8 Tips To Stay Ahead Of The Ecommerce Game

In today’s ecommerce landscape, business owners are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Be it ingenious branding or creating publicity stunts to generate awareness, staying ahead of the ecommerce game is always an interesting and creative undertaking to marvel at. That said, branding and publicity stunts aren’t the only ways to help your brand stand out, in fact they’re far from it. Especially for startups or infant businesses, there are multiple ways you can ensure you always have the edge, without necessarily being radical. Let’s take a look at some beginner’s tips to help you get your game on!

Tip 1: Market research

It goes without saying that research is the backbone of any huge venture. Regardless of the stage your business is in, either infant, growing or established, consistent research is the key to being in the know of things. From researching market trends and how they play into your business, to understanding your competitors and charting excel sheets which showcase your USP vs. theirs. Market research is a tiring affair, it requires you to know your stuff and really dig deep into the knowledge of things. But don’t let that deter you from doing so, because you will be thanking yourself one day.

Tip 2: Have a USP, set up an MVP

USP or unique selling point, will be the defining aspect of your product. It will determine if it catches the public’s eye. Meanwhile, MVP or minimum viable product, is the prototype that you introduce to the market. USP and MVP go hand-in-hand most times. Once you’ve settled on a USP, start working on an MVP. MVPs are a great way to test the market’s reaction and determine if there’s a market fit for it. In fact, it is the sole thing standing between reckless investment and a potential bankruptcy. You do not want to go all out on your business without knowing if things will ever work out.

Tip 3: Be social media-savvy

Having an online presence on social media makes your brand look more appealing to the younger crowd. But the most important reason for you to get your brand on to social media is to create engagement. In this space, you can publish blog posts and articles to educate consumers about your latest product and projects, generate hype and get people tuning in. Many businesses realize the importance of a community, and you will want to capitalize on that. Leverage your social media presence to build a community that can come together to talk about their challenges and issues, this will give you and your followers the opportunity to create and host events, which is another way for you to maintain an advantage in your business.

Tip 4: Be a people person leader

Ever wondered why some businesses thrive and others don’t? Employee welfare and job satisfaction play a role in that. It might sound silly this is even on the list, but a leader who goes the extra mile for his followers will inspire the same in the followers to their leader. When you bring out the best in your employees, you will be rewarded with their unwavering loyalty, trust and most of all, talent. Many great companies are a result of great employees who went above and beyond in making the business the best it can be. In short, a positive work environment and company culture bring out the best in everyone. Although that said… not all great companies have great leaders, and not all great companies boost a positive workplace culture either. Jeff Bezos, the president of Amazon has been said to be a bit of a meanie at work. But hey, it’s a he say, she say thing. Just remember that great leaders produce great employees which translates to a greater corporate wellbeing.

Tip 5: Take care of your customers

Apart from its employees, a business is only as successful as the customers it has built a rapport with and maintained. It’s a shame many businesses downplay the importance of customer relationships and cast their existing customer aside after a deal has been made or concluded. Don’t do that. Treat all of your customers as if they were your first and last and always strive to maintain a good relationship with them. Customer loyalty can do wonders for a business and they might just be the people you turn to in times of need. Loyalty programs are a great way to get your customers to stay, and occasionally bending the rules (i.e. return policy or offering freebies) to appease your customers are some little ways you can ensure they’ll stay. It also helps to get to know your customers, new or old, their likes and dislikes, as well as what allows them to identify with your business. 

Tip 6: Invest in a WMS

If you know us by now, you’ll know our love for WMS. Because… why not?  A WMS helps you synchronize product information across multiple platforms under the same roof, it allows you to speed up your warehouse operations, making it more efficient. The capacity to WMS is endless and it will only serve to propel your business to greater heights. There are many WMS out there that you can build to your own specification or they contain many of the highly-demanded functions in one software. For example, Eplus is a software that combines multiple software functions commonly found in separate logistics software and bundles them up in one.

Tip 7: Product packaging

Truth be told, we’re all about saving costs and avoiding incurring the unnecessary ones. But if you’re a new business and you’re looking to put yourself out there, sometimes it’s necessary to invest in product packaging. Having a uniquely drawn box art or special wrapper are some of the ways you can leave a special impression to your customers. Some businesses go their way out to leave handwritten notes or customized thank you cards as a way of appreciating their customer. Once you’ve gotten a footing in your brand, you can then start to go easy on the brand packaging. 

Tip 8: Always be prepared to change

Our final tip of the day. Be prepared to adapt and change. Change is inevitable, and sometimes what once worked for us will no longer work the same tomorrow or the day after. There will come a point where your brand requires an overhaul, be it in direction, branding, image or just about anything that disrupts your business model. The Covid-19 pandemic is a very stark reminder of that, and many businesses have had to abandon their old ways and embrace the new. Who's to say whatever they’re doing now will hold well in the future? Change is inevitable, be prepared for it, embrace it and the sooner you’re out of it, the sooner you can regain your footing and thrive again!

The Bottomline

Getting ahead of your game is a matter of creativity. There’s never a hard and fast rule to staying ahead of times. Save for market research and the importance of MVP + USP, everything else on this list is flexible and fluid. What matters is your business’ ability to adapt and change whenever needed. If you do that, then staying on your A-game is never far away.

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