Whether you already have a retail store and looking to expand online, or thinking about starting a business online straightaway, setting up an online store is a great way to make money.
With the ecommerce industry constantly on the rise, this is perhaps the most viable solution as of now. But, when it comes to building an online store, it can be hard to understand where to start. Yes, the very thought of creating an ecommerce website can be frightening, especially if you lack technical knowledge.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to be tech savvy or possess a huge amount of resources for the same. Here are our 10 tips on how to start your business in 2020 with an online store:
✓ Start with Research
Before you do anything else, start doing some market research to know about your competitors, which includes those companies that sell products similar to yours. This is important because, as much as the online world is capable of bringing to you a lot of new viable opportunities, it brings along heavy competition as well.
With your research, you get to gather inspiration or points from what your competitors are excelling at in attracting customers, their marketing strategies, areas they are failing, etc., and use the information to set up your own online store.
✓ Choose the Right Products to Sell
As obvious as it may sound, choosing the right products to sell in your online store has a lot to contribute to your online success. The products you choose to sell should be unique to your niche, and not something that is already being sold by numerous other vendors.
In addition, you should also make sure that there is sufficient demand for what you choose to sell. Some general rules to follow here are: go with products that are give you good margins, choose those that you know about, and make sure the products you choose have low shipping costs.
✓ Know Your Ideal Customer
As an ecommerce website owner, your topmost priority should be those individuals who will be spending their money on your platform and products, which means you should be fully aware of them and their needs.
Knowing your ideal customer depends on the products you sell, and you need to come up with ways to attract them to your online store and make them spend money there as well.
This can be done in a variety of ways, some of which include: offering unique products, competitive pricing, useful content, etc.
✓ Choose Your Online Store Platform
One of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to setting up your online store is choosing the platform you wish to use for the same.
This can be considered the basic foundation of your website, on which all of the other features, such as your payment methods, shipping settings, etc. will be based.
When choosing an ecommerce platform, look for aspects such as user friendliness, feature sets, different pricing plans, proper customer support, and third-party integrations. We suggest Magento.
✓ Go for a Paid Plan
Remember, you are building an online store, which obviously means the free plans offered by ecommerce website building platform will be of little to no use to you. You need more complex features and software to upload and sell your products, and choosing a plan depends on the size of your business and your growth strategy.
For instance, you should know the number of products you are looking to sell, the various features you need from the platform (multi-channel integration, SSL security, etc.), your budget, etc. to know which plan suits your business needs best.
✓ Get a Domain Name
This makes evident that having a domain name, and a good one at that, helps form your brand while also building the much-required trust with your customers.
As a result, it also contributes significantly to the success of your online store.
When choosing a domain name for your online store: choose a name that is easy to pronounce, let yours be an original name and not copied, the name should make it easy for people to understand your business or products, and having a .com rather than some other domain endings always helps.
✓ Customize Your Website
Designing/customizing your website is another vital step to attracting potential customers. In most cases, ecommerce business owners tend to have a few designs in mind pertinent to customizing their online store.
If you don’t have an idea, the best way to start is to look at those ecommerce websites that appeal to you as a customer and note down those aspects that interest you the most.
Ultimately, even the way your website looks establishes trust with your customers, which influences their buying decision.
✓ Market Your Online Store
Things are not done once you have created your ecommerce website; you have to have it seen by potential customers, which means you have to market it.
After all, you cannot expect to make sales right after you launch your online store. What you need here is a solid marketing strategy, and in most cases, it will be a combination of different marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, etc.
✓ Use Blogging
When you are new to the ecommerce world, you need to think about ways to drive traffic to your website in order to make sales, and perhaps the best way to do it is through blogging.
All you need to do is create and post regular blog posts on topics pertinent to the products you sell, and this will increase the chances of your website from appearing in search results, which in turn will show your potential buyers that you know what you are doing.
✓ Be Prepared to Face Challenges
Similar to any other business step you take, you are most likely to encounter challenges with your online endeavor as well.
Whether the challenges you face are technical, related to sales, or anywhere in between, the key is to be prepared for the same, expect a slow start, and keep going.