Everyday questions often begin with the words “what”, “why” and “how”. To get interesting answers to these questions in future, I’ve put together my experiences of successful online retailers’ routines.
Make an operating plan but keep your ability to react
Online retailers often have similar goals. Everyone wants to achieve sales and growth. Successful online retailers have a clear operating plan. The plan extends over a period of several weeks. However, retailers are ready and able to be flexible when necessary and to make changes on the fly.
I also recommend writing an operating plan! Write a plan for the next half-year that assigns a theme to each week. When one theme is over, another begins. With the help of the plan you guarantee that the online store constantly has vigour.
90-day development cycle
In your plan, take the development of your online store as a larger entity into account too. It’s good for plans to bring the whole store forward and not just be based on fleeting campaigns. I recommend a 90-day period. A sufficiently long time allows you the opportunity to examine one big development idea. The aim could of course also include several steps which lead towards the main goal.
One bigger goal could be improving your online store’s conversion percentage. For this goal, a longer time period is needed. That way you can see better whether the steps you have taken have real benefit. As your online store develops, it needs planning, examination, conversations, implementation, as well as introducing the issue that has been developed into routines – in other words, learning and starting to use it.
Constant desire for new learning
I’ve observed that the online retailers who achieve growth faster than others combine the same attitude and philosophy of maintaining their online store. They have a shared desire for learning and a positive attitude.
They dare to have visions and talk about their goals, but they also have the skill of bravely asking for help and asking how something should be done in practice. They dare to experiment with new things. They understand that e-commerce means constant testing and thus they also dare to fail. Failure does not get them down, however. They test and experiment again once the previous test is over. Matters are not seen as black and white, but as a factor of many different things.
Allot time for inspiration
In an online retailer’s everyday life, time is limited and there is any amount to valuable knowledge around us to absorb – after all, it’s good to learn something new all the time. I advise you to focus on allotting time to that at the beginning of your online retail career so that you have time left over to develop yourself. Organize an environment around you and a suitable way of networking with which you can be inspired.
Successful online retailers interpret numbers and spend focused time on their online stores. It’s a good idea to test the functionality of your online store daily. Visit your store on your phone and tap different sections: browse the content pages, add products to the shopping basket, test how the shopping basket works, ensure that the payment process works…
Developing online retailers want to know what they can do better next and thus constant customer feedback and data generated from analysis are crucial. The more you are present in your store for your customers, the more valuable feedback you can get from them on developing your store.
Don’t just look at figures – interpret them
Various analytics apps exist to develop online stores. Successful online retailers extract all they can from apps like these daily or weekly. Read more about reading online store figures in this article.
However, looking at and monitoring data is not sensible if you do not make the time to interpret how they reflect your goals. Think about your online store’s key metrics alone or with others.
The Shopify dashboard is a good tool. It tells you at a glance what the trend of the day, week, month or quarter is.
Online store analytics give you answers, but you have to be able to interpret the figures correctly, and they must be inspected over different periods. Depending on your question, reflect and search for answers for the right period.
Recap! What do successful online retailers do?
- Write an operating plan: strive towards a goal, test, dare to fail, experiment again
- Inspect your advertising campaign budget from time to time and dare to drop ineffective campaigns
- Make time to be inspired, learn and network
- Analyze and interpret your store’s figures
Pinja Kuitunen, Customer success manager, Woolman