Keys to start your business online
Nos encanta procrastinar, no porque sea algo que naturalmente aspiramos sino porque inconscientemente así actuamos y mas cuando el camino no está trazado y no sabemos cual debería de ser nuestro primer paso. Empezar un negocio en línea es una decisión acertada en la mayoría de los casos y dependiendo del giro de negocio que se desea incursionar sin embargo al momento de querer dar el primer paso no se sabe por donde empezar, ni cuales son los riesgos y oportunidades a los que te enfrentaras. Como una receta de cocina te dejo un resumen de 10 puntos claves a considerar para lograr tu objetivo, vender en línea.
An idea is worth nothing if it is not executed, “execution separates ideas from success”. Be passionate about your idea, starting an online business like any other business will have great challenges and a lot of uncertainty, be clear about why and what you are doing it for. What problem are you solving and how are you contributing to your environment. Do not get discouraged if there is already a similar idea, on the contrary, investigate who your competition is and what you can learn from them. There are different methodologies such as “Design Thinking” that can help you develop an innovative idea in a structured way integrating the needs of the end user. Design the experience of what you are selling and how you are going to differentiate yourself, experience is the #1 reason to rebra
Identify your user and your customer.
“My product can be used/consumed by everyone”. Everyone – NOT your user or your customer. Define in detail and specifically which segment you will be targeting and base your entire strategy on how you will interact with them. A common mistake is not having identified the difference between user and customer, separate who will be your end user and who will be paying for your services or products. There may be scenarios where the person who uses your product is not the same person who pays for it. How are you going to win over those customers vs. your competition? Connect emotionally with your customer, 90% of purchase decisions are based on emotions. Build different “User / Buyer Personas” that are archetypes of your customer and will help you understand much better what they think, act, do, motivations or problems they face, this way you will have a more specific vision of who you are targeting, than just defining the segment which remains in general.
One of the main mistakes and why a business fails is due to incorrectly calculating the market size. It is important to consider this in the planning stage as it will help you understand the potential of your idea in the short, medium, and long term, and define objectives. It is recommended to calculate it from different angles and it is recommended to approach it conservatively considering the size of the universe, the available market, or the target market. Who are my most likely buyers? In summary, you have to define what your market niche is, identify sources of information, and finally structure and analyze the data. Continuously keep this measurement updated and continuously feed your analysis as time advances and the information you have or the project itself changes. Constantly question, are the objectives realistic?
As for obtaining information, you can enhance your research with different free tools like similarweb.com, which helps you know how many people visit a website, or “Ubersuggest”, with which you can discover purchase intent and analyze keywords.
Define a financial plan.
An online business can be more costly than it seems. Some tips to consider in the economic evaluation are to view it as a long-term project and to align expectations with the management team or investors, if they already exist. Decisions regarding the development of your idea should not be limited to a short-term vision. The digital channel is different from the physical channel, therefore, commercial strategies must also be different and adapt to both the digital user and the reasons for consumption. When structuring the P&L, identify which costs are fixed and which are variables. It may sound obvious, but pay attention to this as you can find the answers to achieve the desired profitability.
Who are your main stakeholders?
You can’t do everything yourself. Define which processes you will manage, which ones you will outsource, and, consequently, what suppliers you will need for both services and supplies. Researching and considering different suppliers can be a tedious task, however, investing time in selecting the provider that works best for you will save you time dealing with an inefficient provider later on. Look for the best ones according to the quality and cost you define and your priorities. Having business partners is key to achieving expected growth and not getting tied up in a problem that distracts you from business development.
If it makes sense with the service or product you offer, having an online store can be an excellent decision, as you will be reaching out directly to your final customer and opening a new sales channel, marketing and communication with your user which means more work however the information and data that your users themselves generate is very valuable. If you decide to sell in a marketplace already established it is also a successful decision by the traffic that already manages these however consider that they are the owners of the processes and the data and you as owner of the product you are the one taking more risks. Being present with a marketplace can be important depending on the industry but it should not be your only selling channel, don’t recharge your entire strategy into a single player.
How does the digital consumer buy? At the time of designing the online store think about the equivalent when entering a physical store where there is music, it has a particular smell, things are comfortable so you can play, try, feel. In the same way your page has to be designed to make a whole experience visit it and that your user has to make the least number of decisions and is easy to understand, quick to navigate. Do not think about having the perfect page, it is a continuous development, trial and error. Continuously performs tests such as usability tests, card sorting, ethnographies, focus groups, heuritics and again “User/Buyer Person” to get information from the same users to define the structures, combinations and definitions that work best.
Become what people care about. Invest in the development of digital material such as photos, descriptions and videos that will help you better communicate your product and mitigate doubts in order to increase sales conversion.
Think about the traditional
The digital world coexists with the physical world creating a single “world,” do not separate your strategy. If your business is digitally native, consider at a mature stage how you can integrate it with the physical world, as you connect so that processes flow and give a competitive advantage to your users. We live in an environment where there are less and less frictions between virtual and real reality, being aware of this and the expectations of your user. Although e-commerce will continue to grow steadily over the next few years in the same way, physical stores will not disappear, which will transform to build the customer experience.
In your client’s mind
A digital marketing strategy brings with it different benefits such as increasing time in a store, increasing the velocity of inventory rotation, more satisfied customers, increasing loyalty and consequently increasing sales. At the time of developing your online store or website, build a strategy of SEO vs SEM to achieve that “organic” search engines and consequently your users can find you without the level of investment being so high. Continuously measure key indicators such as your page traffic, posts, and bounce rate.
Evaluate reviews and comments, as an overall industry figure only 10% of people who make a purchase leave a review. The most important thing is that you fulfill what you are promising and as your processes improve promise a better experience.
Don’t chase your users looking for them to reach you by creating valuable content where they want to spend time. Valuable content can be useful information, education, inspiration, entertainment, utility (service) or an experience.
Roles and responsabilities
Develop the positions and define the responsibilities that each person on your team will be performing. You can integrate from the beginning an “Agile” philosophy that with its values, principles and methodologies will help you advance in an uncertain and volatile environment with the aim of delivering value in the shortest possible time. The demand for talent in digital commerce is high, pushing for a high turnover between jobs. Develop internal strategies to avoid rotation and talent leakage that will help you grow faster. Without talent you won’t be able to execute.
Do not forget to consider controls to have cybersecurity processes, as the industry develops in the same way new threats arise with a high risk in the effects that they can cause on your brand, your business and your customers. The most popular attacks can be stolen card fraud, information theft, phishing, among others. Make sure your page is safe to browse and that your user’s privacy is not compromised.