Starting an eCommerce business is hard work and requires many actions and decisions that need to come together at the right moment.
Moreover, the vast competition in the eCommerce world makes opening and (more importantly) growing such businesses even more challenging tasks. Then, there is the other option. If you love building businesses, or you are passionate about a product that is already selling, or you are simply after the money, having an eCommerce business for sale is an excellent option for you.
For some, that is a much faster way of achieving success than trying to build the business from scratch. However, if you are enthusiastic about your idea or you are not ready to invest in buying an established business, developing your online company from zero is the best route to take.
Now, you have probably read or heard that a large percentage of entrepreneurial attempts fail. However, this should not frighten you. Assuming that you know what, how, and when to do it, your business has all the chances of becoming a success story. While there is no crib sheet for establishing a successful eCommerce business, there are moves that can help you in setting the ground for a thriving online company.
Know your market. Create your product. Write your business plan.
Now, do not make a mistake to think that the first step to building an eCommerce business is to know what products you want to sell. Though finding a product you can sell directly to consumers is often the most challenging part of starting a new online business, finding an untapped market is a significant determinant before creating a product. So once you have done your market research, find a product or a service that occupies a niche in the untapped market.
Developing your product will include designing the look and purpose of the product and naturally, building a prototype and samples. If your product is unique, you need to file for a patent to prevent other companies from developing a similar item.
Once you have the samples, you should test the market. Talk to or survey at least 50 potential customers to see if they identify with the problem the same way you do. You need to find out if this is a real problem for a majority of your target market, or just a few. Identify people you know to be doubtful and critical. If possible, handpick your test group and then ask these people to pick your ideas apart.
Your company’s business plan will be your roadmap that helps bring your ideas together. A business plan is vital in determining what to prioritize and how to reach new customers effectively. For this reason, invest time and research in creating a perfect one!
Build your website. Create engaging content.
It is not feasible to run an eCommerce business without building a reliable website. After all, your site is a direct platform for e-commerce, space for the promotion of goodwill among customers and prospects, and a medium for delivering powerful marketing messages.
The domain name (the website address) is the most crucial feature of your website. It is commonly known as the URL you will be sharing with your clients and promoting on social media. For this reason, you want it to be easy to remember, spell, and type in. Whichever domain name you chose to register, it needs to work well with your logo and overall site aesthetic. This means that you should choose a domain name that is the same as your brand name. Once you select your domain name, confirm whether it is available and purchase it through a domain registrar.
Excellent site content is another critical part of your website. Unique content invites customers to take a stroll in your store, creates an exceptional experience, and influences them to make a purchase. For this reason, you need original and captivating content to describe your product, service, or even yourself. If you plan on investing money in marketing, make content marketing one of the priorities. Why? Because it will also help you boost search engine rankings as Google and other search engines rank genuine and original content above everything else.
Provide Great User Experience. Communicate and Take Care of Your Customers.
Cultivating an eCommerce business takes more than choosing your brand name and starting to sell products online. Even the best business plan can be unsuccessful if you are not driving enough traffic to your site. So, our advice is to attract and retain customers. Here is how.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best ally for any business that wants to reach its target audience easily without spending wealth. Moreover, good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of your web site. Another thing that provides excellent user experience is making your website easy for navigation. You do not want site visitors to get confused and leave.
Also, eCommerce businesses must have an excellent integrated electronic payment system into their websites. Your online store must run smoothly and less complicated possible (especially the check-out process).
Communicating with your customers is one of the most significant aspects of running a successful eCommerce business. If you can not convince customers and prospects about your product or service, they will move ahead to the other available options. So, communicating with them is crucial for your success. However, communication happens on different levels – through emails, on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and most importantly, live on your website. Our advice: Invest in all of them!
- Live chat on your website is one of the best ways to engage visitors. Instant support and quick answers over chat in real-time are no doubt becoming a preferred communication channel. Moreover, live chat stats/ statistics show that live chat has the highest satisfaction level for any customer service channel, recording the figures from 73% to 81%.
- Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are the most often used channels for instant communication and addressing your followers (customers and prospects). Engaging on social media is important for your businesses because it can provide you with valuable feedback, build a good reputation for your business, increase customer’s trust, and attract new potential customers.
- Email communication- A comprehensive email communication strategy is about foresight, automation, and effective communications. You can choose to communicate with your customers through newsletters, event trigger emails, welcome or remarketing emails, review requests, or surveys. You can choose to use all of them, but be sure to remember that each of these email types plays a different role.
Developing your own eCommerce business is as compelling as it is challenging. Before you know it, you’ll learn a lot about picking a product, assessing its viability, estimating out how to get it manufactured, building an online store, and marketing and selling to new customers. The process, though may seem hard, believe us, is rewarding all the same.