The e-commerce market gives us really huge opportunities. The problem is that sometimes we may not know in which direction we should actually develop our online store. This article will help you to prepare a plan leading to a profitable e-business. Below we are sharing some of the tricks that have been proven to work when it comes to building a successful online store.
Let’s start with the basics – what do you have at your disposal?
When building an online store you may think that the gateway to success is easy. You just build a website on one of the popular engines (we personally recommend Magento, especially if you are thinking about e-commerce development), fill it with your product offer and do some advertising to attract customers.
Maybe in the times when we were able to count online stores on one hand, such strategy (or rather ‘strategy’) made sense. Now, in a situation where you have to face thousands of competitors in your industry, development plans must be thoroughly planned and analyzed. It is not the time for intuitive actions. Instead, it is a necessity to use detailed knowledge about the market and prepare a full strategy written down into individual steps. A strategy that starts with a thorough analysis of the current situation.
Now, in a situation where you have to face thousands of competitors in your industry, development plans must be thoroughly planned and analyzed.
Whether your company is a start-up or a leader in your market segment, such an analysis will allow you to learn about your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. It will also help you build an ideal customer profile, to whom you want to target your message. The analysis can be divided into several steps:
- customer analysis: based on the data you already have (e.g. in your store system, ERP and Google Analytics) you are able to create an overview of your customer. Where does he come from? What channels does he use to reach you? How old is he? What products does he buy? These are the basic data thanks to which you can define the so-called persona – the ideal profile needed to even better address the needs of your target group,
- product analysis: this will allow you to determine whether your offer is competitive and whether there is demand for your product on the market. From the data analysis you will learn which goods are most popular, providing you with full knowledge of customers’ buying preferences,
- analysis of store’s activities: to put it simply, it will allow you to look at previous advertising and development activities of your store from a distance, assess their effects and influence on sales as well as other key statistics important for you.
In search of a path for store growth
A wise man once said – ‘Don’t focus on the goal, but enjoy the path’. In order to be able to do that (keep in mind that the goal should always be somewhere in sight!), we need to create a path.
The path, or the development plan for your online store, is the resultant of the information gathered from the actions we described above, as well as the analyses you should perform next. These include:
- market trend analysis: you will learn what is currently popular, and what may soon be on top. This concerns both advertising activities (e.g. accounts on trendy social networks, new places to place your offer) and emerging technologies (e.g. PWA, PIM, or headless e-commerce). By gathering all of this information you will receive a guideline that will help to set an initial course of action,
- competitor analysis: to be successful you also need to know what your competitors are doing at the moment. So it’s worthwhile for you to do a proper research. What technologies do they use and what e-commerce agency they cooperate with? What do they offer their customers? The more information you get, the better you will be able to prepare for building your own growth strategy.
I’ve got the data. What now?
Having a detailed analysis conducted in accordance with the previous steps, you already have specific information on the basis of which you are able to create a development strategy. It should include, i. a.:
- possible changes in the product offer, allowing you to sell even more goods tailored to the shopping needs of your customers,
- marketing and communication strategy, i.e. how to talk about the product and how to convey this information according to the target group’s needs
- technology strategy, detailing all the necessary changes in the store’s technology to improve its operation and, consequently, to effectively increase sales.
The development strategy is not a quick document, let alone an easy one to prepare. In order to create it in a proper way, you must have at least basic analytical knowledge to draw certain conclusions from the data and formulate them into potential tasks to be performed.
If you feel that you need the help of experts in this process, you can always take advantage of the e-commerce consulting.
E-commerce consulting for your store
E-commerce consulting means working with an external consultant who has relevant experience in building and developing online stores. This ensures that he/she is able to effectively conduct all of the above-mentioned analyses, draw the appropriate conclusions and then present them to you along with proposed further actions.
Working with an e-commerce consultant will not only provide you with access to expertise but also an opportunity to look at your business from the point of view of a person who is not emotionally attached to it.
Most importantly, e-commerce consulting will provide you with solid knowledge and a development strategy, thus helping you to achieve your goals more effectively.