Online business

Five characteristics of a successful online business

Ecommerce has been a growing industry for a number of years, but it has exploded as internet access has spread from our homes to our pockets.

The US online industry recorded more than $ 750 billion in sales in 2019 alone – which makes it the ideal place for new start-ups. But what is it that distinguishes a successful online business from an unsuccessful business?

Personalized experiences


One of the main ways for an online business to stand out from the crowd is through personalization of the customer experience. Successful online businesses tailor their websites and online platforms to the user in several ways; they may use cookies to learn more about their site visitors and to personalize suggestions from loyal customers. With platforms that require registrations for new customers, introductory quizzes can allow new users to ‘self-segment’, selecting options when prompted that will bring them relevant content, which ‘from suggested purchases to email campaigns. Push notifications, used judiciously, can increase sales by suggesting products or services to customers while they browse, and ‘abandoned cart’ reminder emails can entice customers to revisit the site, thereby increasing the returns. chances of sale.

Delivery and returns

Successful e-commerce businesses pay close attention to their delivery terms, ensuring that products reach customers intact, on time, and at an affordable price. Large companies that make volume profits can afford to pay for delivery above a certain transaction price, creating an incentive for customers as well as a perceived “supply”. Equally important, and even more so since the coronavirus pandemic, are the return processes when returns on online purchases have increased by almost two-thirds for 16-34 year olds. If a customer receives a defective product, they want to know that they can return it easily and at no additional cost.

Payment process

Ease of use is the dominant feature of the payment process of any successful business. Customers use a wide variety of banking services, from a good old-fashioned debit card to an online payment service like PayPal. Checkout’s integration with a variety of popular platforms makes the process more accessible. But different types of systems can retain customers – for example, integration of a loyalty program in an online store, where customers collect points per item purchased and can redeem those points at checkout. Funding services are also having an impact, with apps like Klarna allowing people to split their payment on a monthly basis.

Social media

Social media platforms provide a clear and easy way for businesses to promote their business, products, and message – and successful ones do it well. Facebook is a community site, allowing businesses to target specific demographics with sponsored posts and engage customers directly in the comments sections. Twitter is a much more concise site, but the lean feed format allows for even more direct communication, comment harvesting, and word-of-mouth marketing through hashtags. Meanwhile, Instagram allows companies to present their products in the best possible light.

Customer service


Perhaps the most important trait of a successful business that relies on repeated or continued custom, good customer service is the primary mechanism by which customers are retained: the first point of contact for any problem with a product or service. service, and an opportunity to do things right on a one-to-one basis. Customer service can also help with the onboarding of new customers, where the personal touch in a tweet or email query can be the last little thing to secure a sale.

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