Three challenges of selling tech online

“Its easy – you just load a bunch of items onto a website, add a plug-in and within minutes you can sell your electronics and compete with Amazon.”

This was the conversation I had with someone who was just about to launch their e-commerce store.   This made me worry.

While technically she was correct, selling online has never been easier. But selling online, has also never been tougher.

On the one hand, technology has made it simple to list products online, and accept payment via credit card. But the competition is tough and being able to stand out is not a small feat –  particularly difficult as the competition is everywhere and more established.

Any e-commerce store wanting to be profitable, needs to be very strategic, offer the best deal, amazing customer services, and deploy targeted marketing just to stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

Having consulted with some of the top companies online retailers, I know that there are some challenges that e-commerce vendors quickly discover:

Researchers and Price Shoppers

Everyone’s journey starts at the Google Search Box. No matter how innovative or cutting-edge a tech device is, prospective customers usually don’t simply hand over their credit card without doing extensive research.

If you sell electronics on an online platform, you’ve likely done some research and price shopping yourself to see how your products and pricing compares to your competitors. Your customers are going to do the exact same thing before adding anything to their carts and checking out on your website.

So how do you compete if its not on price? Several stores chose to sell items at cost or even as a loss-leader. Being a loss-leader is selling product below market value in order to encourage customers to buy more overall. Using this strategy, online store owners can upsell, cross sell and increase the total shopping cart value.

Troubles Shipping Electronics

Underestimating shipping costs and complexity is usually where newbie retailers make one of their biggest mistakes.

Insurance and packaging are key components of shipping electronics safely and efficiently.

Whether you’re using a service like UPS and FedEx, or just going to the post office, make sure your package is properly insured just in case there is damage in transit. The extra fee will eventually pay off the one time your product arrives to your customer in pieces.

It’s also important to use the correct packaging materials.

When shipping electronics, e-commerce businesses should use corrugated cartons, air pillows and water activated tape. Corrugated cartons are cost-effective and, depending upon their construction, can hold a wide variety of weights and protect against moisture. Air pillows are important to keep items separated from each other and from the corners, sides, top and bottom of the box. It helps prevent items from moving around in the carton during transit. When the adhesive in water-activated tape is triggered, it penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton. As a result, it creates a strong seal that is tamper-evident.

Advertising Your Ecommerce Electronics Business

Key to success is understanding your market and what they’re looking for.

Selling tech and electronics means that the audience is likely to be millennials.  According to Sleeknote, 67 percent of millennials prefer to shop online, but you must market your products in a way that they can identify with. Millennials view their tech not as productivity tools, but as an extension of their image. If a product doesn’t have a positive effect on their desired self-image, they won’t purchase it.

E-commerce businesses can also target their prospects with customized marketing efforts and loyalty programs. Seventy-five percent of people prefer brands personalize their messaging and offers. What’s more, seventy-four percent of people get frustrated when content is not relevant to them, According to Aberdeen research. As for loyalty programs, it’s much easier to sell to an established customer base. The average conversion rate for new customers is one to three percent, and the conversion rate for a repeat customer is 60-70 percent. Loyalty programs reward repeat customers and encourage new one to keep coming back for new products and perks.

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