Supreme Landscaping Products

If anyone says that E-commerce is an easy way to create a quick and successful business it's probably worth asking them how long they've been doing it and if it's more than a week or two, then asking them to prove what they're saying. 

E-commerce is not simple, it really isn't, it's certainly not quick or easy, and I guarantee it takes a multitude of business strengths to do it well.

First and foremost, the most important issue is getting some great products to sell that people definitely want to buy; if you've got that covered or at least you think you've got that covered, it's probably worth your while reading this article and getting a few tips.

It doesn't really matter what you are selling as long as you've got good quality products, you can get enough stock to keep up with the demand, your delivery is reliable and cost effective and you've got a good service team looking after your customers.

If you think traditional communication such as telephone calls and emails won't be necessary in the E-commerce process and you don't think you'd be good at that kind of communication, you may as well stop reading this article now.

You will need to communicate with your buyers, I can guarantee that 100% and it'll be a lot, for a host of different reasons - I can guarantee that too.

Online service requires great communication skills

OK, you've got great products, you can handle calls and emails from customers with all kinds of questions (some you might not believe) and you are ready to get to work, but how do you handle the set up?

Will you use a Magento, WordPress, Shopify, eBay or maybe Amazon to sell your products?

The biggest issue with the likes of professional platforms such as Amazon and eBay is the cost of doing business, check out costs in detail before making a decision and it could be that your products are better suited to eBay than Amazon or vise versa?

Do some homework, see where your competition is? Why are your competitors where they are and have they made the right decision? Do some benchmarking.

Clearly, it's best to have your own website, here's a look at ours.

Supreme Landscaping Products continues to grow

When we first started out as an E-commerce company supplying landscapers and builders with products we thought they would need on a daily basis we didn't have a great selection of products available, we were testing the waters and I still believe that's a good way to get started.

Initially, we had a selection of health and safety garments like Hi-Viz jackets and coats, some work wear clothing, a few different types of steel toe capped boots, some industrial cleaners, some paving compound, natural stone cleaners and some different types of sealers for stone like limestone, sandstone and traditional concrete and blocks.

As a start up company our staff came from a mixture of construction management, property development and marketing disciplines, but the E-commerce sector was all very new and luckily we chose good suppliers who helped us along the way. Be very, very selective about who you partner with, there's far more to a good working relationship than just good margins.

If you've looked through our website you'll see that a lot of the original products mentioned above are no longer available.

Azpects products on the Supreme Landscaping Products website

 

However, based on the popularity of some of our products we have added more from our preferred suppliers, again, not simply based on margins, but based upon their good service and their developing product range.

Hard Landscaping products on the Supreme Landscaping Products website

Finding new products for your customer base can take a lot of effort but if you want your company to grow it's essential.

So far this year we've added:

Border Stoneware Statues, Garden Ornaments and Furniture

We will soon be adding a lot more products which really helps maintain our position as the fastest growing online hard landscaping products supplier in the UK.

Consistency is key when trading online, we knew that our regular courier company was great at delivering tubs of paving compound, natural stone sealers and cleaners across the UK but would they be able to deliver a tonne of sandstone, a stone statue of Bacchus or stone wishing well?

Fortunately, it seems that they could and our product categories have grown and grown and many of these larger, heavier products have proved to be a great success for us.

We haven't just developed our website here at Supreme Landscaping Products, we've also implemented Amazon and eBay and successfully. 

One of the main benefits of not using your own website are the costs of hosting, upgrading and the lengthy process of adding new products. It's pretty to easy to add products to both Amazon and eBay.

As I said the Supreme Landscaping Products website is still a work in progress and one thing we're working on is getting more feedback on the website from our satisfied customers.

On Amazon and eBay, it's been relatively easy and for some reason quite a bit easier on eBay than on Amazon.

E-commerce, feedback from eBay

Amazon feed back

Our selection of products is growing on our website and on Amazon and eBay, but personally I would like to see a few more recommendations and more positive feedback of products on our website. Maybe you'd like to check out our website and say what a great buying experience you had or how much you like our regular blog posts?

Amazon product reviews for Supreme Landscaping Products.

Fortunately, because of our regular blogging articles and the significant growth of our social media networking on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ and others, more and more people are finding our website on Google whilst searching for hard landscaping products and this is improving both traffic and sales.

Blogging has proved to be a great growth hack, in fact it's often under utilised as a way to increase traffic to an E-commerce website. However, if you are going to implement a content marketing strategy, you'll need to be good and you'll need to be consistent. Readers will not return to read more if you don't offer copy that's informative, relevant to your audience, professionally produced and regularly published.

There are a few things to watch for when getting into E-commerce:

  • Be prepared for lots of business or people will be disappointed with your service
  • Deliver on your promises, if you say next day delivery, it's got to be next day delivery
  • Negative feedback. Watch out for negative feedback, whatever you sell you will get some eventually. Do not ignore it, address it immediately.
  • If you sell cheap or shoddy products you'll get lots of complaints, try and maintain high standards.
  • When people call with technical questions and they will, be prepared, offer great product knowledge.
  • Keep an eye on the cost of advertising, it can become very, very expensive.
  • Don't advertise products when they're out of stock, it disappoints customers and you'll get lots of negative feedback.
  • Keep an eye on your website, make sure it's secure and watch out for hackers.
  • Maintain a good social media network and maintain it on a daily basis, stay in touch with you best customers.
  • Train your warehouse staff to fully understand your product range and to keep a very close eye on stock levels.
  • Use traditional methods of communication with existing customers.

If you think these tips are useful and you still want to start an E-commerce business, good luck! Like I said, if you think e-commerce is an easy, 100% digital business, you are in for quite a shock.

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