With a new year comes a new chance to improve, and that applies to our business lives too! January is the perfect time to get a fresh start and think about how you can grow your e-commerce business in the coming year. If you need some help getting started, here our top 5 New Year’s resolutions for web merchants in 2013.

Get organized and prepare for success

Maybe you are just starting out in the e-commerce world, or perhaps you are celebrating many successful years of selling goods online. Either way, it pays to always stay a few steps ahead of your company’s growth. This year, take the time to create effective systems for inventory management, order fulfillment, and accounting. This way, whether business stays steady or you suddenly experience some explosive growth, you will be prepared to handle it. As the saying goes “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Get domain knowledge in your field

The most successful business owners in any field are the ones who are constantly learning more and challenging themselves to acquire more skills and understanding. Just like everything on the web, E- commerce is constantly changing. It is very important to stay aware of popular trends and new technology, or else you risk getting left behind with the old way or running your webstore. Devote some time every week to reading industry blogs and other publications, follow prominent online business leaders on social media, and network with other web merchants to stay on top of your game. Sites like Practical Ecommerce and eConsultancy are some free resources to stay up to date on ecommerce trends.

Get ready for mobile

If you haven’t hopped on the mobile bandwagon yet, there is no better time than the present! Mobile in ecommerce is growing fast, and you don’t want to risk getting left behind as customers start using their mobile phones and tablets more and more for making online purchases. Having a site that is enjoyable to visit on a mobile device is essential for staying ahead of the curve. This year, resolve to optimize your e-commerce site for mobile. And if that’s not an option, you can create a mobile version of your site as a short-term solution.

Streamline Your Shipping Process

A healthy order fulfillment process is an essential part of running a successful online business. Now that the holiday rush has come and gone, take a look at your shipping process and see what can be done better. Are you shipping in the most efficient way possible? Where can you streamline the shipping process, and what sort of software or other solutions can help you get there? Whatever problem needs to be solved, the beginning of a new year is a great time to tackle it.

Be human

In this day and age of hyper-connectivity and plenty of opportunities to network both in the virtual world and offline, showing who the people are behind your business is more important than ever. Building an identity and creating your personal brand will let your customers know why they should do business with you instead of your competitors. Understanding your own story and what you do best will make it easier to show your customers why you are better.