Business depends on your ability to drive it forward. Investing time, money, effort and all your other resources is the only path to success. It’s no different from e-commerce, especially when you consider how popular online shopping has become. So, to gain the upper hand over your competition, here are six investments for e-commerce success.

Take Advantage of Dropshipping

Investing money in dropshipping has the potential of cutting costs, while at the same time increasing sales. Dropshipping is a business model where companies don’t manage the products themselves. Instead, a company would buy small from a vendor and sell bigger to the customer.

Because vendors already have a vast inventory in storing facilities, established shipping lanes, and a network of their own suppliers, you actually don’t have to spend money on any of these things. However, you will have to include the additional cost of dropshipping services for platforms like AliExpress or Dropship Direct. Still, it’s well worth the investment.

Set Up a Shop on Existing Platforms

Instead of creating their own online stores, commerce retailers are using ready-to-use-platforms as a means of selling their products. It’s a great option for companies which don’t have too much room in their budget to invest the resources into developing their own  secure online e-commerce platform.

Sites like Shopify, Etsy, and BigCommerce all give you the opportunity to build and customize your store using basic drag-and-drop techniques. The store allows you to visually adapt templates to fit your brand, decide on the shipping options – alternatives include using their shipping services, a third-party contractor, or shipping the products yourself – and how you want to manage payments.

If you already have a website but don’t want to spend money on developers, all you have to do is set up a CTA button that automatically redirects clients to your store on one of these platforms. This does not only saves costs, but you get to take the advantage of the existing web traffic.

Listen to Customers

E-commerce store owners tend to forget that a great way to make money online is by simply listening to customers. Investing effort in creating surveys, interviewing clients or asking them to leave a comment allows you to improve your offer and service.

Customers will tell you about the product they want to be included in the inventory, or improved options when it comes to payments or shipping. It allows you to customize the entire experience for them, which can increase the brand’s fan base.

Give Back to Customers

Among the best tips to promote an e-commerce business is offering giveaways or contests to customers. Companies use this tactic to leverage their products so as to increase the engagement across all of their channels. Sending a prize to a potential client for free is a way to motivate them to try a product and gain interest in others.

Choose those products which you believe customers actually want to receive, like your best-selling items. It also might not be enough to promote it just on social media, so instead use all your channels of communication. And finally, make it a regular part of your online activities. Consistency can drive regular visits to your shop and potentially more sales.

Focus on Existing Customers

E-commerce owners regularly focus more of their attention on gaining new customers. And while you do have to grow to scale your business, you might want to target and invest in the existing customers first. Actually, all you really need is some 1,000 true fans to succeed in business and earn enough money to make a decent living, according to Kevin Kelly.

Setting up loyalty programmes is a great incentive to reward returning business. Discounts, two-for-one deals, special offers, and even holiday gift cards can all motivate customers to return to your brand, even if your prices might be higher than those of competitors.

Include Product Ratings

Setting up a rating feature across channels of communication is a low-cost investment with potentially high returns. Investing in rating plug-ins makes use of peer-to-peer promotion and can affect as much as 70% of consumer decisions.

Generally, people have a tendency to listen to what other people have to say about a service or product, which influences their buying behavior through word-of-mouth recommendations. By including a rating system at your storefront with a simple 5-star grading system, you can use that to your advantage and get customers to motivate other visitors to buy products from the shop.

Growing a business is all about investing. How well you invest all the resources at your disposal will determine the number of returns they bring to your e-commerce store. But remember, once that happens, you need to continue and use the full momentum of your success to propel your business into growth, prosperity, and even bigger rewards.

Posted by lauren wiseman