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The Seven Magic Ingredients for Ecommerce Success – Part 2

ecommerce succes factors

So you are a webshop owner or have plans to start a webshop and success is within reach, right? Well….yes and no. Webshop success is not guaranteed nowadays, to tell you the truth…it never was. You’re not the only one out there, competition is fierce. So how to make your webshop a success? Part 2 of our ecommerce tips!

Ecommerce Succes ingredients

The commercial success of two young Dutch webshop entrepreneurs is the perfect starting point for our ‘recipe for success’. The story of the two brothers, aged 17 and 20 is a classic one: starting a webshop from their parents’ home and within two years expanding to more than a million euros turnover.

In part 1 of the Seven Magic Ingredients for Ecommerce succes, we gave you the the first three Magic Ingredients. Now it’s time to go back to the kitchen and finish our cooking session with the remaining four.

The right momentum

This key ingredient can be translated into “being at the right place at the right time”. It’s a combination of market conditions, business talent, a good dose of luck and is often related to “being the first”.
When you’re lucky to start a webshop in a niche market without serious competition then you’ll probably experience a flying start. Just like the two young brothers did: iPhones where already in high demand when they started, the need to customize iPhones to personal taste was a new trend certainly among juveniles. Cheap iPhone covers where at that time hard to get. The brothers felt the opportunity and jumped into it right away.

Keeping the momentum after a jump start is as important as well. If you’ll manage to maintain growth, attract new customers and make them returning customers – which is a matter of business talent, our first magic ingredient – then you have become a “stayer”.
New competitors in your niche market will have to make much more effort to become as successful as you are…, if they’ll ever do.

Technical insight

The internet is a technical environment. You have to be aware of and stay up to date with the latest internet trends that are vital for the survival of your web shop. Like responsive web design and mobile are today’s and catering for 3D mega screens might be tomorrow’s.

If you don’t have any technical internet knowledge, then get yourself into it right now. You don’t have to become a developer, but knowledge of how websites are displayed is in my opinion important. This involves learning basics about HTML, CSS, Server Side Languages like PHP, MySQL, website hosting, performance and caching. It can make the difference between you and your competitors because it will help you to make the right choices in every part of the process: choosing the right ecommerce software, ecommerce development, web design, ecommerce hosting, search engine optimization for your webshop, accounting software etc…

The two young brothers clearly had this technical insight. They started by hiring online webshop software including hosting. They managed to set up a professional looking webshop in very short time all by themselves. Despite their initial success they soon found out that they missed too many features and that they needed to switch to another ecommerce platform. They had the technical insight to setup their first webshop, and make the important decision to switch to another platform soon after. This was elementary for their further success.

Efficiency

You are directly involved in all day-to-day webshop activities : purchasing, handling orders, shipping, customer service, accounting etc… But during growth you will encounter several ‘efficiency opportunities’. The first one is often to hand over shipping to a fulfillment party. You know when that time has come, trust me ;-).

Ecommerce fulfillment

Efficiency is a continuous process and is an often neglected but vital ingredient for ecommerce success. It’s all about awareness, knowing when the time for an efficiency opportunity has come. It’s a psychological process of letting go, not trying to do it all by yourself and realizing that not running from situation to situation anymore will actually save you money. The merchants who best know how to make efficiency work, are the most successful ones in the long term.

Age

What? You’re kidding me! Well, I don’t think so, after all this is a story about two young successful webshop merchants. So there must be a truth in it: young people are more internet savvy. And the two brothers got aware of the new trend for personalized iPhone covers right from their own friends. But of course age can’t be a real success factor. The majority of successful webshop merchants are more likely between their 20s and 40s. Let’s change the last Magic Ingredient from ‘age’ into ‘a young spirit’. Meaning that you always have to look for new opportunities, stay up to date of new internet trends and technologies, and dare to take new directions.

This was the last ingredient. You should have a successful webshop on your plate right now. It might be that you missed some ingredients or that the taste is not to your liking. There might be other ingredients that I’ve missed here. Well, “be my guest”, I’d like to read your comments below.

The Author of this post is Enno Stuurman

Enno Stuurman has studied Small Business and Retail Management and has been into ecommerce for more than 7 years now as ecommerce consultant and Magento front-end developer. Follow Enno on Twitter ( @SpaarneTweet )

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