2021 is finally here! Last year was a period of time which most people around the world were waiting for to end. As the new year is here, everyone is full of hope. People make new year’s resolutions, and many of them are planning to start a new business in ecommerce. We would like to help those who just decided to open an online store and give them advice on how to succeed in 2021.
If you are one of those people whose new year’s resolution for 2021 is to open an online store, reading this article can be the first step for you to take to accomplish your goal. We collected the 21 best pieces of advice for you for 2021 that help you on your way to success with your ecommerce business.
You have probably heard of dropshipping, aren’t you? If not, what you have to know about it, in a nutshell, is that you do not need to invest in physical inventory before making any purchase. If a customer orders a product from your e-store, your supplier will deliver the package directly to your customer unless you decide to ask for it to arrive at your place first. There is no bulk physical product management.
It is just the beginning of a great adventure, not only regarding the new year, 2021 but also regarding your new business plan.
21 Tips to Succeed in Ecommerce in 2021
Here below you can find our well-picked advice that can be useful for you if you are a beginner in the world of ecommerce in 2021. It will be a thorough guide. We elaborate on different kinds of topics, and we also examine details that probably you wouldn’t think of. If you take only one piece of advice, you gain an advantage in the market for sure. We focus on both driving and starting an online store.
1. Sell Quality, Useful, And Unique Products
Do research, and check what item is missing from your target audience’s market in 2021. Also, think about what is something you needed in the last one-two years but you couldn’t get it locally, and you didn’t even find an online store that would have covered your needs. Make sure you are not just one in a million. Do not sell something that every second store sells. Make sure people need what you are planning to offer them, or that there is a high chance that they will become interested in your items. It is also very important to sell high-quality products. Do not make customers be disappointed.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Before you start selling you must define your buyer persona. It is a necessary step to take at the beginning of 2021 so you can build your ecommerce strategy on it. Identifying your target audience is most important regarding an effective marketing activity. Based on this, you can decide on the message you would like to convey. It is about defining the similar characteristics of people you think your products fit the best. There are many factors you can use to define your buyer persona. For example demographics, job details, hobbies, goals & challenges, values & fears, psychographics & identifiers, buying behavior, influences, their buying preferences.
3. Define a Message
You need to have a unique identity, and you have to stick to it. This message has to be related to the products you sell, and to the year 2021 too. Why do you sell those eco-friendly products? Because you are taking steps for a better life. Your message can be related to saving the Earth. A message can be conveyed by written and visual content. Use it in your marketing activities, and on your website. If it is possible, write about it in a menu on your website so your potential customers can learn more. How to define a message? Think about why you want to sell that item, and how you can make people’s lives better with it.
4. Check Your Competitors
It is not useful only in the beginning to keep an eye on the competition, but it worth checking them later as well so you can always be aware of the trends, or to see what customers like or don’t like. Do not go and copy another store. Check more companies, list the advantages and disadvantages. You need to see what makes people be attracted to their store. Make sure you can offer something that is better than what your competitors have in 2021. It can be related to the product selection, the shipping options, payment type + more. Don’t check only those who are working in the same geographical market as you. Look at the biggest brands too for inspiration.
5. Develop a Business Strategy
Before you actually open the online store, answer these three questions first. What do you want to sell? Why? How? Make sure your products and service can help people, your target audience. Another factor of a business strategy is related to finances. Create a list of your expenditures, about the one-time and the ongoing costs. Set a goal of profit. It is important to make sure you won’t spend more money than you can afford. Define your goals and what you want to accomplish with your business, describe the legal structure. It can be also useful to do SWOT analysis (your Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.)
6. Choose Local Suppliers for Fast Delivery
No matter how fast delivery a company from overseas promises to provide, it will never be as quick as what a local supplier can offer. For having a successful online store in 2021 it is a very important factor to provide quick shipping. Otherwise, customers will choose another store that ships items in 1-3 days. It is quite unbelievable that there are still e-stores who are brave enough to offer products with 30-60 days delivery time. In 2021 it is something you should definitely forget. Work with only local suppliers, with companies from your own country, or companies who are from your country neighborhood. Customers want everything “now”!
