According to Siteefy, as of January 2021, there are about 2 billion active websites online. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook boast of innumerable businesses.
Large corporations, today, push their A&R and marketing team to establish an online presence for their businesses. Apps litter Google Playstore, and everyday, innovative solutions become profitable online businesses.
Zoom, Twitter, Linkedin, Upwork, GoFundMe, Instagram, Google, Microsoft, React.Js, WordPress, Shopify, Canva, Adobe Illustrator, are only a few online businesses in the world, and everyday, the list grows.
If you are an online entrepreneur looking to launch a unique product, you are in my the same shoes I was a few decades ago when I launched my first online business. Here are a few things I wish I had known before I started my online business.
Customer! Customer!! Customer!!!
Many people often carry the myth that online business models automatically mean inexhaustible pool of clientele—after all, Instagram has over a billion people and more than 4 billion people in the world have access to the internet.
The online market works differently from the on-ground market; however, they both share a few principles including, a lack of customers mean a lack of business.
- Understand your niche and set reasonable expectations.
- Understand your competition and the market.
- Ensure you do thorough feasibility studies on your product—or services, before launching full throttle. Don’t sell a product that people do not want to buy.
- Understand the psychology of selling: People buy what they feel other people want; people buy stuffs with their hearts and emotions and rarely with their heads.
- Appeal to a certain satisfaction: It could be luxury, simple integration with other platforms, stress reduction, accessibility, or seamless payment.
You need to keep up with the current trends all the time, specially marketing trends. Marketing is the bloodline of any good business—yep, even the tech heads hire marketing and media gurus to make their products more appealing to the market.
Good marketing may—or may not save a bad product; but if a company is lackadaisical about the marketing—and thorough marketing strategies, its product may become oblivious to people—even if the product is good.
Here are a few marketing tips for online business models:
- Listen to feedback: I see many online entrepreneurs get caught up in their products that they fail to hear what their customers say. During the Global Pandemic, Zoom created a platform dedicated to meetings.People needed an online space where they could easily connect with business partners and Zoom was the answer. Zoom beat Skype to consumers even though Skype had a much early entry into the online meeting market.
- Use influencers: Influencers may not necessarily give you sales; however, they give your product visibility and credibility. If consumers trust your product, they will buy from you. What better way to gain a consumer’s trust than through an influencer he admires?
- Track your growth: While your website is on the world wide web, you still have to track your sales demographics. It’s important to have a complete overview of the people who buy your products.
Ease of Access
An online business should be easily accessible to all. Great graphics is good, but your website should have a clear ‘Contact Us’ section on all pages. Also, if you are just starting out, you must be accessible to clients.
If your client base is large, invest in a professional customer service team who can swiftly handle the needs, queries, and frustrations of your customers.
Before starting any kind of business, it’s always better to learn from the ones who paved the way. By doing so, you’re already learning the crucial things without having to experience failure first-hand.