create a strong USP (single sale proposal)

Each business has that “something” that differentiates it from the others, so we have to identify what others are doing and what they are not doing and then focus on those deficiencies.

Start writing

If you have a web page, you also need a blog. This is a rule that every company should follow when creating an online business. With your blog, you can increase the number of visits to your website to almost double per month.

If you are one of them who still doubt the benefits of having a blog in a company, today we want you to realize, with our five reasons, of the importance of having a blog:

  • Add to your brand image.
  • It makes you viral in social networks.
  • Contribute to your SEO positioning.
  • Greater traffic for your brand from the web.
  • It is not expensive, but it takes time.

The more content you share, the more Google likes and little by little, if you do it right, it will position you in the first search results. This gives you a better presence of your brand and recognition of it. But you have to be cautious not to do things that Google penalizes, and it would be a disaster for your online business.

What Should Be Published On Your Website:

  • Experiences / personal opinions so that your clients know you or your business, it may seem illogical, but allowing your followers to comment on your products even if they are negative comments can boost the flow of visits to your website and becomes an instrument positive for your site
  • The advice of your niche.
  • About the history of your store.

Design an attractive page

A page, updated and well designed about your business can arouse curiosity and generate sales of people who were only browsing (invests in design).

On this page, you have to share your brand information, videos, photos that make your products and of course, testimonials.

In addition to this, we recommend that your website use state-of-the-art technology that allows it to be accessible also when the user is without an Internet connection.

You may also read:  Learn about the development of Apps with innovative PWA technology.

Develop A Successful Seo Strategy

Optimize the page where the products are located. This means using keywords but without overloading the relevant keywords of the product.

To increase the traffic in search engines you need to improve the description of our products, for example, if you sell shoes, detail what materials are manufactured, the style and what trend you follow.

A page of traditional products is based on the brand and the model, focusing on the search dynamics of the interested parties and without having to abandon the keywords and the target.

Make the most of the content generated by the user. This costs nothing and also provides fresh and exclusive content for the search engines. Add social media add-ons that allow users to review the products they purchased quickly.

Do not keep the page with articles without stock. Show products related to your most recent collection.

Link to other sites. Despite the random rumors you may have heard, linking will not ruin your ranking. Instead, it will show visitors that you want to provide useful content. This will remain as genuine and reliable.

Direct the right visitor with the right product

Product recommendations offer a personalized shopping experience and can increase the value of your operations. In short, any e-commerce site that wants to stay in the game has to create a customized shopping experience for your customers; these features could be implemented:

Use Live Chat to help customers make quicker decisions

Although e-commerce is very solid in the market, nothing beats that human interaction that you have in an offline store.

Having an online person answering my questions while I am in the online purchasing process is one of the most striking characteristics of a website.

Discount coupons

Pricing can be complex. You have to offer a lower price  (or it seems) than the competition while you earn profits. These discounts will serve your brand and also show appreciation for customers:

  • Discount of the first buy.
  • Volume discount.
  • Discount for members.
  • Free shipping.
  • Customer discount refund.

Improve the shopping cart experience

The main thing is not to invite customers to enter your store until it is 100% finished. It doesn’t mean that you have to wait many months until everything is perfect since it never will be, but it is essential that your online store is free of errors and causes distrust to customers.

Place a search engine. It will probably be ideal if there is a search engine in a prominent part of the web so you can write the name.

Put the categories in sight. For example, it would be perfect if you can see in the sidebar an option of “Tablet marks” so that you can go directly to those of that brand. Or tablets according to the inches: 10 “, 9”, 8 “. All this will allow reaching the product that I am looking for quickly.

Keep in mind these shopping cart statistics:

  • Probably 73% of your customers look for free shipping options.
  • The highest dropout rate is in consumer electronics, around 74%.
  • The high shipping costs represent around 44% of the abandoned carts and only 6% due to the slow shipment.

As you have no idea of the quality of the product until you have it in your hands, returning things purchased online is quite common. It is essential to review the return policy when making a purchase.

The same applies to warranties since most sites do not mention what a product’s policy is and then refuse to make changes if the product fails.

Develop a successful shipping strategy

Now, customers expect to see the banner “Free shipping” in each online store they visit, 78% look for the cheapest shipping available. Negotiate with your mail service provider, such as AEX in Paraguay.

The most common shipping options at this time are:

  • Free shipping.
  • Free delivery for a specific order value.
  • Shipping rates according to weight, total order or distance.

This is more difficult to plan since you need to calculate precisely how much it will cost to get some estimates.

  • Shipping rates strategies.
  • Implement a shipping calculator. This increases their transparency and makes customers feel they have control over their shipping rates.

Statistics about the shipment of products:

    • 97% of consumers consider that tracking an order is an essential characteristic.
    • The increase in the costs of shipment causes 55% of the abandoned cars.
    • Consumers are 82% more likely to buy in a store if they do not have to pay for the shipment.
    • 58% of shopping transactions in the United States in the first quarter of 2014, had free shipping.

Ask customers to leave a comment

The number of e-commerce sites that decide not to use the customer comments field is surprising.

77% of online shoppers take the time to read the reviews of the product they intend to buy, and 90% of them make a decision based on what they read.

The comments of users or clients generate an utterly positive influence on the websites. You may find positive comments on your site.

Are they satisfied? Otherwise, find out what should be different.

You must bear in mind that people use Google to find your site and they will use it again to make a “thorough” review of your product; Not only that but also the revisions improve their SEO rankings, as they provide fresh and unique content, which increases their rankings and attracts new visitors.

Review the email marketing strategy again

Yes, some statistics say that people tend to get upset when their inbox is full of emails, but they still end up checking and buying something.

  • There are more than 3.2 billion email accounts created.
  • Sending a newsletter offers more conversion possibilities than a publication on social networks.
  • Through the newsletter customers can be very well loyal, always offering something better than non-subscribers.
  • The newsletters are ideal for promotions.
  • The newsletters can be segmented and therefore personalized.
  • The newsletters work correctly also from mobile.

Show people that your website is safe and reliable

Online information is susceptible, so more and more customers are cautious before placing an order.

These methods will reduce the risk of online fraud:

  • Choosing a web development company that guarantees security.
  • I am using strong SSL authentication.
  • That your server has DDoS protection.
  • Asking for secure passwords
  • Run PCI tests.

Use the power of social networks to promote yourself

Social networks are massive, and each e-commerce page must have a strategy to generate more visibility with the ideal customer for your online store.

Now you can tag products on Instagram and Facebook that link directly to an online store product page. However, you have to avoid trying to sell something continually. People also want to know the history behind the brand, interesting statistics about the place where it is located, how to use or experiment with the products.