August 3, 2018      3 min read

The continuous upward trend in eCommerce has made it increasingly attractive to start an online business; selling online has many advantages. Although eCommerce can be desirable there is a lot more competition. Giants like Amazon have set the bar for shipping and customer service extremely high, it may feel impossible to envision how a SME may go about this and stay afloat. Here are four hacks for SMEs that can help see you running a successful eCommerce business.

Use the right software

For many eCommerce businesses, software is something that needs to be addressed and evaluated on an ongoing basis, because it really is the foundation to an entire operation. Importantly, security concerns, scalability, usability, integration with your inventory management software and other factors have to be taken into account when you are looking for the right software to invest in and rely on. The right tools depend largely on what needs you have. Make sure to identify your challenges and do your research to find the tools that match your requirements.

Clear and concise eCommerce shopping experience

Friction or barriers to purchase, is one of the biggest challenges for most eCommerce stores, especially as purchases from mobile increase. Companies need to find a way to make the checkout process clear, simple and easy that anyone could do it.

Decreasing the barriers to purchase is paramount to creating a seamless online buying experience, especially when it comes to mobile. If you want to increase sales, you need to ensure your visitors are not getting frustrated, abandoning their carts and leaving your site to find another store where they can purchase a competitor’s product more efficiently.

Shipping

Customers value receiving their online purchases as expected. Customers will notice when their shipping options are limited or vague, and this may be a deal-breaker. A small retailer’s site that sells goods at a lower price but is missing an accurate shipping estimate may persuade them to buy through Amazon Prime, for a higher cost because they know they will get it in two days. In addition, customers also want access to order status and delivery notifications, and most small eCommerce retailers oversee this need.

Security

Some small businesses that have small security budgets are unfortunately easy targets for cybercriminals. To fight fraud and other payment challenges as a small eCommerce retailer, it pays to refine your payment system and being clear about payment terms.

Consumer authentication and trusted payment platforms like PayPal and Google Checkout can prevent fraud. For credit card users, ensuring card code verification (CCV) adds a second level of protection because it ensures the customer is holding the card in their hand at the time of purchase. Importantly, small eCommerce businesses need to find a good payment processor. Their service is to capture, process and protect your customers’ data from end to end so none of your buyers’ data lives on your server. Cybercriminals cannot steal your data if you do not store it.

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