All businesses would love to go online and straight away watch the orders roll in. Unfortunately, no matter whether you are a new business or an established brand, online marketing and selling can be extremely tricky. More and more shopping is being done online and e-commerce has never been more profitable, but with so many brands, and new businesses emerging all the time, it can be difficult to get ahead of the online competition.

However, there are certain steps that a business can take to make sure that their online presence gets off to the best start possible. Below are some of the top tips for setting your business up online, attracting customers, and then making sure that your first-time buyers become loyal repeat customers:

Make sure your website looks professional

This may seem like a given, but it is important to note anyway: Every single part of your website should look professional, with a sleek design. Your site needs to be easy to navigate, filled with all the information a potential customer might need, and with no spelling mistakes.

If your site looks anything less than legitimate, or if the purchasing-process is messily set up or hard to navigate, your future customers will not buy your product. It is important that a potential customer feels like they can trust your brand, especially if they have never heard of it before, so do not give them any reason to think that your business is anything less than credible and legitimate. Honest Product Reviews is an example of a site that has done a good job branding themselves. Online product reviews can be disingenuous, and everything from their About page to their long-form content displays a sense of trustworthiness. Follow their content style if you want a good guide on building a complete site.

Luckily, you do not have to be an IT-expert to set up a professional-looking website. There are plenty of programs and software that can help design not only a beautiful website but also specialized landing pages. Design a page and get some feedback from colleagues or loved ones before launching it.

Now if you really want to get the easy way out, there are plenty of web hosting providers out there that can help you to set up a website from scratch. Some of them even have website builders that make the whole process even easier. Overall you have plenty of options to choose from when building a website with no knowledge about this.

Select and target your customer base

What kind of product are you selling, who would it appeal to, and how do you best target your marketing towards that group?

If you are a clothing brand selling quirky and colorful clothing aimed at teenagers, maybe do not spend time and money advertising on business blogs. Instead research how to best utilize social media platforms in marketing your products online, set up a marketing strategy and get going.

Make sure that you have every aspect of your digital marketing strategy planned out and ready before you launch a campaign. There should be no kinks in the machinery: there is not much use in a potential customer clicking on an advert on Facebook, if that advert leads to a broken link or if the product is not ready for purchase yet. Not only would such issues frustrate the customer, but it would also damage their belief in the credibility of your brand.

Provide personalized content (and do it easily)

Several studies have shown that personalized content vastly improves sales. By using Marketing Automation software, you can create personalized content and communication for your customers, while also saving time and money that you can then spend on growing other areas of your business.

Marketing Automation software handles a lot of the repetitive tasks that come with gaining and retaining customers, such as sending standard campaign emails (welcome emails, newsletters, order confirmations, etc.), and it can send out personalized content, such as a special offer on the customer´s birthday. Furthermore, it can help you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, thereby enabling you to improve your digital marketing strategy continuously.

Know when to outsource

Selling products online can be expensive, especially for a new or small business. It is therefore worth considering whether to outsource your order fulfillment to an Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Service.

Not only can an Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Service help you save money on storage and shipping costs, but by taking over the tasks of packaging, shipping and invoicing it can also free up time, which you can then spend on promoting your brand and gaining more customers. Furthermore, it can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your customers are receiving their orders in a professional and timely manner.

Listen to your customers

Your customers are your bread and butter; without them, you have no business. So it is extremely important that you listen to their feedback, both the good and the bad. Not only can it help you grow your business, but customers tend to return to businesses they feel listen to them. Listen to what they have to say and improve on what they do not like, while also keeping and enhancing the aspects of your business that they enjoy.

Social media listening tools can help you track your business´ social media presence. Not only can they help you schedule when to publish social media posts, but they can keep track of what your customers are saying about your brand online.

If you are looking for more specific feedback from your customers (maybe you want to know what they think of your website or whether they like your weekly newsletter), get some customer survey software. It can assist you in creating professional-looking surveys, which you can then send to your customers.

You can even target the customers you want feedback from. For example, maybe you have noticed that most of your customers are first-time buyers instead of returning customers. To get more repeat customers, you can create a survey regarding the buying experience and send it out to all your first-time buyers. It will help you pinpoint what part of the buying process needs improvement in order to gain more repeat customers.

Keep on top of the practicalities

Last, but certainly not least: it may be a bit tedious, but it is extremely important that you keep on top of all the practical aspects of running a business. Invest in programs that can help you keep on top of invoicing and your finances. Furthermore, make sure you have some good E-signature software, so that you can quickly and easily send and receive signed documents.