According to new research, some of the largest online retailers had a huge jump in sales last year, raking in over eight billion from August 2016 to August 2017. This equates to a significant increase of 23 percent in comparison to the year before. What researchers have found is that the main reason for this jump in sales is linked to smartphones and the fact that up to 85% of people are now choosing to shop from their smartphones instead of from their computers, meaning that they can shop wherever they are, whenever they want to. Of course, this increase is also due to the fact that an increasing number of people are choosing to shop online, rather than in store. This concept has been proven with statistics that show that traditional high street stores that also have online shops have had to rely on their online counterparts for growth. 

Taking all of that into account, when it comes to running an online business, it’s clear that there is huge potential for success. It’s just a case of knowing how to tap into that success and ensure that your business has every chance of doing as well as every other company within the industry. Today, due to the ease of starting a virtual business, competition in the retail sector is more fierce than ever before. So when it comes to running a business that has every chance of success, it’s vital that you know what you are doing and what steps you need to take. To make this a little easier for you, below are some tips and suggestions for mimicking the success that other virtual stores have had.


Invest in your website’s design


It doesn’t matter how amazing the products are that you sell, if you don’t have a well-designed website, your chances of business success will be low. No one wants to use a website that has been badly designed - why would they? Which is why when it comes to your company’s site, it’s vital that you invest in it, to guarantee a website that has been designed with the user in mind. It’s not just about the colour and style of your website, but also about how user-friendly it is. You see, if your site is hard to navigate and use, it will put people off of using it and will lose your customers. That’s why it’s so vital that you invest in your website and hire a professional to design it for you. (Whatever you do, unless you are an experienced web designer, don’t attempt to create your site yourself.)


Add a blog


Today, the majority of websites - particularly retail-based websites -have a blog attached to them. Having a blog on your website is another opportunity to bring additional traffic to your site, which is what makes it such a worthwhile thing to do. Of course, in order for your blog to be successful and bring traffic to your site, it needs to be properly SEO optimised, which will allow your site, as well as individual posts, to rank highly in search engines. Blogs that rank well and draw people to your site act as a stepping stone to your ecommerce store, encouraging people to take a look at it. In addition to this, a blog acts as a platform for connecting with your audience on a deeper level, because it allows you to create ‘expert’ content that informs your customers about different areas of your business and the industry as a whole, which is vital when it comes to your success. If you establish your company as a brand that offers specialist expertise in your field, you increase your chances of business success.


It’s rare for a company to only offer debit card payment as a payment option, there are more options like Paypal or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin


Offer various payment methods


An integral part of your company’s store is the payment methods that you offer. If you are going to build a business that is highly successful, then you need to think carefully about the customer service that you offer and what your customers expect from your brand, such as being able to choose from a wide range of payment methods, for instance. Today, it’s rare for a company to only offer debit card payment as a payment option, which is why if you are going to build a brand that will stand the test of time, you need to offer a range of payment methods. The most popular ones that companies tend to offer are payment via Paypal or with cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, in addition to debit card, credit card, and store card. If you are yet to offer a store card - AKA a buy now, pay later service - this is something that you should consider implementing.


Learn to source smart


It’s all well and good hearing about how other companies have managed to create a huge jump in terms of their sales, but what you need to know is how to mimic this and achieve the same results. If you are going to be as successful, one thing that is vital is that you only sell quality products. You can’t make the mistake of offering low-quality items, because if you do, your business will suffer as a result. Whether you create your products yourself or source them from other companies, it doesn’t matter - all that matters is that you don’t compromise on quality. To make the process of sourcing quality items easier, you could opt to visit a product sourcing service that focuses on Amazon and its suppliers. There are plenty of specialist sourcing companies that you can use to ensure that the items you are selling are of the highest quality possible.


Invest in an app


What with a high percentage of consumers using their smart devices to browse the internet, rather than using their PC, it’s important to think carefully about how mobile-friendly your brand can be. You will, of course have a fully responsive website that is suitable for mobile devices (or at least, you should do) but you can go one step further than that, you can create an app. Today, a lot of highstreet companies as well as online brands - look at ASOS, Boohoo and Missguided for instance - have specialist apps designed for them that make using them to shop much quicker and easier for smartphone and tablet users. If you want to give your brand every chance of success and have the funds to have an app built, this could be something that it’s worthwhile doing. Love the idea of creating an app for your business but not sure where to start? Contact an app design company and discuss your needs with them. With such a high percentage of online brands having an increase in sales by 23%, naturally you want to ensure that your online business is just as successful. Hopefully, by taking note of the suggestions above and implementing them, you can make the idea that you will be as successful as other online retailers a reality.