As most business owners already know, there is no one variable that contributes to the success of your company. Likewise, there is no one element that can be pinpointed that may lead to its demise. Businesses are multifaceted structures that have many moving parts, meaning that entrepreneurs need to take a step back and learn some important lessons that the meteoric rise of ecommerce can teach us.
Don’t underestimate the value of content, product descriptions, and pictures.
It doesn’t matter if your company is a brick and mortar business or an online store, posting relevant and well-written content matters. Customers look to your copy to see that you understand who they are as a consumer and want to fulfill their needs. Websites and advertisements should not be completely self-promotional, to the exclusion of information that allows them to connect to your brand on a human level. Most consumers browse sites looking for an interesting backstory. They want to develop a trusting relationship with the company that will allow them to be a loyal follower long-term.
Product descriptions, too, are critical. Consumers want to know what they are purchasing, and with eCommerce, your words matter because they are unable to see the product in person. While brick and mortar businesses have the advantage of consumers being able to touch and see the product in real time, the need for robust descriptors is not diminished. Product descriptions that are old, thin, or generic will detract from the consumer’s interest in and perception of your product, and ultimately your sales and your brand will pay the price. If you are concerned about how yours measure up, investigate how to write product descriptions that sell.
A picture is said to be worth a thousand words, so businesses should invest in high-quality and resolution photos. Product photos that are poorly composed, too small, or appear grainy will lack the detail consumers want to see. What is more, the lack of aesthetics will not represent your business positively. Your website and your social media are selling your brand. Always double check your posts and your content to ensure that you don’t have spelling errors or typos. These are a sure sign of a neglected website, careless advertising, or mismanaged companies. Consumers will wonder how you can be trusted with regard to your product if you can’t be trusted to care about your own website or social media channel.
Do think like a customer and engage accordingly.
Running a business, at its core, is about marketing and selling something that people want or need. Consumers, whether they are Instagram followers or the target demographic on your business website, have the freedom to decide whether or not they will purchase the service or product from you. If a business wants to sell, they must think like a consumer.
It’s not always easy for a business owner to think like a customer. After all, they have a great deal of knowledge about the product or service, and their overarching goals are different. In order to think like a consumer, a business owner must divorce himself from his own perspective and look at his business website, the product, and all of the processes involved in purchasing the product with fresh eyes. It means understanding that the person on the other side is browsing, choosing, and paying for something from someone they’ve never met. It also means that the business owner must understand wants and needs of consumers who may differ from him in sex, race, ethnicity, age, or socioeconomic standing. Retailers may find that they need to hire people who have the skill to assess what those customers may be thinking.
Accept criticism and learn from it.
Whether the criticism is negative feedback received from consumers or your employees have something unpleasant to say, receiving criticism is never fun. It’s important to remember that human nature dictates that we are more likely to complain than compliment, so accepting the negative and growing from it is critical for long-term business success.
Think of criticism as an opportunity, and you may find it easier to accept the validity of what the person is trying to communicate. As yourself: Who is the critic, and is the criticism justified? Sometimes seeing who is offering negative feedback will help you understand a particular type of consumer better or make decisions about dealing with a target audience. If the feedback is warranted, it will be important to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and make changes to avoid the issue in the future. Look for ways to grow from criticism, rather than worry about being judged or seen as somehow deficient.
If you’re running a successful eCommerce business, share one of your secrets here.