10 tips for a successful online business

According to Kendra R. Bonnett, in her book “An IBM Guide to Doing Business on the Internet, A Complete Blueprint for E-Business Success”, this is her 11 tips for a successful online business. But here I only listed 10 of them since I’m not too keen on one of the tips.


The 10 Tips for a successful e-commerce

1. Innovate

True as they say. Innovate of die. Most of us can think of something ‘viral’ if we really put in the efforts.

2. Be Indispensable

Be a site that going to be bookmark!

This is also known as a “killer click”.

A simple way to do so would involves one website to give users the tools, products and / or services that they demand. Kind of supply and demand situation.

Another way, is to actually ask your visitors to bookmark your site.

Some site, such as Novoresume, offers their services for a few years for free to gain a following and popularity before started to charge for their service.

Most of us failed, because we expect money to roll in as soon as we started.

3. Make your site unique

What makes this challenging, everything ‘unique’ most likely get copied quickly. Too bad. Hence, the first point, remember to innovate.

Try reading on how Boomerang Commerce manage to do so from my previous post on How Online Shopping take advantage over us?

If you’re familiar with the online market place,, they used to offer free shipping, which makes them unique. Hence, they were at one time, the preferred marketplace for Malaysian. But these features were ‘copied’ by other marketplace, and hence, the playing field is yet again level.

Shopee managed to do so by offering incentives to their sellers encouraging free shipping. There was a “5 kg Free Shipping” program on which Shopee sellers could apply. Off course there are terms and conditions to be complied with.

4. Customer is 1st Priority

This is a point that rings true. Some business tycoon would suggest your employee is 1st priority. Yes, that’s when you’re big enough.

But when you just starting out, customer is your 1st priority. You need to make the sales. If not, you will not be in business for long.

Remember, cash flow in your business is just as important as your blood to you.

5. Keep it simple

Make sure the site is easy to navigate. At times people shop to release stress, if you complicate things, people would not stay long enough to make a purchase.

6. Build your brand

Domain authority could be a way to check on how strong your website are.

Strong brand recognition will help your site to draw visitors amid the Internet clutter. This can be costly, but such cost can be minimized by strong social media exposure through the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook.

Try reading Gary Vee “Jab,Jab, Jab, Right Hook“. He offers lots of interesting points there. Awesome reading.

7. Remember the Middleman

In building your reputation, brand and traffic, you might opt for some middleman.

Middleman could be a partnership with affiliate platform to promote your brand or even local insta-famous.

Anything goes in building your site.

8. Get there before your customers

If your clientele isn’t already online, it will be soon. Don’t jump in too quickly, though. First, conduct a market analysis, including the following steps: research competitors’ Web presence; collect statistics on your industry and its customer demographics; create a demographic profile of your target customer, and compare the Web’s overall demographics with your target customer’s profile.

You might want to refer to The Online Advertising Playbook.

9. Build Loyalty

This I believe what lead to lots of membership program out there.

And it does work, we tend to buy from business which we have memberships with.

Repeat customers are the key to any successful business. In Internet terms, the rate of return visitors is known as stickiness. To keep customers coming back, consider personalizing your site so that it greets customers by name. Send customers special offers, post forums that let them discuss industry-specific issues with other customers and consider monthly newsletters sent by e-mail.

10. Integrate

Your online and brick-and-mortar businesses should have a close relationship. For instance, FedEx lets customers track packages online, transforming customer service and freeing customer-service reps from constant calls about the locations of packages.

Most online marketplace have tracking system integrated into their site. As well as forum-like comment section as well as transparent reviews. But there are ways to manipulate this, maybe we’ll discuss further on that in future post.


The one tips which I do not include in the list above are “Use the power of medium”. Focused on the importance of consistently keeping your site updated.

So, that’s that. What do you think? Please leave your comment and insight in the comment section below 🙂

If you’re interesting in buying the book, below is the link to amazon.


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