According to a Statista report, eCommerce sales are expected to reach 4.5 trillion US dollars in 2021. The numbers are phenomenal and seeing them really motivates one to start an eCommerce store and get a share of the market.
The development of an eCommerce project will not be that difficult if you carefully follow this guide. And it all starts with groundwork.
Building the Right Foundation
A proper business plan helps to optimize everything properly from the get-go. It is easy to miss a crucial part by simply neglecting to include it in the business plan. On the other hand, when you have a plan with all the necessary information in front of you at all times, you can rest assured knowing that the chances of a mishap occurring are reduced significantly.
Writing a Business Plan
A business plan does not have to be too detailed, but the more time you spend on it, the higher the chances of succeeding are.
Start with the basic problems like why you want to start this store, can you find a market that is not too competitive, what will you offer to your customers, who would be your ideal targeted audience, how are you going to market the products or services, and how much money you can spare for expenses?
Answering these questions will lead to a decent business plan and gives a broader idea of what is required to be on your way of building a profitable e-commerce store.
Finding the Right Product Supplier
Relying on a random product supplier will not take you too far. Take your time when looking for the best possible supplier. Go with someone who is well-known in the market. For instance, if you decide to try the print on demand drop shipping business, Printify.com is a great option as it has over one thousand 5-star reviews on Shopify’s app store as well as 90 printing facilities in the US, China, UK, and Germany.
Website development starts once you are set on an idea and have a product and supplier. Find a hosting plan that makes sense and caters to your needs. A website that takes a long time loading or is not up 99.9 percent of the time will only encourage your audience to look for alternatives.
Product images ought to be of the highest quality possible. According to Forbes, online brands that focus on visuals when marketing benefit a lot. And the attention to visuals is also something to emphasize on social media as well.
Search engine optimization should also be on the priority list. Visitors who come from search engines have a higher purchasing intention due to the nature of the keywords they enter on Google. SEO also helps to establish credibility because irrelevant and low-quality content does not appear on the top pages of search engines.
Finally, individuals who surf the net using smartphones and tablets. Statista reports that the percentage of website traffic worldwide for mobile devices has increased from 32 percent in 2015 to 52 percent in 2019. Thus, a site has to be optimized for mobile users. Otherwise, you stand to lose a lot of money.
A well-optimized website will attract organic traffic, but leaving everything in the hands of Google and other search engines will only get you so far. A business has to scale and there are a few other marketing methods besides SEO to attract extra website visitors.
- Email marketing is great for promoting exclusive offers to your most loyal customers as well as remind long-time subscribers that you are still there and have something new in-store.
- Pay-per-click advertising is a marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time a person clicks their ad and gets redirected to the promoted landing page. When the ad costs 1 dollar but a visit results in 100 dollars in profits, PPC marketing can become a cornerstone for your project.
- Social media, namely Facebook and Instagram continue to grow and the number of social media users is roughly 3.5 billion (Emersys, 2019). Social media platforms are perfect for directly interacting with the customers, organizing contests and giveaways, raising brand awareness, cooperating with influencers, and running ad campaigns.
Insights and Analytics
Usage of insights is another important aspect of a successful business. There are plenty of great free tools like Google Analytics, Bitly, Piwik, and Semrush.
Analyzing data from multiple different sources helps to find patterns and determine which areas of the business are doing great and which need improvements.
It is also worth looking into the competition and how they are faring. While they are rivals, other brands could also turn as great sources of inspiration and learning.
To sum it all up, this guide with the business tips ought to work as a perfect reference for those who want to start an e-commerce store themselves or make adjustments to what they have right now.