7. Ask For The Product to Arrive at Your Place First
If you want to offer an outstanding service in 2021 it is useful to always ask the supplier to deliver the products to your own place first, and not directly to the customer. Yes, you can read everywhere that the advantage of dropshipping is that you do not have to stock products initially. I am also not talking about it. What I mean here is called remote warehousing. The products will be still delivered one-by-one by the supplier. But the items will arrive at your place first, you can give unique packaging to them. It is another reason why it is useful to work with local suppliers so the delivery time can stay short!
Also, if you work with more suppliers, and the customer picks items that are from different companies, they won’t receive packages on different days. The packages can wait for each other at your place and you can put them into one box. Promote your brand on the packaging. It is a great marketing tool, as everyone can see your logo when the box is just laying on a desk.
8. Place Gifts in The Package
In 2021 it is a winning idea to place gifts in the package that will arrive at your customer. If you want them to like you more, surprise them, and it is likely that they will return to your store in the future. You can choose if you want customers to know about the gift in advance or only when they are opening the box. If they know about it in advance, you can offer them the chance to pick which surprise they want to receive, or you can give the same item to all purchases. It can be a product sample, some sweets, and snacks, a greeting card, a pen, a notebook with your brand logo on it.
9. Offer Packages
Create package deals in your online store in 2021. Select your most popular products in a box and sell it at a discounted price. Another version of a box can include small size products, for example, small bottles of makeup. With the help of this, customers can try your items at a lower price, and you can convince them you provide high-quality products.
You can make them be your long-term fans. If you are selling items related to a hobby, you can create a starter package that is a great help for beginners who don’t know what tools are needed for that activity. Offer customers great deals with your packages.
10. Automate The Product Data Uploads & Updates
One of the most stressful things is when you have to update the product data changes manually. Luckily, nowadays there are services that can help you automatize this time-consuming process. If you have a supplier’s data feed file, use an application that will automatically update the price and stock changes, upload the new arrivals, and hide those products which are not available anymore. There are marketplaces where you can pick suppliers from, and which services manage all of the aforementioned necessary technical settings. You can not only have these updates be automated but the order flows can be as well. Have always up-to-date product stock and price in your online store from 2021 to avoid complaints from customers.
11. User-friendly Website & Great Customer Service
Provide the best service for your customers. Have great customer service, answer to all messages you receive in not more than a few hours. Offer customer support in email, and on social media (Facebook, Instagram) as well. Be kind to people, consider using emojis as well. React with some kind words to each comment under your posts. Make sure people will like you and they will tell their friends how cool you are.
Another key element of providing the best for your customers in 2021 is having a user-friendly website where it is easy to find every necessary information about the company and the products. The online store should have great product filter options, and it should be mobile-responsive.
12. Don’t Forget: People Judge by The Book’s Cover
Build a fascinating online store. It should look great, have nice visuals, design. If you are using a basic plain template that lacks every kind of creativity, you won’t stand out from the crowd in 2021. The design should be engaging, you need to use high-resolution, high-quality photos. Ensure the site is mobile-responsive. Approximately half of the customers use their mobile phones for online shopping worldwide. If your online store looks old-school in 2021, in the negative meaning of this term, the first click your visitors will make when they land on your website will be on the escape button.
13. Talk About Yourself
Create an awesome About Us page on your website. Tell your story, talk about your products, tell who you offer your items to. Share what your motivation is, and be a motivation for customers to order from you. It is more personal if you tell who you are, or when and why you started the business. In the meantime try to avoid adding too much information, do not write endless paragraphs. You can also show your achievements here.
If someone checks this page it is a sign that the person is interested in you. Do not waste this opportunity to get a new fan. It can happen that people will leave your online store because they can’t find any information about your company, and they won’t trust you at all!
14. If Your Visitors are Insecure, They Won’t Buy From You!
Build a store and brand that visitors can have trust in. They need to see a well-structured and well-designed website with great products that have nice imagery and detailed description. You need to provide every important information about yourself, your products, shipping, the refund policy, and everything. If they are not sure you are a reliable company, they will be afraid to buy products from you. We are in 2021, and you need to realize that people are not ignorant about what is going on in the world of the internet and ecommerce. Be honest with customers, and do not play games.
15. Give More to Your Customers Than What They Expect
How is it possible to give more to customers than what they actually expect in 2021? You can surprise them with gifts: samples, or a complete, original product. You can provide discount codes after purchase, or a coupon for $10, or even free shipping for the next purchase. You can include a greeting letter to the box that is informative as for your products, and you can add some branded gifts too like a pen, fridge magnet, pocket calendar.
