There are millions of online businesses all over the world today. While a few take-off smoothly and succeed, a majority sputter and nose dive into liquidation. What makes the difference between both types of businesses? There are many reasons for this, ranging from product offering to the strategy applied. However, this article focuses on the entrepreneur.
Widely-renowned digital marketing entrepreneur and author, Anik Singal, has helped online startups navigate the turbulent internet landscape to become promising businesses. In his opinion, the mindset of the business owner makes all the difference.
According to Anik, the following are habits every online entrepreneur must practice to be successful.
- Understand the customers’ online behaviour
How well do you know your market and the target audience in question? You will be setting yourself for failure if you assume behaviour of users offline are the same online. For one, the typical online customer isn’t as patient as they can afford to be offline. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, they could be heading over to your competitor’s immediately.
Having an in-depth knowledge of your customers allows you to personalise your website to accommodate their unique characteristics. If they appreciate online games, it may smart to include a mental quiz or riddle just for fun and engagement. Conduct occasional surveys and read their comments to understand how they think and act.
- Be a trend-spotter
Anik Singal says a successful online entrepreneur is always on the look-out for news; he is an information junkie. Due to the nature of some social media platforms such as Twitter or Reddit, they often break news before it reaches mainstream media. As an online business owner, it often pays to have first-hand knowledge so you can take decisions that protect or promote your business.
Besides news, you can spot trends that impact your business directly. Since 2016, the use of video has proliferated across various online media. So, if you are still using only 5% of your content strategy for video, now may be the time to bump it up significantly. Other uses of trendspotting include newsjacking and competitive marketing to create awareness and drive sales.
- Be innovative
A successful online entrepreneur is never afraid to try out new things. Instead of sticking to a ‘safe’ traditional strategy, they use the knowledge of user behaviour and market trends to try out innovative engagement strategies. For example, since the craze for augmented reality, AliBaba.com has decided to create an AR experience for its customers.
You may recall that the Chinese retail giant achieved this with Macy’s retail shopping last year. However, it has taken its interest in AR further by partnering with Way-Ray to provide an AR-driving experience for its users. Such business bravado is the stuff of successful online entrepreneurs. See what new ideas you can implement within your budget and apply them innovatively to your business.
- Be analytical
You can’t afford to be lax about your website’s analytics, otherwise how would you track progress? In Anik Singal’s words, “Be analytical or pay someone to do it for you.” If you don’t invest in big data and its interpretation, it will be difficult for your business to monitor and promote growth.
Knowing the percentage of website traffic and what spurs conversion rate on your website can help you devise new strategies to remain competitive. On the other hand, if a technique is hurting performance, you can easily stop it. It doesn’t pay any business to be in the dark about figures that matter, so you want to place analytics at the top of your operations.
As you become more vested in online habits of successful entrepreneurs like Jack Ma, these practices will come naturally to you. How internet-aware are you?