Did you know that more than 80% of the population of internet users has purchased goods or paid for services online? Did you know that more than 50% of that population has bought goods from an eCommerce business more than once?
You can get started on your eCommerce journey today and become one of the leading forces with regards to eCommerce businesses in no distant time by simply following the easy steps outlined in this article.
This article will show you some of the most effective strategies that we have used to help our clients increase sales on their eCommerce websites. As a start-up, applying these techniques will sure have you fired up and ready to grow.
How to start your own eCommerce business and make a huge success
Building any kind of business at all takes a lot of time, dedication, and a good level of expertise. The narrative is the same with building a profitable online store. Before we move on, you might want to first go through the list of a few of the deadly mistakes to avoid on your eCommerce journey.
1. Create the online store
If you ever need to start an eCommerce business, the first and most important step would be to set up the store. You cannot be an eCommerce brand without a store to sell your products.
Building an eCommerce store requires a good level of web development knowledge just as would be required to create any other kind of website. One mistake you should not make is to try to create the site yourself if you don’t already know how to do it.
Creating an online store starts from choosing the best eCommerce software to design your store with. Choosing an e-commerce platform is not as easy as it sounds. This is because there are tons of platforms to choose from and not all of them will have the right features for your e-commerce business.
Team up with an eCommerce web development expert to help set up your e-commerce site to get you ahead of the curve.
2. Start by growing a niche audience
Like any other business model or industry, the e-commerce business is one with a few dominating companies. In the eCommerce space, you will find companies like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and a few others. To not niche-down means to be going toe to toe with all these companies who spend millions of dollars on marketing.
To build a successful online store, you have to come up with a unique selling proposition. You need to choose a niche. One that you can build your business around before gradually broadening your scope.
While you are choosing a niche, remember to carve out an eCommerce business plan that can stand the test of time. Carefully define your goals and set out different strategies to achieve them.
3. Identify your target audience
Every e-commerce business has a target audience. No matter what products you sell and what process you place on every product, there is a segment of the world’s population that you can sell to. With online sales, you can even more easily find this target market.
How do you identify your target market? It takes a few simple steps. First, start by analyzing and understanding what you are offering; conduct in-depth customer research; study your competitors, especially the old ones to see what they are doing; finally, create market segments.
4. Focus on the user (UI/UX)
Without the users of your eCommerce site, you would not even have an online business, to begin with. You want to ensure that all your marketing tactics, website appearance, content strategies, and more are targeted at improving customer experience.
How easy is your checkout process, how many payment options do you accept, how easy is it for your customers to locate items they are searching for? All these things will make your site the best eCommerce platform in your locality, and eventually, in bigger climes.
5. Target mobile users
A huge percentage of internet users access the internet through their mobile phones and tablets. Mobile e-commerce sales generated from smartphones are expected to reach $432.24 billion in 2022. Every business owner would want to sell products to that population and so should you.
6. Content is king — always remember that
Content is the one marketing tool that can help you better understand your customers and build a consistent brand image. Small business owners online don’t pay enough attention to the content backing their products. They simply post an image of the product, add a price, and that’s it.
Properly structured content can help you compel your potential customers to buy from you, help you get information from them about how to serve them better, and also help you get more organic visitors to your eCommerce sites.
Social media channels have been helping both eCommerce businesses and other online businesses boost sales and connect with customers. ECommerce stores cannot depend on the traffic they get on their website. You will need a solid strategy to win your customers over on social media as well.
The good news is that social media allows you to target ads at your potential and existing customers based on their ages, occupations, core values, and more. A solid social media marketing strategy will have you raking in more visitors to your eCommerce store than you can imagine.
8. Work with an eCommerce marketing expert
This is where the going gets tough for many e-commerce store owners. Managing your own store all by yourself often starts to get overwhelming as you begin to grow. Online shops are only different from physical stores because all the activities are done online.
If you would hire a manager to help coordinate the affairs of your brick-and-mortar business, you should also hire an e-commerce expert to manage your business online.
Why should you work with an eCommerce expert? It is simple. These experts already know what it takes to help you sell online and make your customers make repeat purchases. They have been creating these businesses over the years and it is the shortest cut to selling products on your site as quickly as possible. In short, the best possible way to start eCommerce business is to work with an expert.
9. Treat your eCommerce store as you would a land-based store
Aspiring entrepreneurs in the eCommerce industry make one mistake in general. They treat the store like a social media account. Your e-commerce business needs to be opened every day as you would a land-based store.
Do you need to hire a storekeeper (e-commerce manager)? how do you need to position yourself so that customers can find you? What are your customer retention strategies–do you have any? What new product ideas are your customers searching for that you can add to your store? All these questions are what you would ask if you were running a physical store. Answer them.
10. Register the store and get properly licensed
As a small business owner, you want to be able to gain the trust of your customers. At this point, you want to be able to carve your brand name in the heart of your customers. Although many users may not care if you are a registered business or not, getting the right business licenses can help you increase trust.
Ensure that your business name resonates with your e-commerce domain name. If you have already chosen a fancy name for your business and a different one for your site, you will need adequate content marketing strategies to inform your customers that the business is yours. This is why it is important to name your site just what you want your business to be called.
11. Pay attention to search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is one of the few free marketing steps you will take for your online business. However, it is not about how much money it will cost you to market your product but how effective it is.
With SEO, you can better target your clients that resort to search engines to search for products. As a new business, SEO should be among your first steps.
12. Offer great customer support
Nothing kills an internet business faster than poor customer support. If your customers are having some difficulty navigating your website, checking out, or even finding the products you sell and are not getting feedback to their complaints, they will look your competitor’s way without hesitation.
When a customer purchases products from your brand store, ask them to leave ratings about their experience. Visit popular review sites like Yelp to see what they are saying about you. That way you get to understand their pain points and solve them.
Now that you have your own online store and your own brand, you have to note that a lot of other factors go into creating a successful business than just developing a product idea or business idea. For starters, you will need a strong level of financial prudence. To help you separate funds gotten from your eCommerce sales from personal bank accounts, you would need an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
You also have to pay attention to shipping costs (local or international shipping) and more. As your store gets bigger, consider hiring a financial manager to help you properly direct the financial affairs of your business. With all these in mind, you are on your way to building a successful e-commerce business.