The success of an e-commerce business depends on how quickly you take decisions. The mantra of businesses is to learn fast, fail fast and adapt. With so many new businesses emerging to outpace old businesses, one simply cannot afford to go slow. Some of these decisions are common to all businesses, such as whether to expand, hire, outsource, move to another location, you get the drift. Here we will discuss a few scenarios where people take the longest time to decide or ignore them altogether. In either scenario, it is bad news. So without further ado, let’s see what these decisions are:
Creating Your Business Identity
Go to any freelancing marketplace like Fiverr, check out offerings from logo designers. See how most of them stress on the word UNLIMITED revisions. This is because when it comes to branding decisions involving logo, website banners, introduction videos, etc., businesses take forever to come to a decision. If you have time and want to see some actual bickering between designers and clients over logo designing, take a look here – it’s fun.
The truth is there are so many tools available these days from business name generator to logo creator, which you don’t have to put up with all this and can speed up the process of identity creation and branding. For instance, Shopify has a plethora of free tools for new businesses like slogan maker, logo maker, terms and conditions generator and many more. Let’s take a look at how their logo maker works. Just 5 easy steps and your logo is ready! It is incredibly simple, so even a layman can use it without any kind of training.
So here, the first decision of your entrepreneurial journey is taken care of.
Changing Business Methods
How do you keep an eye on changing trends and technological innovations? Are you able to keep up with changes or is your business still using outdated methods of communication, collaboration and management? We know it is difficult to decide between so many tools and with so many changes happening all the time, but if you wish to keep your business afloat, you have to swallow the hard pill.
Let’s take a stock of your situation? Do you have a mobile-friendly site? Are you using link prospecting tools? Do you know there are many display ad networks besides Google? Have you heard of customer management tools? If you answered all of them in yes, great job!
If not, here’s some advice for you:
You need to be constantly on your toes to understand what changes and enhancements are happening and update your website accordingly. From customer management to returns management, you will find all types of software on the market. These software apps were named by Capterra as the best tools for e-commerce business in 2016. Make sure you equip yourself with some of these tools, so you can stay ahead of the curve in 2017.
With SaaS tools for ecommerce functions, all the research and hard work has been done for you – all you have to do now is choose the best one!
Hire or Outsource
This is one of the toughest and the most asked questions, no matter how old or new your business is. With evolving needs, you might find a need of various services. From data entry to comment monitoring, there are many small jobs that need to be done – but the question is should they be done in-house or should they be outsourced to companies that specialize in these services.
Here’s a question for you –
How quickly can you scale up your business outfit? Not only in terms of office space but also in terms of tech resources, salaries, perks, etc.
The needs of a successful e-commerce business can spurt unsuspectingly and you might be tempted to hire an army of new recruits to fulfil these needs. However, this can prove to be an unhealthy act for your business. The urge to do everything in-house can be too high but you need to understand aspects like scalability, lean management, etc. Too many e-commerce ventures have gone down because of hiring too many people and too soon.
So when you need to develop a dedicated app for your e-commerce business or get a full service digital agency, remember to resist the urge to recruit a developer or making a team of digital marketers. I wouldn’t say it is the best or the only way, but at times it makes more sense to outsource to a full-service digital agency that can take care of all your needs, rather than hiring too soon.
Think of it is a temporary fix if you don’t like the idea of outsourcing! But if things work out favorably (which they do if you outsource to the right company), you have one problem less too worry about!
That’s one more decision taken care of for you!
Last but Not the Least
When running an e-commerce website, usability testing is one of the best ways to reach to a decision. From the size of the font to the navigation of your website, you can get some clear answers through usability testing. There are some really innovative testing platforms that test your website in 5 seconds, when the user is drunk or when she’s a 95-year old grandma and so on!
You will find many success stories online such as how the placement of button or change in CTA text increased conversions by so and so percentage. All these success stories are proof that you cannot trust your gut always to make a decision but tune into your audience from time to time. Usability testing tools records clicks, analyzes heat maps, aggregates data, etc. Essentially, they can help you make all sorts of decisions that help you increase e-commerce conversion rates.
So now what?
Now you can focus on other lightweight decisions, like – does your business need to be on Snapchat or Medium? Do you need to run another discount campaign? Do you need exit pop-ups on your website or not?
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.