16. Create a Loyalty Program
You can have a top-notch online store in 2021 if you reward your customers for their loyalty. Let customers get a membership at your site. Reward your customers after each purchase, or after their first purchase, or when they reach a certain price limit.
Customer retention, to increase conversions should be more important for online stores to focus on than getting new partners. It is because you can have a customer base who often returns to your store, whose purchase you can expect from time to time as a “fix income”. Once they are satisfied with what you provide things will be easier for you because you don’t have to convince them again that your store worth buying from. What you have to do is to care about them, and offer them unmissable offers, discounts, gifts.
17. Have Outstanding Marketing
Without marketing, you can’t start selling with your new online store. It can be your family members or friends who will buy from you in the beginning. Or you can use the word of mouth marketing. There are many ways of how you can manage marketing activities, and where. There are the traditional offline channels or flyers. What you can manage online, and what is a must to manage is being present on Facebook and Instagram.
Moreover, email marketing is also very important especially so you can convince your customers to return to your store. You can use paid ads too—social media, Google Ads—, but there are other methods as well. You need to learn to be patient, and persistent. If you do everything correctly regarding your business, orders will come. Do not forget about the power of remarketing as well.
18. SEO is Key
When you are building your website make sure it is SEO-friendly. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It generates free, organic traffic for you, and you need people to be able to find you on search engines. Use SEO keywords in your products’ titles and descriptions and on your whole website. SEO helps you rank higher in search engine results.
Do not forget about your blog as well where you need to publish articles regularly. The content has to be rich in keywords. It won’t help you rank higher in search engines immediately, you need to be patient, but do not give up, it will have a fruitful result, and it is free for you. Unless you need to hire a new colleague to write articles.
It also matters what kind of keywords you are using. You have many competitors on the market, and you can’t beat the biggest brands by focusing on keywords such as “fashion”, “shoes”. Instead of this, you can use, for example, waterproof floral pattern boots. Try to use specific keywords.
Many online store owners do not even care about SEO, that’s why you need to pay attention to it. You can use tools that help you how to leverage SEO the best.
19. Focus on Selling the Experience, Not the Product
You have a message with your brand. You are representing something with your products. For example the low-waste lifestyle. When you are promoting your products, promote this lifestyle, and tell customers how they can make their life better with your items. The result is a key element. Position yourself on the market based on this. Creativity is essential.
It is really hard to find a product to sell that no one else is selling in 2021. This is why you have to focus on the way you are selling that item and focus on the remarkable experience your service can mean to customers. They can be emotionally attached to this experience and the lifestyle you represent.
20. Infuse Value in Everything
It is a basic requirement to sell products that have high-quality. However, having a successful online retail business that people are satisfied with is not only about this in 2021. Every detail about your e-business has to represent good value. Your website has to be user-friendly and fast, you have to offer more payment and shipment options, various product filter settings. Write about every important detail, have nice product descriptions and high-quality images. Offer relevant product recommendations, and make sure your social media activity represents value as well.
21. Be Patient
Last but not least, a bit of advice you should take is to be patient. Not only at the beginning of 2021 when you are just building the store and business. You will have to stay patient with your customers, with your supplier clients, and with every company with who you are cooperating. Kindness and patience should be your main qualities, and these acts will return in your life and business.
Did You Find Our Advice For 2021 Useful?
2021 is a year that everyone is waiting for. People around the world are full of hope that better things will come than what the previous year was about. It is always important to think positive. Focus on your dreams! We encourage you to do your best regarding your new year’s resolutions for 2021. Take all or some of our advice from above, and succeed in ecommerce with your new business in 2021, and after.
For more useful details about running an online store in 2021, read our other informative articles:
- Starting an Online Store: 10 Best Criteria to Consider
- High-ticket Dropshipping VS Low-ticket – Which Strategy Brings More Profit?
- Wie man mit dem Verkaufen auf Shopify beginnt und erfolgreich wird mit 10 Schritten?
- How to Find Reliable US Dropshipping Suppliers
- Get to Know What Branding is and Soar with Your Store
- Why is it Worth Creating a Blog for Your Shopify Store? – Tips and Tricks
- You Have Traffic, But No Sales?
- What Makes a Successful Online Store?