Despite a few challenges, the eCommerce industry is developing rapidly in Africa and is expected to continue booming for the next number of years, especially in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, which are countries leading the eCommerce market on the continent.
If you’re thinking about launching your own online store, now is a good time as the opportunity for success is exciting and promising, especially for small businesses. To help you get off on the right foot, go through the following five general tips that have helped many new eCommerce businesses start well.
1 . Ensure everything is functioning before launching the site
Rushing or forcing the launch of a website is one of the biggest mistakes made by unsuccessful eCommerce entrepreneurs. You only have one opportunity to launch your website and it has to be up to standard. There’s nothing wrong with purchasing your domain name and putting together a “Coming Soon” page, however, you should try not to be too quick to reveal everything before all the groundwork, which could involve elements such as your site’s payment gateway, social media and content marketing, is satisfactory executed.
2. Carry out proper packaging processes
You want your customers to receive their package still in its original condition when it reaches their doorstep. The package may have to travel a long way before it gets to the receiver. To make sure your customers’ packages aren’t damaged in transit, you need to carry out proper packaging processes. See to it that packages are labelled properly and make use of suitable packaging material. You must also ensure that you are using a good delivery service for proper shipping and door-to-door handling.
3. Don’t leave social media behind
Whatever your products or services, you can’t afford not to have a social media presence. According to Maximize Social Business, social media is crucial to drive sales to your eCommerce site. Therefore, it needs your focus. A large part of this is a result of the fact that people value the opinions of others and are likely to be interested in something shared or referenced by a friend through a link. It is also important to keep in mind that the primary reason people spend time on social networks is for socialising – shopping is secondary. You can use social media to your advantage by using it to enhance the customer’s shopping experience.
4. Keep up with SEO practices
If you’re not adhering to SEO practices, you will be losing out on more clicks, and that means losing out on more sales. The eCommerce market is experiencing rapid growth, and more businesses will be competing against each other. This means you will have to stand out from the competition. In order to rank higher, you will have to stay on top of SEO. Learning more about SEO and keeping up with its practices will help your site remain competitive and sustainable.
5. Don’t stop learning and continue evolving
Finally, don’t be afraid of learning and trying out new things. You may get a few things wrong along the way but it’s important to take each experience as a learning curve. Technology, eCommerce trends, and what customers want will change, and so must your offering if you want to remain on top of the chain.
With these five tips, you can get the right start to having a successful eCommerce business. This article was written in collaboration with PayU.