Creating and running an online business is a cutthroat operation these days. More and more companies are entering the online field and competing for pieces of a pie that, counterintuitively, shrinks while growing to encompass the entire world.
Having an excellent product is no longer enough to become successful. In addition, companies must have professional marketing plans, quality manufacturing and distribution and an infrastructure capable of handling their business and adapting to a volatile market.
Read also: These Mistakes Will Ruin Your Mobile Startup
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has become a crucial aspect of selling your product. Online sales are based on your potential customers finding your product. If your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking is too low, your product falls toward the back of the competitor’s pack and makes it difficult to find. Your competition, with higher Google placement, will get some of your potential sales.
Creating and running an effective SEM campaign brings your product, and, as importantly, your brand to the attention of your potential customers and clears the field of products or services that are similar to what you make. As the importance of SEM increased, brand name recognition has become considerably more important for online success than it was even a decade ago.
Read also: How to increase sales with a mobile app
Getting your product to your customers is also very important for your continued success. No matter what you make, whether it is a physical product or a service, getting it into the hands of your customers can be the difference between success and failure.
Amazon showed us the importance of distribution by revolutionizing how products are delivered to their customers. Two-day shipping has become the industry standard for delivering products.
When the industry changes, companies must change with it or make way for someone who will.
Long gone are the days when waiting 4 – 6 weeks for an item was considered standard. As business becomes more competitive, everyone looks for an edge.
Although it would be difficult to compete with Amazon’s shipping model, matching it – or coopting it – is a viable strategy to stay competitive.
Infrastructure, when discussing online business, is not about physical offices and distribution centers, although they are important. It is about the components needed to create a quick and easy method for customers to find, compare and purchase your products online without needless hassles and keeping the clutter created by online competition to a minimum.
Quality servers, appropriate software and robust eCommerce websites with effective technical support are as important to an online business as a quality location is to a brick-and-mortar retail store. Your online business is only as good as the parts that make it up.
If your Windows hosting service fails, your company is already operating with one foot in a bucket. Quality infrastructure and proper log management keeps your systems safe and customers happy while ensuring that your products are easy to find and order. Loss of service is kept to a minimum and problems can be tracked and corrected quickly and efficiently.
Online businesses cannot take any of these factors for granted. Success or failure can rest on the quality of your online business website but if your customers cannot find you or have to wait for weeks to get products they order then your competition will simply improve those aspects that you have neglected.
They may not make a better product, but they can offer better service and many times, that is all that matters for your potential customers.
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This is a guest post by Wendy Dessler.
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.