8 Tips for Solopreneurs to Build a Thriving eCommerce Business
Gaurav BelaniFebruary 26, 2021
Building an eCommerce business takes a lot of effort, time and energy. You have a lot on your plate starting from production, warehousing, inventory management, packaging, shipping, fulfillment, customer support and marketing.
So, building an eCommerce brand requires skilled people who can look after different things and ensure that everything works properly.
But for solopreneurs, building an eCommerce business into a sustainable venture takes a lot of planning, smart decision-making, and effective investments in tools and resources.
Today, we are going to discuss how solopreneurs can build a successful eCommerce business.
So, with no further ado, let’s begin.
1. Hire Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants can go a long way. They will take a lot of burden from your end.
VAs will take care of the manual work for you so you can invest your time into more productive and important tasks where your active involvement is needed.
You save a lot if you hire a VA instead of a regular full-time employee. As per a study, VAs could reduce operational cost by 78%.
Having said that, you must verify you are hiring the right VAs in your team. If you hire VA who is not efficient or not skillful to produce the work you are expecting, your eCommerce business will suffer.
2. Keep Optimizing Your Customer Support
Customer support is the game-changer in the eCommerce space in 2021.
Since the internet is flooded with eCommerce stores and high-quality products, people have a lot of options to check, verify and purchase products online if they are not treated well.
So, to grab their attention and convince them to buy from your eCommerce store, you have to be on your toes at all times to entertain your potential buyers.
- Upgrade your knowledge base
- Keep your refund policies accessible on the site
- Highlight return and exchange policies
- Use email support software
3. Implement Livechat/Chatbots (Super Important!)
Chatbots are a great tool for an eCommerce business.
I mean, when you are awake you are available to talk to your buyers through chat support. But what if they reach you when you are away?
The point is, nobody likes to wait today. People expect quick and accurate responses. In fact, 20% of customers want to stop using a product or service thanks to slow response times via online chat.
That’s when a live chat or chatbot is helpful for you.
With a chatbot, you get the speed of responding quickly. Plus, seeing a chatbot in the store gives the visitor a sense of trust that there is someone available to entertain them.
Plus, down the line, thanks to the chatbot, you get tremendous insights about what questions people ask, what they expect, and how they shop. These priceless lessons can give you an unparalleled lead in speaking customers’ language and serving them better.
4. Focus on Visual Content Production
Visual content production is more difficult than you think. You cannot upload your product images just like that and expect to increase your conversions.
You need a process and a system to develop, scrutinize, and publish visual content, whether it’s on your store or social media accounts. Bad visual content means deprived brand presence which certainly nobody would aspire for.
Every image needs to manage the aesthetics of your brand and give prospects a concurrent user experience online.
However, for solopreneurs, creating visual content is time-consuming.
You can always hire freelance graphic designers who can do the work for you. However, I’d recommend going for a SaaS product. In this era, you will find many impressive tools that can help you create stunning visuals for your marketing campaigns.
5. Partner with Reliable Entities
For a solopreneur, every minute is important.
Hence, you must plan your work style and ensure that important and monotonous tasks are automated.
In an eCommerce business, logistics, packaging, fulfillment, and warehousing are the areas that you can complete through partnering with relevant entities. The interesting thing is that you can find a fulfillment service that can handle all these things.
Hence, such partnerships will take care of all the important tasks while maintaining customer experiences.
For marketing and advertising your products, you can get a digital marketer on board. However, make sure you determine the expertise of the agency or consultant before you assign them your account.
6. Dropship Products
eCommerce business is incomplete without warehousing and fulfillment of the products. However, being a solopreneur, maintaining and monitoring warehouse inventory is extremely difficult.
You have to:
- Manage the overall space
- Look after the security of the warehouse
- Check the delivery agents
- Bear the rents
- Take care of packaging and shipments
- Keep a track of all the products coming and going through the warehouse
However, if you follow a dropshipping business model, you can cope with all the points mentioned above.
In dropshipping, you need to think about advertising and sales only. The fulfillment partners will handle all the backend stuff.
7. Use a reliable SaaS Product
Now, let me get this straight. I could have said to use local software. But I think that it’s not very flexible anymore for solopreneurs.
Solopreneurs need the flexibility to manage businesses from any time and anywhere. That’s when a SaaS product can help. SaaS gives you a system that you can access anytime at your convenience. You can use it on mobile, a desktop or a tablet.
Plus, a SaaS platform also gives you a chance to create reports and spreadsheets that you can further use to assess your eCommerce business.
8. Invest in Themes and Plugins
In eCommerce, your website is like your digital departmental store. Whatever you do on the eCommerce site directly affects the growth of the business.
The reality is managing and developing an eCommerce website is very difficult. You need to know the CMS and programming to make changes and apply customizations.
Even if you are a skilled programmer, developing an eCommerce store will require hours, sometimes days.
Therefore, your investments in themes and plugins will take you far. These themes and plugins are advanced enough to help you use unique features and elements on the pages. So, your time is dramatically saved by the same.
Use these tips to build a thriving eCommerce business for yourself. Keep in mind your business goals and ensure how these steps will help you out.
I’d recommend starting with hiring a VA because then you will get more time to think about other stuff and gradually scale your eCommerce business as a solopreneur.
Let me know what you think and also share your thoughts about this blog in the comments below.
About The Author
Gaurav Belani is senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing. He likes sharing his knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from marketing to human capital management and much more. His work is featured in several authoritative business publications. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter at @belanigaurav.
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