If you run an online business, be it a blog or an eCommerce store, you must follow a set of non-negotiable rules. These aren’t “laws” as such, but rather things that you need to do to safeguard the future of your operations.
But what form do they take? Let’s have a look.
Social Proof Is Your Bread And Butter
When the internet first began, people thought that it would “democratize” business, allowing anyone and everyone to start enterprises. And to some extent, it did. You can hop onto a platform like Shopify today and begin the process of selling online immediately.
But, of course, that didn’t guarantee that everyone would be successful. Low barriers to entry meant that consumers had to become savvier in how they evaluated online services. It wasn’t enough that someone was offering to ship goods – they also had to prove their worth. After all, anyone could launch online services.
Social proof, therefore, became one of the essential concepts in online business. Companies had to find ways to get their customers’ peers to recommend them. Aiming to build a repository of reviews, therefore, is vital for success. Skip it at your peril!
You Need To Protect Your Systems Against Attack
Brick-and-mortar businesses universally employ shutters, alarms, and CCTV to protect their premises from physical assault. It is a standard part of business that everyone does because they understand the threat.
Threats in the online world, however, aren’t always as immediately apparent. Yes, there are dangerous people out there who will try to bring down your business, but it seems so distant and unlikely, we don’t think about it.
The internet creates a false sense of security, though. You get the impression you’re safe because your physical environment is safe. But the online world is much more dangerous than you think.
Most companies, therefore, use managed service providers to monitor their networks day and night. They also buy cyber liability insurance, which protects them from litigation and loss, should somebody hack their systems. Protecting your business from cyberattacks is one aspect of ensuring that your company has the strength to look after itself. There are more cyberattacks and data breaches with every passing year, and you should think about your cyber liability as part of a comprehensive business insurance package. Looking after your business is not just online, but online is where your biggest weaknesses could be.
You Need Authority
The concept of authority in online business doesn’t mean “taking control of the internet” or dominating other people. Instead, it means authority in the same way as the Encyclopedia Britannica has authority. You want to make yourself the primary resource for something related to your niche. You want to be the person people think of first when they have a particular problem or need a specific type of service.
How you do this depends on your industry. Most companies do it by focusing on their expertise and providing educational resources to their customers. Some, however, use entertainment, especially if they have a “boring” product.
Evoking A Sense Of Scarcity Is Vital
The final rule is to evoke a sense of scarcity. You want to convince people that there are only a small number of products remaining and that they need to act fast. Don’t be dishonest, but do use low inventories to get customers to buy now instead of putting off their purchases for the future.