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5 Skills you should acquire to start an online e-commerce business

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In a digital world today, and as a hungry entrepreneur, taking your products or services online gives your business a higher chance of success. However, venturing into e-commerce is never a walk in the park. From conducting research on your target market to choosing a favorable niche, knowing where to source your products, setting prices, selecting a variety of payment methods, and setting up a stunning yet effective online store website, it takes quite a lot before you can go live in e-commerce. However, all this is just the beginning.

There is a set of skills that every entrepreneur should possess before starting an online business if at all they’re aiming at nothing other than the success of their venture. I mean, what’s the point of starting up a business, only for it to fail a few months down the line after investing lots of time and thousands of dollars on it? You may not need to know everything there is to know about e-commerce, but here are 5 skills you should definitely acquire to start and attract customers to an online e-commerce business.

1. Sales and marketing

It goes without saying, that it is the number of people you manage to reach out to, and the sales you manage to make that keeps you in business. While you can hire a team to take care of your sales and marketing departments, it is important to possess these skills if you’re targeting nothing short of success with your venture. Especially at the point of starting up, the number of new customers you recruit and the ones that you manage to convert into sales will highly depend on your sales and marketing skills.

You’ll need to learn various techniques and strategies used in online marketing, including social media marketing, email marketing, developing content for your e-commerce site, planning promotions, creating stunning descriptions for your products, and so forth. Fortunately, the internet is there for you if you think that your marketing skills are still lacking. Click here to find out the benefits of hiring a dedicated digital marketing professional for your e-commerce site. One of the many benefits is that it allows you to concentrate your time and effort in other areas of your business such as management, seeking suppliers, and product sourcing while boosting the chances of your venture’s success.

During your free time, you can also try to master marketing techniques such as Instagram Influencer Marketing, Facebook Ads, and YouTube campaigns. You’ll also need to understand the kinds of Shopify apps that are more likely to increase your sales, how to create effective in-store ads, and how to come up with offers and promotions that not only attract visitors to your site but also maximize your sales conversions. You need to have mastered the art of persuasion and be an effective market and salesperson.

2. Basic Web Skills

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be the best programmer in town to start a successful e-commerce store. However, your online retail store will do better if you have an understanding of or possess web fundamental skills. With some of these skills, you don’t have to hire programmers every time there’s a small technical glitch affecting your online business or minor changes and updates need to be done on your site. This can sometimes be financially draining, which is something you don’t want for your new business. Some crucial web fundamentals you may want to understand may include:

  • Domain registration
  • Deep linking
  • URL redirection
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Setting up name servers

3. Customer service

Nothing can possibly bring your online business to its knees than the lack of proper customer service skills. Owning a store come with multiple responsibilities and even if you’ll have a customer service team ready to handle all queries, complaints, suggestions, refunds, and feedback, there are many instances where your intervention will be required along the way. For this reason, it is important to have customer service soft skills such as communication, conflict resolution, empathy, listening, taking responsibility, among others, as well as organizational, collaboration, subject expertise, and workload management, just to name a few.

These will allow you to put the customer’s needs first and keep them coming back even for those who were unhappy after their first purchase. These skills will make it easier for you to establish long-term relationships with both first-time and returning customers. As you understand their needs better, you can always make changes to accommodate their preferences, especially where issues of quality and variety are imminent. From reviews and the feedback your customers give on products they bought from your online store, you can always get an idea of whether to restock the same product, get a new supplier or shove it already.

4. Project management

Creating a successful online retail platform that will also be sustainable requires you to have a considerable level of project management skills. The main reason is that as an e-commerce entrepreneur, you’ll have multiple channels to take care of, including marketing, inventory, finance, and logistics, just to mention a few. On top of having the general skills on project management, you’ll want to familiarize with tools like Trello, Breeze, Blossom, Clarizen, Airsheets, Flock, Asana, and Slack, which are basically productivity apps and web-based platforms created to make your project management functions easier and more efficient.

5. Numeracy and analytical skills

To become a successful e-commerce entrepreneur, you’ll also need a good level of numeracy and analytical skills. These skills will allow you to analyze data, assess patterns, and predict trends. They’ll also allow you to understand the financial implications of stocking certain products on your store or investing in a certain project. You’ll be able to track your sales, manage inventory, get an outlook of expenses, and make quick estimates of predicted revenue without struggling so much. These skills will, in the long-run, be crucial in your decision-making on matters affecting your business.

In the wake of technology, e-commerce is among the best-paying industries of this age and day. However, the business often comes with lots of responsibilities and challenges, which may only increase as your venture grows. With the above few skills, however, it can be easier for your newly-launched e-commerce business to not only survive the first few years; but also thrive to become a household name in your local area, region, or even internationally.

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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