E-commerce is broad, complex, and ever-changing. Developing the right set of skills can help you skillfully navigate the online shopping industry.
Whether it’s growing your customer base, understanding the financial health of your business, or web technologies you need to know to create and design your site to make a great first impression, this article takes you through the top four skills that can help you build a successful e-commerce website. Plus, some actionable tips.
Let’s start off with…
The most crucial skill you need to start and grow your e-commerce store is marketing. It’s what allows you to attract new customers, grow your social media following, plan campaigns, and write compelling website content. Making this skill even more important than having the perfect logo. Or the right tagline. And WAY more important than even optimizing your site.
Because if you don’t have customers then you can’t make any sales. Having an optimized site, with an attractive logo and catchy tagline won’t make you money. Customers do. That’s what makes developing marketing skills so important when you’re just starting out. Learn how to get your site in front of the right people and the rest will follow.
How to Develop Marketing Skills
- Become an SEO expert. Yoast Online SEO training and Moz Academy are a great place to start.
- Know how to create complicated segmentations and run, track, and analyze campaigns from Salesforce Trailhead Academy
- Learn at least one advertising tool so you can create and test multiple Ads. The AdEspresso Course covers optimization of Facebook, Instagram, and Google as well as in-depth analytics.
Basic Web Technologies
You don’t have to be a world-class programmer to successfully build an online store. But knowing how to code (at least the basics) can be a huge advantage. For one thing, you won’t have to outsource every small technical aspect of running your business and burn through your savings, while also leaving your store in the hands of strangers.
Although e-commerce platforms like Shopify eliminate a lot of the technical aspects of running an online store. Once your business grows, working knowledge of basic web technologies gives you more control over your marketing efforts. And a greater chance of success.
How to Develop Web Technology Skills
- All web pages are built using HTML and CSS which you can learn from The Odin Project. In fact, what you’re reading right now comes from the instructions HTML tags give to browsers.
- Code Academy has a wide range of courses that cover how to make changes to an e-commerce website, add or remove elements, hosting fundamentals, and how to find broken pieces of code.
E-commerce entrepreneurs who understand data and use statistics to make decisions about how to invest in marketing have a higher chance of success. Mostly because data analysis impacts numerous marketing aspects.
From customer retention and promotion strategies to database segmentation, customer acquisition, and social media marketing. Here you don’t need to know how to make financial models or create pivot tables in Excel. You only need to calculate the number of people visiting your store. Know how much profit you’re making and the number of people bouncing off your website.
You should also understand your profit margins based on the pricing of your products. Plus, know the difference between margin and mark-up and how to account for taxes, shipping, and currency conversion costs in your financial statements.
Software like Google Analytics allows you to build meaningful reports based on a specific customer metric. You can use the information to analyze trends and patterns, so you know where you need to tweak your approach. And which strategy to eliminate because it’s not increasing traffic or improving sales.
How to Develop Data Analysis Skills
- Learn how to use Google Analytics to collect data on your website visitors, automatically create reports, or build your own customized reports.
- Understand the concept of cost per click from Google as well as pay per click to effectively measure the success of your campaigns.
A picture is worth a thousand. This statement holds true in the e-commerce industry. Customers judge businesses based on visuals- logo, site design, graphics, and product images. Having grainy photos with non-neutral backgrounds and complex murky logos drives away customers.
Even if you choose to outsource the design aspect of your business. Fundamental knowledge of how everything works make you more capable to judge good work from bad. You’ll also understand design lingo and give clear instructions to bring your vision to life.
How to Develop Design Skills
- Enroll in Canva Design School and get a design crash course.
- Join Canva Design Circle and Pinterest to get new design inspiration for your website, graphics, and ads.
- Hone your web design skills with free courses from Shopify Compass.
So there you have it. Get started today to develop the 4 skills you need to build your next successful e-commerce website. Who knows, it might be even more fun than you think.