The world of ecommerce is in full swing, and it has been for a while. Technology continues to progress, and as more and more people rely on it for convenience, they will ultimately come to rely on services and businesses that make the sometimes stressful process of shopping a lot more convenient.
You, too, can be one of these businesses that people rely on, but you’ll first have to build. The following is a guide to help you start an ecommerce business from scratch.
Carry out some research
Before going into any business, you must first ascertain the prevailing market conditions. Carrying out research can help give insights into customer spending habits, products that sell, market demands, and more. If you haven’t already chosen what products you want to sell, market research can help you narrow down your choices.
Market research involves carrying out keyword research to find out what products people are searching for, analyzing market and social media trends, and using various tools to measure predetermined metrics. There are cheap and easy ways to perform market research that don’t require technical expertise.
Decide on what products to sell
Unless you plan to be the new Amazon from the get-go, you’ll need to focus on one type of product— a niche. Operating in a niche market offers several benefits like targeted marketing strategies. Your buyers are usually within the same demographic and share similar buying habits, so you need to come up with one marketing strategy for your entire customer base. The more targeted your marketing is, the more effectively it can be used.
Also, niche markets are often times small, tightly-knit markets where word-of-mouth travels fast. You can build your expertise and be known as the go-to guy in that space. This is also where you decide if you’re going to be selling physical or digital products.
Develop a business model
A business model is a plan for the successful operation of a business. It involves identifying sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products, and details of financing. A business model usually involves several elements. Your business plan should cover the following in full detail:
This is where you decide who or where you get your products from. You can produce them yourself, dropship them, or even buy from liquidation services. This entails buying an Amazon return box and reselling the items inside for a profit.
This is how you are going to deliver products to your customers. It involves talking to various logistics companies to get the best deal.
Are you going to create a native online store or will you leverage existing stores like Amazon? If you choose to create a native site, what services would you leverage? These are all points that must be thoroughly considered.
How will you advertise your store? What channels are most ideal? What is your strategy for getting customers interested?
Structure your store to match your buyer persona
In order to make your store more appealing to customers, you will have to make use of elements that reflect their personality. If you choose a native or custom store where you have control over its colors and fonts, you should use colors that create a mood that is in-line with customer personality. This gives your store a personal touch that draws in customers because they see something that relates to them.
Carrying out SEO
Once your store has been set up, you can begin getting traction and reaching out to customers. Getting your store ranked on Google is not as easy as it sounds, but it is also simple enough that it can be done without the need for hardcore technical skills. A few tips to help include:
- Carry out keyword research to determine the exact term customers use to search for products.
- Include these keywords in your meta description for each relevant page.
- Do not try to compete with high-volume keywords, especially when starting out. These keywords may get more views, but the competition is also very high— your site may get lost in a sea of larger sites.
- Focus on dominating the market space of a less competitive keyword.
- Ensure all web pages within your domain are crawlable.
- Ensure all web pages link to each other.
You may carry out more in-depth ecommerce SEO for more optimal results.
Optimize user experience
This involves making changes and improvements that ensure the customer experience is at an optimal level. This includes making sure your store is mobile friendly, ensuring that checkout processes are quick and easy, products are arranged in a way that makes them easy to be found, and replying to questions and enquiries promptly.
You may also include other services that attract customers by virtue of either convenience or quality. You could pair up with the provider of a particular desirable service and offer that on your site. For example, you could offer phone repair services on your site by partnering with an expert company— like SquareTrade— that fixes phones. You can make getting access to this service as easy as Googling the phrase: iPhone repair near me. This provides both convenient and quality, and is a good way to get people to your site.
E-Commerce is increasing in popularity, and for good reason. Sourcing products is now easier than ever, making it a worthy market to enter. By performing enough research prior to starting your venture, you can be sure you account for every business aspect, from platform to marketing to services or products offered.