The ecommerce industry is unstoppable, and if you are interested in becoming an ecommerce retailer or merchant, then this article is exactly what you need.
In it, we’ll piece together the important aspects about starting an ecommerce business, while offering specific guidelines and tips which will ensure that you are getting started on the right foot.
The reason for this is that while the ecommerce industry holds a lot of promise and could be your biggest earning opportunity, you must know what you need to do for you to enjoy the benefits of this industry.
However, before we look at the specifics of what you need to know and do to launch a successful ecommerce business, it’s worth noting that the ecommerce industry’s growth is expected to rise steadily and according to eMarketer, the growth of this industry is expected to hit a high of $4 trillion by the year 2021.
What this means is that this industry has great potential, but the best part is that if you employ the best strategies, you could be one of the people enjoying a piece of this magnanimous pie. All you need to do is to start out as soon as you possibly can.
The expected growth in the ecommerce industry also means that if you in business, but without an online presence, then you are missing out on huge profits. But how do you get into this industry to enjoy the benefits at stake?
What do you need to do to move to the online earners’ league?
Well, the hard truth you have to face is that starting and running a profitable ecommerce business is not as easy as you’d expect it to be; the business calls for a lot of time and effort input into the business.
You have to come up with different procedures and make certain decisions designed to make sure that the online business you set up is successful.
With all that in mind, we’ll help you come up with the best ecommerce store by sharing the essential guidelines, as well as the tips and tricks you need to use to create a successful store.
So, let’s get started!
Steps for starting a successful ecommerce store
Before you start out, you need to keep in mind that there are essentials for you to bear in mind as you think of setting up an ecommerce store.
For example, you must create a site with exceptional quality web design, you have to provide the very best customer services, the products you upload to your store must be of the highest quality possible, and you also need to have a unique selling proposition.
While these are critical parts of the ecommerce business, these are only things that will ensure that all the different parts of your ecommerce business are running efficiently.
They make an excellent ecommerce store, but they are not everything. So, what else do you need to set up for a successful ecommerce store?
What do you need to do for you not to lose sight of the important bits and to keep the big picture in mind? Which are the things that truly fuel your ecommerce sales, and should, therefore, be at the heart of your business? Which are the essential steps you need to take to get started, right?
1. Select a Niche
As you plan to start an online store, one of the fundamental elements of your store is the niche. You need to create and run a niche-specific store, and doing this will not be as easy. Why?
In as much as you’d like, you cannot create an ecommerce store that sells anything and everything, gaining massive profits in the process. You may dream of it, but you cannot be Amazon, at least not in the next few years.
Therefore, to enjoy a bite of the pie, you must identify a niche that would bring in profits. You must be niche-specific because even with a huge investment sum in your hands, your growth takes time, and if you are unlucky, things could easily go south.
To help you choose the best niches to work in, you must research. Identify some of the most successful online stores, stores that have amassed a huge presence, and then analyze what they do, sell, and also their business model. Which high-demand products/ niche markets are they focusing on?
At the same time, you also need to avoid the high-competition and overcrowded markets. Finding the perfect balance in your search for the best niche ensures that you are in a market that offers a healthy level of competition.
Remember that good competition is necessary because the absence of competition would mean no market for the products you are interested in selling. On the same note avoid the big brands.
2. Choose a Business Model
Now that you’ve identified the niche you’d like to focus on, you need to come up with your most preferred business model. Though there isn’t a single business model that would fit the needs of everyone, you should evaluate everything about the available models and then settle for the model that would suit your needs in the best way possible.
Some of the models you may have to choose from include dropshipping, Amazon FBA, etc. Dropshipping, for example, is regarded as one of the smartest ecommerce business models since it’s cost-effective, and you don’t have to handle your inventory physically.
The FBA model, on the other hand, is more of a warehousing model where you create or source for products, package, label then ship to Amazon warehouses, from where Amazon will handle logistics around the fulfillment of the orders as customers order products from your store.
The other models include white-labeling and warehousing.
3. Create Your Online Business
You have finally made up your mind about the niche you want to target and the business model you’ll run the business under. The next step for you to take involves starting the online business you have envisioned for all this time.
Here are the steps you need to follow
1. Select the right name for your business
You need to choose the most professional, unique, and also a memorable name for your online store.
The name should be something that your consumers will remember and want to engage with in the future. At the same time, the brand name chosen must match the niche you’re targeting, but also very simple.
2. Create a logo
The name is not enough. You need a logo that will represent your brand image.
About the logo, keep it simple, but attractive. Remember that the color you select for the logo will pretty much be the color for the rest of your brand and branding needs. So, be careful about the colors and fonts you choose for the logo.
3. Business Registration
Here, you need to get your business well set up in the legal aspects of things.
This is also where you apply for your business licenses and the permits. We also recommend visualizing your brand’s unique persona, focusing on how the brand will connect to your customers.
4. Setup the online store
By now, you have most of the setup essentials out of the way, save for the online store. For the setup of your online store, you need to find the best web hosting service provider, and if you are doing things independently, find a good website developer/ designer.
But if you prefer setting up a store in an established platform like Shopify, then the website setup will be easily done within Shopify. Shopify is also a great ecommerce CMS tool as it comes highly recommended when you are only getting started.
Choose the best templates for your store and niche, focus on the theme that resonates with your audience best, and you also need to optimize your store for SEO.
5. Choosing the best online ecommerce platform
We’ve mentioned Shopify, but you may not be on board with Shopify for any one reason. BigCommerce, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento are your other options.
To choose from any of these options, examine your needs with regards to the business model you’ve selected and then look at the features each platform offers for you to be able to determine what will work best for you.
After the setup of the store, you need to set up a few other important things before you can add products and kick of selling. These other setups include:
- Payment methods
- Shipping methods and terms
- Return and Refund policies
- Recommended products
6. Adding Products
Now it’s time to add the selected products to your ecommerce store, and For this, you need to focus on the product categories, the product labels, and product data.
Preview your site, then launch the store.,
The next step after the launch of your ecommerce store is marketing. You need to be smart and aggressive about marketing to enhance the traffic to your store, increase leads generated, and to boost sales.
For all that, you must identify the right channel to target and the look for the best marketing strategy. Also, we recommend that you reinvest all the initial profits into marketing and ads.
Indika is the founder of ecom hustler.com.And director of Bluechip mind. He runs his own digital marketing agency.
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