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Running a successful e-commerce business-LEARN HOW

Posted By Seller Panda comments March 3, 2015

e-commerce revolution

The e-commerce revolution: this picture would have made no sense 15 years ago

Introducing a simple framework for running a successful e-commerce business: get customers, serve customers, keep them coming back.

In my job as the marketing manager for SellerPanda, I speak with customers on a daily basis, to understand what their life and work are like. I’m constantly struck by the dichotomy of life as a small business owner running an e-commerce operation. On one hand, e-commerce is incredible. For the first time in history, anybody can open a store, with minimum capital investment, and be in the center of a global network of customers, distributors and suppliers, right from his house.  Because e-commerce has become so ubiquitous, it’s easy to grow numb to how revolutionary it really is. On the other hand, the daily reality of making a living through e-commerce can be overwhelming. There are a million obscure details that must be dealt with, decisions to be made, drudge work to be done. It is easy to get swamped. Even when you feel like you have a handle on things, there is always the nagging doubt-am I focusing on the right things? Am I allocating my resources properly?

customer acquisition funnel

Customer acquisition funnel

This is why many smaller e-commerce businesses outsource many of these decisions to the King Kong Brothers of the field, eBay and Amazon, who lend their domain expertise and economies of scale in areas like SEO and fulfillment in exchange for a sizeable chunk of every transaction. It’s a symbiotic relationship-the business owner gets to focus on the product and market, and the senior partner takes out some of the uncertainty. Other businesses prefer to keep their profit margins and control, and use e-commerce platforms ranging from Shopify to completely custom-built solutions, staying masters of their own ship, so to speak.

Whether they use Amazon, Shopify or a completely bespoke site, all ecommerce businesses have to overcome the same set of problems in order to achieve success. To put it very simply, they must find customers, serve customers and keep those customers coming back, in roughly that order by time and priority. In the upcoming series of posts, on this blog and others, I’ll be discussing different aspects of this framework in more depth.


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