Five Key Steps for Successful e-Commerce Merchants to Consider

In the 1990s, Magazine Luiza transformed online commerce in Brazil through the use of multimedia terminals. They had no inventory or showrooms -- just the terminals that sold the products. It was a trailblazing initiative.

It was also the birth of a million-dollar business that bet on innovation by investing in the digital world. At the time, e-commerce was in its infancy in Brazil. Magazine Luiza had to engage in significant trial and error before it found the path that led to its success. Due to this innovation, Magazine Luiza is still one of Brazil's largest e-commerce merchants and continues to inspire businesses today. 

If your e-commerce business is looking for its own path to success, you might be asking yourself questions like:

  • -- What is the first step I should take?
  • -- What should I include in my plans?
  • -- What risks do I need to avoid so as not to harm my investment?"

Unfortunately,  there's no ideal formula, no winning strategy that's 100% successful. However, if you do your research, you'll see that most successful online businesses take five major steps to help them capture a place in the hearts of their customers and be successful.

Step 1: Thoroughly Know Your Market

You can sell anything online -- from flowers to exotic vacations. But to sell it well in today's competitive market, you need to know your customer -- and that means completing a thorough market survey before you launch your business. Understand your target audience and the best opportunity for your product. Each customer acts and thinks differently -- and their shopping motivations can vary significantly -- so it's important to thoroughly understand who you want as a customer.

Look at other merchants in similar industries, to see what's working well, but don't feel obligated to do what everyone else is already doing. 

Step 2: Pay Attention to Technological Innovation

Technology is constantly evolving, and these changes can have a big impact on e-commerce. Stay abreast of evolving trends, and ensure your e-commerce is always aligned with industry best practices, like having a responsive mobile platform. After all, people use their cell phones now for almost everything, like paying bills, scheduling their day and shopping. Understanding how to work with new technologies can have a big influence on how fast your e-commerce grows.

Step 3: Invest in Digital Marketing and Customer Relations

It's not enough to just list items for sale -- e-commerce merchants also have to advertise. Customers today often do a lot of research before they buy, and good digital marketing will help you be found and stand out from the competition. Use tools like Google Adwords to promote yourself, but also invest in your customer relationships. Maintain open and active digital contact channels, and answer customer questions as quickly as possible.

Step 4: Be Concerned With Logistics

One of the most important part of the e-commerce process is delivery, especially if you have international customers. If customers have a negative delivery experience, that alone can be enough to keep the consumer from returning to your store. Maintain the quality of your deliveries, and ensure the right customer gets the right product at the right time. Enchant your customer with a secure, personalized package that shows how much you value the relationship, and you'll win customers for life.

Step 5: Manage Fraud and Preserve Your Reputation

Having poor security can seriously harm an online merchant in today's e-commerce marketplace. Confidential data might be breached, the brand might be the subject of negative marketing and legal problems might even ensue. This is why fraud prevention and management must be a top priority in your plans. Look for expert, specialized companies and make sure they truly understand a business and have the solution that meets your needs. Contact the experts at ClearSale to learn why companies around the world trust us to keep their revenue secure and their reputation intact.

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