Grow your business - 3 Steps to Successful Online Store

The global e-commerce market grows each year. Consumers’ trust in online sales increases and orders are submitted more and more internationally. Succeeding in international competition requires a smart online store, marketing focused on the target group, and efficient logistics chains, as well as a selection of delivery methods out of which everyone can find one that suits them.

Tip 1: Free up time for the essential - serving your customers

The best way to accelerate the growth of an online store is to focus on the essential, i.e. the customer who creates a cash flow. Unfortunately, the owner of an online store often spends his/her time packing packages, editing orders, ensuring the availability of packaging materials, as well as processing returns, accepting goods and shelving.

An online store owner is an expert in his/her own business operations and product selection. Growth can be accelerated when the online store owner delegates the practical operations and focuses on meeting customers online. Product descriptions, marketing communications, campaigning, new products, increasing online store visitor counts and improving conversions provide growth, not the packaging of deliveries or the shelving of products.

Tip 2: Test new markets internationally

An online store can easily and risk-free seek growth from new markets when the logistics chain flexibly supports international deliveries. This can be ensured by outsourcing warehouse and logistics operations to an expert 3PL partner. The testing of an international market starts by selecting a target market and by becoming familiar with its characteristic features, in the market’s target group and customers'  consumption habits.

Only select marketing channels that will allow you to reach the target group. Do not fear trying out bolder methods of approach. Test what works and adapt the marketing communications according to what achieves the best results.

Tip 3: Develop your online store with technology

A smart online store is a growing trend. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and algorithms are modern features in many businesses. Many large companies use advanced technology as a cornerstone in their business operations. As a consumer, you do not always even realise, where consumption habits are controlled by artificial intelligence.

Personalised, algorithm accelerated marketing is a service for your customers. The machine is able to model a large amount of data and offer customers solutions that he/she will need next week. At its best, artificial intelligence plans the focus points of marketing and messages in such a way that they approach customers in a timely and individual manner based on the type of products he/she has purchased or searched and comparing them to such purchases that are expected and when.

A smart online store is the next step towards a dream online store, where marketing and customer service equal the same thing. The artificial intelligence of an online store approaches customers in a personal manner and offers products he/she specifically needs in a timely manner and delivers them to customers in the exact right manner, to a suitable location at an agreed time.

To begin with the right mindset is enough. The basic algorithm of an online store does not need to be rocket science. You can start off at a small scale, and relatively quickly. You can start off already with a small amount of data. The benefit of online stores is that all the data is already electronically available to be utilised online. When marketing, the development of business and customer service have adopted a new way to offer customers targeted marketing, artificial intelligence can be used to build more developed calculations to guide customers. The most important aspect is to learn a bold and flexible approach, carry out A/B tests and model various solutions from the perspective of results.

You can start, for example, as follows:

IF the customer has purchased a children’s snow suit from the online store
AND browsed through fleece hats
OFFER the customer snow gloves too
AND winter boots
AND scarves
AND so on.

Artificial intelligence learns from each purchase transaction and its algorithm aims to predict, on the basis of each completed sale, what the customer is ready to purchase at this current moment.

You can also easily start utilising artificial intelligence with a partner. For example, Nosto.com allows online store owners to offer their customers a personalised purchase experience. This, on the other hand, increases conversions, increases the amount of an average order and commits customers to repurchase. Nosto’s service is platform-independent, which means that it works on all online store platforms.

The first steps of growth

The first steps of growth start with freeing up time to develop operations. The easiest way to do this, is usually to outsource logistics operations. The outsourcing of warehouse and logistics operations is no longer a privilege of only large companies.

When outsourcing logistics to a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) partner, the online store outsources its warehouse and thus, the dispatch notes, collection, packaging and the actual shipment of product orders. The order information of an online store is automatically transmitted to the system of a company that offers warehouse services, which then delivers the goods to the customers. A warehouse management system updates any tracking code to the online store, as well as the stock availability for each specific product.

Outsourcing logistics also allows for delivery peaks and cost-efficient deliveries around the world. You can focus on selling more and selling more often, without worrying about the resourcing of deliveries.

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