How to run a successful online business

Ready to grow your e-commerce business and take it to the next level?

With the rise of the online store, e-commerce is booming better than ever before.

Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, here are our top tips to help you stand out from the crowd and grow a successful, streamlined e-commerce business.

Invest in a good website or online store

As a society, we’re fickle.

In an era of buy now and get it tomorrow, today’s customers will make an impression of a brand within seconds of visiting their online store.

It’s up to you to create a strong impression that cuts through the noise and influences their buying decision. This is built on strong brand photography, customer reviews, catchy product descriptions, and a great brand story to tie it all together.

Think of your online sales platform as the face of your brand. It’s the core place where customers will view and purchase your products and it needs to be appealing, functional, and easy to use.

You don’t have to hire a website designer or spend hours building your own website from scratch. Instead, you can create and manage your online store with Shopify or choose to sell on one or more marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, or AliExpress. These cost nothing to setup and maximise the number of customers who can discover your products.

That being said, a well-designed and easy-to-use website can be a powerful way to create a strong brand image with its own independent online presence– especially when used in tandem with other online marketplaces to maximise your reach.

Focus on customer experience

It’s all about the customer.

As an e-commerce brand, it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for customers to click ‘pay’ and buy your products.

Focus on making every element of the customer journey stand out, from collecting payments, packaging, and delivery right through to your post-sales follow-up. Where can you surprise and delight your customers? Personalised ‘thank you’ notes, a freebie or voucher, or another value add-on can be a great place to start.

Delivering an amazing customer experience is how you create loyal customers who love shopping with you, who tell all their friends about your brand, and who sing your praises online.

When done well, customer experience can strengthen your brand to the point of becoming a marketing channel in its own right– it’s a one stop shop to glistening online reviews, testimonials, good word-of-mouth, and happy, loyal customers.

In the world of brand reputation, these are worth their weight in gold.

Nail your marketing

As an e-commerce brand, your marketing channels are how customers will discover your products. You can’t rely on customers wandering into your shop off the street, like traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. So promoting your products online, and doing it well, is an absolute must.

Social media ads, email marketing, content marketing, and SEO are all core ways to drive traffic to your online store, grow your following, and create hype around your brand.

Keep up with the latest social media trends and focus on promoting relevant, useful, and engaging online content to build trust with your audience and grow your following.

Manage your online reputation

Reviews are the lifeblood of online businesses. They act as a proverbial ‘stamp’ of approval that verifies a customer’s buying decision.

Potential customers need to know if your products are worth their money. They are ready and willing to scroll through pages of online reviews to get the low-down on quality, usability, and value for money. And enough bad or mediocre reviews can send them running right to your competitors.

Boost your brand reputation by promoting customer reviews on your online store and incorporating them into your marketing strategy.

It’s also key to regularly keep on top of customer feedback and questions and gracefully handle bad reviews as opposed to ignoring them. Even a bad customer experience can be turned around with the right response and follow-up.

Don’t forget to integrate customer reviews into your sales process– send an automated email to follow up with customers after a purchase asking them to leave a good review.

Have a good accounting and software setup

When it comes to running a successful e-commerce business, keeping a record of sales, transactions, and inventory is an absolute must.

Luckily, accounting and bookkeeping software removes the stress of manually recording transactions, saving you valuable time to focus on building your e-commerce business.

There are also a ton of apps that plug into your accounting and bookkeeping solution to help you manage just about any aspect of your business. You can build a fully customised app stack that does all the heavy lifting, helps you streamline your operations, and supports you as your e-commerce business grows.

As a foundation, we recommend a setup like Dext (formerly Receipt Bank) Xero, and Float to help you manage the basic bookkeeping, accounting, and cash flow.

From there, you can bolt on industry-specific apps like ShopifyTradeGecko, and A2X (if you’re an Amazon or Spotify seller) to help you manage sales, inventory, and the day-to-day running of your business.

Ready to grow your e-commerce business?

At Complete, we’re on a mission to help ambitious businesses get to where they want to be.

Using leading industry apps and software, we're well-seasoned at supporting e-commerce businesses with advice, guidance, and tools that support them as they grow.

Get in touch to find out more.


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