Read on to know the sure shot checklist for your E-commerce Business!
Starting an e-commerce business is a wish that everybody wants to achieve irrespective of the industry that they are working in. Many people prefer executing their e-commerce start up idea rather than working for someone else and help them achieve their dreams. The idea that you start a e-commerce business from nothing and watch it grow rather than working to make other people rich is what has captured the mind of millennials these days.
Moreover, the motivation here is that no one can take that away from you. The expected number of shoppers spending money online is increasing in millions each year, making this the perfect time for starting an e-commerce business. Making your e-commerce business idea a reality takes a lot more than just choosing a brand name, listing your products online and start selling them. It all starts with carving your own niche not product. When someone wants to start a e-commerce business, the focus always goes on the product which will get them the highest profit margin.
Starting an e-commerce business is a wish that everybody wants to achieve irrespective of the industry that they are working in. Many people prefer executing their e-commerce start up idea rather than working for someone else and help them achieve their dreams.
The next step is all about carrying out the operational level functions such as shipping, payments etc. Apart from the basic functionalities that necessarily need to be incorporated during e-commerce web development, marketing is also an essential aspect because even the best e-commerce business idea can fail if enough traffic is not generated on the website. Well, you can use all the information given here to practically implement your creative e-commerce start up idea:
Pick your E-commerce Niche
“If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful” — Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com
One of the biggest turn offs in an e-commerce website is a large number of product categories without customized search options. Choosing your niche is the very first step to start a e-commerce business. This process starts with identifying existing successful companies in the space.
Ensure that the area is competitive as lack of competition also indicates lack of market. However, you would also want to skip overcrowded niches or the ones that are dominated by major brands. You are likely to face less competition if you are specific with your range of products.
Know your Business Model
Business structures are dynamic and therefore the same type of business structure won’t work for everyone. Before you narrow down on what you want to sell online, its necessary to have an understanding of different business models. The business model could range right from drop-shipping to manufacturing and subscriptions.
If you plan to incur a profit without investing heavily in the beginning, drop-shopping is the appropriate choice for you. To put your e-commerce start up idea immediately into action, drop-shipping is an ideal choice as you can serve the customers without investing by diverting their orders to the manufacturers or suppliers.
If you are attracted to the concept of having your own warehouse full of goodies for smoothly carrying out your e-commerce business idea, then warehousing is the business model for you. Apart from the usual business models, there are also subscriptions in which a carefully curated set of products or a single product can be delivered at regular intervals to your customers.
Now that you are clear about a niche and business model, think about your target audience. At the very heart of starting an e-commerce business lies its target audience for which website is being launched in the first place. To project a consistent brand image, you need to be aware about things like what does the store represent and the ideal set of customers. For instance, an organic product selling brand won’t last long if it starts selling conventional products of the same category.
Once the target audience is clear, its time to come up with product ideas. The popular suggestion is to start where you have to invest less. Before investing in a product, its inevitable to evaluate it and get a know-how of the product so any potential problems can be identified and you have a ready set of answers to address common consumer problems.
Create Your Brand Identity
You need a brand identity that reflects your beliefs as well as connects with the audience for successfully starting an e-commerce business. You might want to choose colors and images as per your target audience. But before we get into building a brand image, let’s know about some basic steps that you need to follow to start a e-commerce business:
The foremost step is to select a business name and register your company as there are legal protections and tax benefits for the same. Pick a store name that fits your niche. There are chances that you might not be aware about process of obtaining business licenses as this is the first time you are starting an e-commerce business. Having an online store does not exempt you from obtaining the necessary licenses required. Employer Identification Number is a unique set of numbers that identifies your business. It will help you open a business account as well as file business taxes.
There is a lot of competition in selling products online. It’s in the best interests of the business to find a vendor with whom you want to trade for a long time, irrespective of whether it is for raw material of the final products or for your e-commerce website development. For the logo design just make sure that it is not used by anyone else in your niche. Last but not the least, you will have to consider the brand colors, imagery, font etc and be consistent about it as well.
Once the legal formalities are taken care of, you need to get the domain name registered and any relevant URLs redirected. Whatever design is chosen in the last step needs to be compatible with the e-commerce software too. Choosing the right e-commerce platform is not going to be an easy task. Certain factors like loading speed, compatibility with different payment gateways, SEO friendly features etc need to be taken into consideration.
The best way to understand and implement these things, hire a vendor to provide you with the complete e-commerce solutions as per project needs. E-commerce site responsiveness and loading time is also something that needs to be taken care of. Therefore, hire the services of an agency that provides you with e-commerce web development services using latest technological updates.
Draw Visitors to the E-Commerce Store
All the popular e-commerce sites invest substantially in online marketing. There are high chances that you start a e-commerce business with an out of the box idea but it failed due to lack of appropriate marketing. It has become an absolute necessity to have key words in each page of the website, URLs and ad campaigns. If you can’t hire the services of marketing agencies, you always have the option of subscribing to marketing newsletters that keep you updated on the latest marketing tips.
“Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community” — Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard
The ultimate aim of getting professional help for e-commerce website development is to sell your products at a profitable rate. Therefore, it is necessary that you drive traffic to your product pages as well. To sell products, think beyond the website and look for expansion. A social media campaign to gain subscribers or hosting a giveaway where the customer’s email ID is the entry fees are popular ways to create an e-mail list. Carrying out a giveaway has multi fold benefits. Its the quickest way to get traffic and subscribers along with increasing your brand visibility.
Communicating with customers is the key to establish credibility. Keep the e-mails interesting and include ways to ask for customer inputs such as reviews. Apart from feedback, being responsive to your customer complaints and needs also establishes a positive brand image. Moreover, Google analytics turns out be your saviour when you want to analyse the website traffic. The traffic behaviour will enable you to find out the loopholes in your entire channel and correct them.