Around 2009 I signed on to a small ecommerce company. Before long I found myself helping in just about all aspects of the daily routine.

Those five years have taught me a lot about ecommerce. There are some things that you really don’t learn unless you’ve been in the business. That’s what I want to share with this post.

If you’re doing any kind of online business I believe you’ll benefit from one (or all) of these five insights:

1. Business blogging is worth it (and a team effort)

The blog for the business will certainly start off slow and feel like it’s not worth the effort but once you put the entire team on board you will begin pumping out great content at a steady pace. Combine this with social media efforts and sending to your email lists and you’ll quickly turn this team effort into a steady, reliable lead generating stream.

Action Item: Get with your team and have each of them come up with at least ten ideas for a blog post. Then dig through your analytics to mine the frequently asked questions from your customers. Begin creating new pieces of content based around these topics. Let the employee take charge and create the post instead of dumping it on a single individual. Make it a team effort!

2. Never hold back your years of knowledge

ID-10085676It’s those that are willing to share the best information that gain the respect and trust from the community. Don’t be an owner that “can’t let the competition know our secrets”. I guarantee you that someone is going to share that valuable information and it might as well be you that gets the credit.

Action Item: Take a look at your competition and ask yourself what they’re holding back. Then turn the question on yourself. Open up your books and become transparent with your audience and customers. Give them the inside scoop. Be honest about products and services. Push all your knowledge to the Web and use that as a way to gain authority in your industry.

3. It’s the little things which build a better brand (and experience)

Every moment you get to interact with a customer. Every time someone sees your product. Every time you’re given a chance to pitch your ideas. These are all the times you can work in your brand and through repetition you will make it stick. Once people know you by the brand they are bound to judge the competition to different standards and repeatedly come back to your business for their needs.

Action Item: Head over to PackNBoxNow.com, they’re corrugated box suppliers, and browse through the selection which fit your products. Then, work with a designer and the company to begin using customized packaging for your products and shipping which will do wonders for building up your brand.

4. Make an effort to explore the available channels

Don’t corner your business into selling solely through your website. Leverage the work of these big networks and platforms that are already well respected and trusted to place your products. It will require additional effort to keep it all on track but it greatly expands your reach which is well worth the trouble.

Action Item: Use the detailed guide about selling on Ebay, created by Misty, and leverage the platform to sell your products to a new audience. Collect the customer data and bring them over to your main site. Follow suit by expanding onto other platforms like Google Products or listing in Amazon.com.

5. Everything is worth documenting

What happens if you had to go on leave for a month? What about if an employee suddenly quits? The work being done doesn’t just get picked up where things get left off. It’s vital that you and the team document everything so someone else can pick up the slack (or handed off the work if they’re freelancing) so you can keep on chugging.

Action Item: Create and document your workflow by using spreadsheets or flow charts. Work through your routine with a pen & paper to record your actions. Condense those actions into writing by creating a step-by-step procedure for every aspect of work. Include screenshots, videos, and other resources. Make these procedures so in-depth that you can hand them off to anyone else at work (or those hired on) without having to hold their hand throughout the process.

Do you have experience in ecommerce or selling online? What insights are you willing to share?

*This is a post by Sara Stringer

 

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