You may think that you are fully prepared to open and operate an online business. The funding is already in place, you have created a plan for cash flow, and you have your inventory stocked and ready to ship out to your customers. However, there are a few other factors that you will want to consider before launching your first marketing campaign.
E-commerce sales in the United States grew by over 10 percent last year to over $103 billion, and this includes travel. In fact, in the first quarter of 2016, online spending in the United States had already reached $93 billion. Statistics like these prove why e-commerce is the fastest growing segment in retail.
Although most of this growth is coming from retail giants like Walmart and Amazon, there are smaller retailers using platforms like Etsy and Shopify that are also making an impact on e-commerce growth. Most entrepreneurs of these e-commerce businesses are enjoying life-changing profitability and success.
Seasoned entrepreneurs will likely tell you that you need to have a handle on things like accounting, marketing, and operations. However, they may fail to tell you about the surprises you may face in other aspects of your business.
Be Very Detailed Because People Do Not Read
One of the things that may surprise you the most when you are operating your business is how explicit you must be when describing policies, products, or offers. Most of your customers will quickly skim this information; that’s if they even read it at all. If they do read it, they may still misunderstand certain statements.
Your Customers May Be Right but They Will Not Always Be Nice About It
When you operate an online store, you are running a service business. The main objective of your business should be to assist your customers in finding the products and services they are looking for, and ensuring those products and services are delivered to them quickly. There are plenty of new businesses in the e-commerce arena that are going above and beyond what many consumers have come to expect with customer service.
With that being said, there will be many times when you will go above and beyond ‘normal’ customer service to offer consumers the ultimate online shopping experience and they will still be mean to you, make false claims about your store, or even file claims and disputes against your company when you have not done anything wrong. Learn more about financial disputes at this website.
Packages Will Disappear in Transit
The United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx generally provide excellent shipping services. Unfortunately, these carriers are also known to not only lose packages but lose them during the most critical times.
Many retailers notice an increase of reports of packages never arriving around the holiday season. In fact, every year new and established e-commerce companies will get reports that dozens or even hundreds of packages never arrive at their destinations. Therefore, you should be prepared to not only deal with disappointed and frustrated customers but also be willing to bear the cost of these lost packages.
You will never be too far away from your next opportunity when owning an e-commerce business. Although you will have a fair share of problems, the potential is there for you to reach your goals.