Starting an E-Commerce is a demanding yet extremely lucrative venture and today when every possible item is being sold online, opportunities to grow are more than ever! To step into an industry that is currently exploding can seem a bit of a challenge but low investment and ease of operation make everything worth it once you get going.
Today online shopping is more of a necessity than a luxury, which is why this is the perfect time to start one. If you’re ready to launch an E-commerce business today, make sure you follow the right sequence of steps and keep these 5 tips in mind:
The Right Niche
Picking a niche, not from the least competitive nor the most competitive market areas is the best way to run an E-Store smoothly. When you’re choosing a niche, research, and land something that you’re interested in and think about the people who’d be willing to buy from you.
Don’t go for a niche that’s dominated by major brands. Your niche should be able to have many “shoulder” niches that are related to yours and can be used for cross-promotion, or becoming an affiliate for further growth. Your product category must be such that it’s favored on social media and has a minimum of 1000 keywords.
Product to Sell and Business Model
The most important part of E-Commerce is knowing what to sell online and using appropriate strategies to find product opportunities. The key is to understand what’ll make your customers buy from you and then evaluate your product idea by looking at the market competition, potential, criteria, and trends. You can use tools like Buzzsumo to see the potential your selected product has to succeed from the comments, shares, and number of articles present on it.
Following that, figure out the business model that works best for your business. You can opt for one that relates the most to services/products in your industry. Would an inventory-free model suit you like dropshipping or print on demand? Or wholesaling or warehousing (retail) model? The four main types of business models you can choose from are B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Consumer), C2B (Consumer to Business), and C2C (Consumer To Consumer).
Appropriate E-Commerce Platform
There are tons of E-Commerce platforms out there as they all will allow you to establish a functional E-Commerce store but sometimes they might not be optimized for all kinds of users.
E-Commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify and Wix are general-purpose platforms for newbies and those who sell digital products or shippable goods.
When choosing your E-Commerce platform, evaluate things like features, compatibility with payment gateways, loading speeds, compatibility with your business structure, and the must-have SEO-friendly features.
Also, make sure the E-Commerce platform you pick is capable of scaling as the business grows and can integrate with famous marketplaces to increase exposure.
Moreover, a platform with lesser features but a highly user-friendly interface will work a lot better than one overflowing with features but a complex interface. Just like that, having a mobile-friendly E-Commerce platform will go a long way.
Secure Checkout and Flexible Payment Gateways
Removing friction from the checkout process in all possible ways is one of the best ways to grow your E-Commerce business. The most important part of the business is checking out and payment, make sure the user gets a seamless experience there.
For that, make sure the site is desktop and mobile-friendly, doesn’t require customers to sign up or make accounts so it’s not a hassle every time.
You can also make defaults the cheapest options, and to make sure the customer feels more confident and comfortable buying from you, require as little information at the checkout point as you can.
You can also add an auto-fill feature so every time a customer returns, they don’t have to re-fill everything from the start again. Then, most importantly, your E-Commerce store must have multiple payment options for the ease of your customers. The more the better!
Online services like ApplePay and PayPal have impeccable security making them increasingly popular. Moreover, invest in your site’s security to make sure there never is a breach as it’s not just yours, it’s hundreds of customer’s data as well.
Promote and Market
Once you’re done setting up your new E-Commerce store, it’s time to market it! You’ll need a smart marketing team with a strategy because marketing for an online store is way harder than a “tangible” store where you can attract people with things like ambiance.
Thus, to remain in front of people’s eyes you need to invest in online marketing more than anything else. There are three main methods you can opt to market your online store and depending on your business type, one of the three (or all three) would prove to be effective. Let’s quickly see what they’re about.
This is one of the best ways to reach your target/potential and existing customers. You can offer one-time discounts for subscribing to email newsletters. This increases the customer base and with the right platform, your online store can grow at an impressive pace. Make sure the platform you’re choosing can handle segmentation and automation to the maximum extent and should offer some kind of analysis reports so you know your clickthroughs, shares, forwards, and conversion rates.
Social Media Marketing
Part of a good content marketing strategy is using social media accounts to their maximum potential for bringing in new customers. There are many social medial marketing tools available today and they can handle content scheduling, publishing, and calendars as well. Keeping a central inbox will help organize and manage things better.
B2B (Business to Business) models require a company to show their full expertise to their industries and content marketing is one of the best ways to do so. Software to manage content usually helps build brand identity by keeping a content calendar, managing workflows, and has automated publishing tools to make things easier.