Being an online entrepreneur takes a different skill set than you would need for a brick and mortar business. In today’s world every business should have an online presence, but it is different if the digital realm is where your business is focused.
While many of the tenants of business apply to online entrepreneurs, there are some extra functions you'll need to master to make sure your e-commerce shop is functional and keeps customers coming back. We'll outline the key traits an online entrepreneur needs to embody below.
a successful online entrepreneur IS adept at MANY FORMS OF customer service...
they Have a user-friendly website.
You want to make sure your website is easy to navigate. If your buyers have trouble finding your products on your website than they will not be able to purchase them, and they are likely to leave your website and never return.
they Ensure a secure checkout.
You may want to make certain your checkout is safe
and protected for customers. And you want to feature your assurances prominently on your website so your buyers know they are free from worry when they click 'buy now'.
they Create clear and simple policies for buyers.
Let your buyers know what your return/refund policies are upfront. No business owner wants to think about returns and refunds, but they will happen. You need to provide easy ways to return products and clearly communicate how the return process works.
they promptly Engage with your customers via e-mail.
Whichever setup you have to process your payments make sure your buyers get an email right after they pay you. If you are shipping products, make sure to email them when you ship their order out, or if there is a backorder for any reason. And finally, email them with a small survey after you know they have gotten your product.
they are responsive to customers on social media, review sites & via E-Mail.
No one can be available 24 hours a day but social media demands responsiveness and so do customer emails. Respond as quickly as you can to any emails your customers send to you and to any comments made on social media. The job description of an online entrepreneur includes round-the-clock care so even if you take a vacation, you need someone to take care of customers while you are gone.
a successful online entrepreneur is a masterful storyteller...
they share customer feedback and respond to it.
Hearing how products have worked for customers is a powerful message. Share it. That can mean blogging, photos, memes, GIFs, videos, interviews, quotes or retweets. Get creative. Let happy customers promote your product to others like them. But don't ignore the disgruntled buyers either. Address their concerns. If you are getting lots of complaints about one issue, solve the problem and share the story of how you made the decision to do so with you audience. Authenticity is key. Get real with your customers AND show them that you care about how they feel about your product.
they share their story and values to customers.
The more customers know about the history of your business, who you are, who you have hired and why you chose your products. Show them your passion. Again, authenticity is so important. The more your audience knows about you and your values, the more inclined they will be to support you.
A successful entrepreneur understands how to measure digital success...
They carefully track key metrics.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you track what is and is not working for your business and website. Do your research, stay up to date on e-commerce trends and regularly check KPIs. If you don't, you won't be able to optimize your online shop for success. Set specific, measurable goals that you can evaluate. Schedule times to pull reports.
They conduct controlled experiments on their websites.
Is your homepage appealing? Does one call-to-action button work better than another with your customers? You won't know unless you test and evaluate. Start with one area of your site, brainstorm a tweak that could compel more buyers and see how users respond over a given month. A/B test until you are hitting a sweet spot, then move on to another area that could use some help.
Being an entrepreneur can be a great adventure if it is the right fit for you
, and being an online entrepreneur can be done effectively if you consider all of the above components - tracking, testing, storytelling and online customer service.
As always... good luck and good sales!