“How to build a Great E-Commerce Company,” on the Inc website is a perspective offered by Rudina Seseri, a principal in Fairhaven Capital, a venture capital firm; and while she points to the brick-and-mortar successes of Best Buy and Ann Taylor, she zeroes in on the mega online-stars like Amazon and Orbitz:
“…they have developed extremely efficient operations, powerful analytics engines and incentive-based programs to drive customer purchases.”
A summary of her advice includes these considerations:
1. E-commerce in the traditional sense. Technology makes running an eCommerce more efficient, from sourcing products to the managing of inventory and customer service issues. A better way to handle the workload is to pool together functions like storage, networking and software programs at the server level—virtualization.
2. Content: Think ‘original’ reviews, and content that really engages your customer to help him decide what to purchase on your site; furthermore, develop content that positions you as an ‘advisor’ that can offer ways your customer decide when and how to shop.
3. Community: It’s all about the power of many, those customers who will promote your brand through the maze of social media channels; set up your promotions with leveraging that “customer and fan base” in mind.
4. Personalization: Keep it relevant for your customer by using data about his likes; follow up with all requests he might have, knowing the more you engage the customer, the more likely he will keep coming back…and bring his friends.