Barry Gough, Managing Director of the innovative F1 Memorabilia website mementoexclusives.com, gives us five tips on running a successful e-commerce business.
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PLATFORM: Choosing the right eCommerce platform can be very frustrating. There are so many to choose from and the best one varies on the size of your business and product requirements. It’s so important to get this basic decision right. Look out for hidden costs; especially making sure that your business won’t be penalised by hidden charges as your business and web traffic grows.
PRODUCT: Achieving the right product mix isn’t easy. It takes time and money to test product ranges and find out what’s right for your target consumers. Check with suppliers if they offer ‘drop-ship’ options rather than investing in stock as many are becoming more flexible with this. At the core of our range are our own upcycled race-used F1 car parts; we definitely find it more rewarding to be in control of developing our own product range rather than just ‘re-selling’ product.
With a small team, we’re lucky that we can react quickly to situations and change plans at the last minute depending on the situation.
PARTNERS: Building relationships with key suppliers and marketing partners will take time. It’s important for us to work with only UK manufacturers to produce our products, however, we have come across good and bad along the way. When you find a good partner it’s worth putting in the time and effort to make sure that it’s a mutually beneficial and long-term relationship.
PLANNING: With a small team, we’re lucky that we can react quickly to situations and change plans at the last minute depending on the situation. However, planning is important to make sure that we have a goal and tactics to achieve it. We have very detailed sales and marketing plans for the month ahead and always have our long-term strategic company vision in mind when making decisions.
PERSISTENCE: Obstacles have presented themselves all along the way whilst growing our business. Persistence is key; keeping a cool head in times of stress, putting challenges into perspective and looking back enough to evaluate what went wrong, but always focusing on the way forward.