Guidance on How to Start an Electronics Store Online

by | Mar 26, 2020 | Business Feature

Learning how to sell electronics online in the United States may be less complicated thank you think. As long as you’re selecting quality products, maintaining your supply chain, and putting the customer experience front and center, you’ll likely have a leg up on some of your competition. However, there are still a few ways for you to go the extra mile – sometimes literally.

A Smarter Supply Chain

There’s no getting around it: Online businesses are, in some way or another, directly competing with big names like Amazon. Unless you have some special connections within the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s probably going to be that much harder than you to one-up two-day free shipping. Plus, you won’t be able to realistically rely on UPS Flight Forward for every order.

However, if you’ve carved out a niche in the market and are offering products that the big-box stores don’t stock, you’ll likely be able to get away with slower shipping, even if it’s to a remote location in a state like North Carolina or across the ocean all the way to Rwanda.

Of course, it’s more plausible that the majority (if not all) of your shipping will take place within the United States. Shipping is a major piece of the customer experience so it’s important to invest enough time and energy into the process so that you’re not overwhelming your customer support team with disgruntled buyers.

Speaking of Customer Support…

One area where most businesses falter is in the customer service department. While an online electronics retailer likely isn’t well-staffed enough to maintain its own internal call center, there are smart workarounds. Digital call center platforms, like those running on the ServiceNow platform, make it so you don’t need to maintain an entire suite of contact center agents. Since companies like ServiceNow are cloud-forward, ServiceNow call center integration equates to you not having to purchase and maintain equipment in house.

Digital contact center services also include some features that can speed up your workflows and help your business undergo a digital transformation. These include computer telephony integration (CTI), phone number routing, and screen pops that alert your customer service team to incoming calls. It makes it simpler to follow up on leads, collect phone numbers for nurture campaigns, and keep customers apprised of their order status and delivery dates.

Incorporating a digital call center model and computer telephony integration into your business via the ServiceNow platform saves you both time and money. Now, just try saying computer telephony integration three times fast.

The Perfect Niche

Chances are you’ll not be able to acquire a level of stock that allows you to compete with brand-name retailers. As such, the jack of all trades approach might not be the right fit for your business. Instead of amassing a bit of everything, it’s a smarter idea to narrow your focus to one type of electronic product and become an expert in that field. It helps build a sense of industry authority amongst both your competitors and your customers and also allows you to familiarize yourself more intimately with a particular niche.

Take drones, for instance. Nowadays, it seems like every YouTuber, Instagram influencer, and hobbyist has a drone to capture stunning footage. Instead of buying a swath of beginner-friendly drones, diversify a bit. Familiarize yourself with wing drones, drone supplies, and more advanced models.

It doesn’t even hurt to check out industry pioneers like Zipline, an organization that uses drones to deliver medical supplies to health facilities. While you (likely) won’t be handling medical samples and blood products, knowing about the developments in your chosen industry makes you more authoritative and helps customers gravitate towards you.

There are no shortcuts if you’re going to start an online electronics business. When you’re juggling terms like CTI, ServiceNow, and Federal Aviation Administration, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Take things one step at a time and make sure you have a fleshed-out business plan. Then, and only then, can you start to sell.

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