Top eCommerce Companies: How to be Great and Who is

Ecommerce has exploded over the past decade.  Many people have left their daytime jobs to start an online eCommerce site, allowing them to earn money from the comfort of their own home.  Amazon and eBay are two of the world's top eCommerce companies and for good reasons: they understand eCommerce, they understand their customers, and they continually strive to provide superior service to their customers.  Let's explore a few of today's top leading eCommerce companies and take a look at how they have established such massive success.

Who Are the Top eCommerce Companies?

Image via Flickr by fsse8info There's a good chance you've made a purchase from eBay.  This online retailer is well-known for its red, blue, green, and yellow logo and has become a sensation among people looking to purchase products online.  Unlike many sensational fads, though, eBay has managed to stick around for many years and there's no sign of it going under.  Founded in 1995 as an online auction platform, the site has now expanded into more of a conventional buy-it-now platform. Next, we have Amazon, and there's a good chance you've made a purchase from this site as well.  Much like eBay, Amazon is a buy-it-now site.  Unlike eBay, it doesn't offer an auction format.  Amazon makes more money than any other company in the world.  When it first started out, Amazon was simply an online bookstore.  Through the years, the developers took note of online shoppers' demands and quickly adjusted the site's offerings to match those demands. Rakuten is a company based out of Japan that was founded in 1997.  Operating as the country's largest bank, the site also serves as an online shopping platform as well as a credit card payment processing company.  Altogether, the eCommerce company operates more than 70 businesses.  The company has found much success in diversifying its offerings. You've probably heard of Groupon.  This eCommerce site acts as an eCommerce marketplace where customers can find great deals on an endless amount of products and services.  Business owners advertise their services through Groupon at a discounted price and when a customer purchases a discount,  Groupon keeps a commission. It's a win-win for everyone.

What Makes an eCommerce Site Successful?

If you're wanting to start your own eCommerce website, you'll definitely want to follow in the footsteps of industry leaders.  Since no two businesses are exactly the same, though, it's imperative to understand that all eCommerce sites face their own unique challenges.  Still, there are certain character traits that remain the same among all eCommerce industry leaders.  Let's take a closer look at six of them.

Solid Marketing Strategy

Successful eCommerce companies put together a solid marketing strategy.  They study their customers using analytics and then use their findings to shape their marketing tactics.  They understand that that online customers can come to them via multiple channels, so they segment their marketing strategies to appeal to each platform. For example, an advertisement on the company's social media profile is going to look much different than an advertisement sent to customers through an email.  All of the advertisements, though, point the customer back to the eCommerce site to make a purchase.

Invest in Robust Software

You're probably not going to find much success in selling your products through Facebook only.  You need to invest in a robust eCommerce website that can fully meet the needs of your company.  Today's leading companies spend thousands each year on eCommerce software.  Those who build a Magento store using the Enterprise Edition spend at least $22,000 a year for the license cost alone.  Although this may seem expensive, it's actually quite affordable once you consider the fact that these companies do millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Provide Customers with User-Friendly Interface

If customers have to click back and forth between pages and scroll up and down just to make a purchase, they are likely going to take their business somewhere else.  In fact, they will opt for an eCommerce retailer that delivers a user-friendly interface.  Today's top companies understand that the design of its site is just as important as its product. You will likely need to hire a professional web developer to ensure your site is user-friendly.  Just like with big companies, you're going to pay a significant amount of money to a web developer.  It's not uncommon for some of them to charge upward of $200 an hour for their services.

Ability to Meet Customers' Demands

You can't sell products online and then inform your customers you don't have that product once they go to purchase it. You must secure your supply chain and make sure you have a plentiful supply of your top-selling products. Today's top eCommerce companies have supply chains set up with multiple vendors to ensure they can always meet the needs of their customers.

Offer Minimal Discounts

Top eCommerce companies understand the importance of being cost-effective. It is very tempting to slash your prices and still make a profit, but once you do, this is what becomes expected of you. Plus, it results in other companies dropping their prices. To achieve long-term success as an eCommerce store, you must be cost-effective in your pricing strategies. Offering a minimal discount here and there is okay, but don't make it a habit.

Provide Superior Customer Support

Lastly, the single most important characteristic of today's top eCommerce companies is superior customer support.  You must be willing to go above and beyond for your customers any time they have an inquiry.  If you don't have the resources to answer all of their inquiries, you need to invest in them.  And don't think of it as an investment. Instead, think of it as a valuable asset that is going to help fuel revenue by ensuring your customers' needs are being met. Are you ready to build an eCommere store?  If so, don't view today's top eCommerce companies as competitors. Instead, lean on them as a valuable resource for knowing how to achieve maximum success.