If there is one valuable lesson we can take away from 2020 as business owners, it’s that an online business is critical.
For many of us eCommerce is a totally new way of doing business. Now put that in the Mauritian context and you’ve got added complexities.
This little starter guide will hopefully ease out some of those complexities.
What are the basic moving parts of eCommerce?
- Your choice of an online “selling” platform
- A way to drive “eyeballs” to your platform. We call this web-traffic.
- An integrated online payment solution.
- A delivery partner.
It’s best to tackle this topic in a series of articles.
Here are a few tips to get you started on a winning eCommerce journey:
💡 Pick a Winner | Product or Service:
Make sure there’s both a market and space in the market for your product or service.
It can be a bit of a tight rope walk.
Do a google search of the most common phrases used to describe your products/services including the magic words “in Mauritius”. 🔍
From this search you should be able to gauge the competition. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing. It means there is likely an active buying market for your product. Too much competition may make breaking into the market tough… this will take your business intuition. 🤔
💡 Stand OUT from the Crowd | Product Images and Descriptions
When shopping online, your clients can’t touch and handle your products so the quality of your product images are of paramount importance.
Have a photographer take product images. If you’re on a budget, there are countless online resources for taking DIY professional looking product images. 📷
Of equal importance to your product images are your product descriptions.
This is not the time to bring out your inner poet. Avoid writing abstract airy fairy descriptions. ✒️
Clear and concise product descriptions, using the most common phrases in Google search are the way to go.
💡 Get your Ducks in Row | Merchant Account Application 🦆🦆🦆
By this time you should be thinking about what eCommerce platform and online payment solution you are going to be using. We naturally recommend MIPS for payments because we are both totally bias and totally awesome. 💳💳💳
But on a serious note, opening up a merchant account (special account for receipt of online payments) with your business bank will take like 4 weeks from the time of submission. SO GET GOING!
FYI if you apply for your merchant account with MIPS, you are guaranteed preferential rates as we act as a type of enabler between new merchants and the bank. SO GET GOING THROUGH MIPS!
💡 Build it and they will come | Online Selling Platform
Don’t get your knickers in a knot on this one. 👙 Building the perfect eCommerce website can take years to develop, but our advice is get to the market as quick as you can.
Start getting some traction and making online sales before you invest heavily in the “Rolls Royce” of eCommerce websites.
You have 3 simple options:
- Choose a “drag and drop” website technology and build it yourself.
- Find a developer to take on the build for you.
- Use the MIPS FREE eShops.mu platform.
1. Without cost or payment.
Example: “he paid absolutely nothing; not a damn cent; not one single Rupee. It was free”
💡 Kaching Kaching | Enable easy online payment 💰💰
At the point of payment using a trusted secure partner with a high level of UX (That’s fancy for user experience), there can be no compromise.
Having a potential customer find your website, fill their trolley with goodies, only to be dropped at because of a poor payment experience is… well… it’s just 💩
We therefore with total and utter bias recommend using MIPS. 🙌
💡 Make some Noise! | Advertise
It doesn’t matter if you’re the most beautiful girl in the room, if no one else is at the dance.
We’ll post more on this, but get get familiar with social and paid media platforms.
You are going to use these platforms to direct web traffic to your online selling platform.
You will need a budget for this to be effective. Even $5 can go a long way if you understand how to target your audience correctly.
Look out for new tips on Social Media Paid Marketing in future posts.