The internet has spread to virtually every industry. In fact, there are many e-commerce stores than there are brick-and-mortar stores, and some of the largest companies today are online-based.
However, although the internet promises a lot of money-making opportunities, it nevertheless poses a wide set of risks and challenges. These risks have been getting worse of late, and some are so bad that they may cripple your entire business’ operations. However, you can still operate online and avoid the many risks and challenges on the web.
Here is an overview of some tips on surviving the internet world and, eventually, thriving.
Invest in Cyber Security
The world has recently witnessed a spike in the number of cyber attacks – just recently, there was a world-wide cyber attack that froze victims’ IT systems and demanded ransom. Businesses that were affected incurred heavy losses and lost the trust of their clients. All in all, smart businesses acknowledged the need to invest in cyber security.
Considering the threat posed by cyber criminals, it is advisable to invest in professional cyber security frameworks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a cyber security framework that is made up of five cores: Identify, Detect, Protect, Respond, and Recover.
NIST’s cybersecurity framework is superior in several key aspects. For starters, it is always up-to-date since cyber security is always evolving. Additionally, it places emphasis on preventing cyber-attacks rather than responding to them, hence preventing damages and losses. Finally, the framework can be easily tailored to suit a particular business – one-size-fits-all frameworks are not effective as businesses are different in many aspects.
Optimize Your Website
There are numerous businesses just like yours all competing for the top spot on Google’s search pages. However, the harsh reality is that only one website can take the top spot. Even sadder is the fact that many people don’t bother scrolling to the next page – some automatically click on the top links and ignore the rest.
Google takes several factors into consideration when ranking websites on its search pages. All these factors are categorized under search engine optimization (SEO), and they include:
- Providing Helpful Content
Many people who visit your website have questions they need answers to. They expect to find these answers on your website, and they trust Google to provide helpful resources. As such, the most important aspect of SEO is content. Depending on what your website is dealing with, it should discuss relevant issues to do with the goods and services you are selling.
- Easy and Quick Navigation
Websites with clattered interfaces are always a hustle to navigate. Even worse, websites that take long to load are unbearable. Many people who visit your website will judge it by its appearance – that is, if they can wait long enough for it to load. As such, it is always advisable to invest in a good web design services and ensure that all information on your website is easy and quick to access.
Networking is crucial even in e-commerce. In e-commerce, networking mostly involves linking with other relevant websites via backlinks. However, one should make sure to link to quality websites that will help improve reputation and ranking – linking to poor quality websites only lowers your website’s rank.
Optimize Your Software and Applications
In addition to a website, you may need software and applications to improve your online business’ reach. For instance, research shows that more people are switching to mobile devices for accessing the internet, hence the spike in the number of mobile apps.
Software and applications are also prone to cyber-attacks. Additionally, they are more complicated than websites, and failure to optimize them may cause embarrassing defects that may ruin your business’ reputation. To this end, it is very important to always have them tested and optimized before launching them to your customers. All your software and applications should undergo three types of application testing:
- Security Testing
Security testing takes priority considering the growing threat of cyber-attacks. It is designed to detect any security flaws with your software or application. It is crucial for ensuring that your software or application is secure against hackers who may cripple your business and put your customers’ information at risk.
- Functional Testing
Functional testing is designed to determine whether the application is working as desired. It seeks to identify any bugs and defects with the program. Should any defects be identified, the quality assurance process then recommends solutions and functional testing is conducted once again.
- Usability Testing
Considering how steep the competition is in e-commerce, one has to be creative to not only attract more customers but also retain the current ones. Creativity comes in many forms, among them being fun and engaging usability of the business’ applications and programs. In this case, creativity is assessed via usability testing.
Work with Major Retailers
Establishing a brand name in e-commerce is quite difficult considering the stiff competition – besides, some giant retailers such as Amazon have already dominated a big portion of the market. However, you can still exploit the numerous opportunities available online by riding on these giants’ reputation.
While you work on building your brand, you should consider opening an account with Amazon and selling your products on their platform. Amazon is already wildly popular, and most people buy solely on Amazon. As such, you will get a reliable flow of customers as long as you stay ahead of the stiff competition on the platform. With time, these customers will develop trust in your website and perhaps even shop directly from your platform.
You can also recruit affiliates who will market your products on their websites (remember, as long as they are of good quality) and on their Amazon affiliate accounts for a commission.
Surviving online takes different strategies, but the two primary strategies are security and conversions. Cyber security should be given great importance as the threat from cyber-attacks can be catastrophic. At the same time, you should market your online platforms, brand, and products in a smart manner to ensure that you make profits and stay in the game.