Throughout the last 20 years, many brick-and-mortar retail stores have transformed into e-commerce stores that can be found online and ship worldwide. Jeff Bezos, the founder andcreator of Amazon, is a fineexample of how e-commerce has revolutionized our shopping experience. People now choose to order books online because it is a) more convenient, and b) cheaper.
The rise in e-commerce stores and online shopping has been overwhelming. CPC Strategy found that 96% of Americans shopped online in 2017, with Millennials and Generation X preferring online shopping over visiting the physical stores. Starting and running an e-commerce store is, therefore, an incredibly lucrative business endeavor.
1. Choosing a Product
The product you chooseto sell needs to be profitable, in-demand, and something you are passionate about. Without passion, you will not have the drive to sell, push and improve the product. It will, therefore, become a chore and require extra motivation from you.
Think about what you enjoy. If it is sports, settle on this as a base of your business’s niche. Then, think about a particularsport(let’s say tennis) and, last but not least, find an opening in that area. What is it in tennis that needs improving or is lacking? This is one of the hardest parts ofstarting an e-commerce store; finding an original idea can take time and resources.
2. Evaluate Your Product
Knowing what you are selling is only half the battle. You also need to determine whether the product will sell. Ask potential customers if they would be interested in your product, how much they would pay for it, and see how in-demand the product is online. Check the search rate of keywords relating to your product.
3. How Will You Obtain Your Product?
What’s a great idea if you don’t know how to obtain it? Find a supplier who can provide you with what you need, or if you need to manufacture your product, speak to manufacturers who can do this. Also,order and test prototypes before committing to a large shipment.
4. Research and Write a Business Plan
Before you write a business plan, you need to research your competition so that you know what you’re up against and how you can distinguish your business from another. Conduct competitiveanalysis, determining the following:
Who are their target customers
What is their USP
What are their key features
How doesthe public regard them
What is their pricing
Once you have completed your competitor analysis, draw up a business plan that can map you towardsuccess. Prioritize the features of your business that differs from its rivals, and use them to the full effect.
5. Set Up Your E-Commerce Store
When setting up your e-commerce store, determine your brand, company name, aesthetic, and how to structure your website for Google and other search engines. Your name must be catchy, simple to rememberand relevant to your company’s endeavors. It should also look good as a domain name. For instance, short and snappy words such as ‘Furry Friends’ is catchy and memorable; however, it is incredibly common and not too imaginative. Instead, you can use a word with personal meaning, such as your ownpet, which can also be the logo. You may also want a professional but playful website design and company voice.
Once you’ve determined your name, logo and how you wish your website to look, take the time to understand the basics of SEO. While you do not have to implement your company’s SEO yourself, knowing how it works and keeping on top of the best practices can help when developing a plan with the experts you have brought in-house or hired externally. Digital Mark Group, for example, can help you with the structure of your e-commerce store’s web pagesand on-page content. These steps will help improve your website’s ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
6. Choose Your Marketing Strategies
Setting up your e-commerce store is only half the battle. Determine the marketing strategies that will prove useful to your business and developing campaigns that will bring traffic to your website, increase conversion rates and grow your brand’s notoriety will also take time.
Social media marketing is another must, but spreading yourself too thin over all available platforms can be less effective than selecting one. Instead, choose two or three platforms. Instagram, for example, has 500 million daily users, with 50% of Generation Z users. What’s more, half of Instagram users follow a business. Therefore, if your product is for Millennials and Generation Z, Instagram is a great way to reach this audience.
Other useful marketing strategies include SEO, email marketing, influencer marketing, andPPC. It will take trial and error before finding a marketing strategy that works for your e-commerce store, but follow these steps are you’ll be on the right track.