How to Start an
The answer to this question is the target of this article. Following this guide, you will figure out what you should do to achieve success and what you should avoid escaping failure.
Frankly speaking, the question ‘how to start ecommerce business?’ only sounds difficult. But still, this guide isn’t a magic wand. It won’t change your life in a day. And if or when you will know how to start ecommerce business it takes time to realize how it really works. Anyway, it can help you to understand how you can change it at all. That is why you should think twice, pursuing your goal.
Everyone wants to make money through the Internet. But not everyone can really handle it. So, why is ecommerce business so difficult? How start ecommerce business in a proper way? And how to minimize the risk of failure?
Are you ready to find it out?
This guide is pretty useful
for you if:
- You already have ecommerce business but have some difficulties with scaling it up;
- You have just started your ecommerce business;
- You want to increase the level of your online sales;
- You only in your way of creating your ecommerce business plan;
- You are going to dive into ecommerce marketing;
- You want to decide do you want to try this business model or not.
It’s high time to forget about
the huge upfront costs
To open a store two decades ago you had to buy, rent or even build a premise. Make a stylish repair from time to time. Place an ad in the newspaper that you are looking for employees, and so on.
But nowadays there is no need to rent any premises for your store. For instance, Amazon is one of the most popular stores but it’s online. Ecommerce marketing has a secret. All you need to know about an ecommerce business plan is how to find your niche. Another secret of ecommerce marketing sounds like this: if you can’t find your niche, re-build an existing niche.
For an entrepreneur, an ecommerce business looks attractive. There is no need to spend money on rent, the building won’t need to be kept clean and from time to time no need to repair it. Appropriately, the number of employees is reduced. And along with the number of employees, costs are reduced too.
For a potential buyer, this ecommerce business model also looks attractive. This business model allows them to make purchases online and from every place on Earth (with an Internet connection, of course) and at absolutely any time. It means that buyers no longer have to stand in endless queues to get the desired goods. And for all this, you need to thank ecommerce marketing.
Prices for the same goods on the Internet are usually cheaper than in the cheapest supermarket. This is one of the features of an ecommerce business plan. The owner of an ecommerce store doesn’t have to pay the rent and can manage with fewer employees. Its costs are reduced, and hence the prices of the goods he can put less. And, of course, it attracts buyers. But the benefits of ecommerce marketing don’t end there.
Choosing the goods. Is it easy?
It only looks this way.
At the same time, the most simple and difficult step is the choice of goods for your ecommerce store. This step should be given as much time and attention as possible because it is a pretty responsible point of your ecommerce marketing. Many things will depend on it when you launch your ecommerce store.
In the process of selecting products, you need to check how filled niches with similar offers. Count all the pros and cons. Calculate profitability. Find out if there is a demand for this type of product, etc. Your ecommerce business plan can’t be perfect but it should be tested.
How can you do this?
First of all, you need a starting point for your marketing strategy. As a starting point, you need to use not your own needs, but the needs of potential buyers.
The wrong way to choose a product:
Can I sell it?
The right way to choose a product:
Do customers need it?
Some criteria for successful
Make sure your product is available and in demand throughout the year. For example, ice cream is very popular in summer, but in winter the sale of ice cream decreases. It’s not an example of the wrong marketing strategy, but do you really want to face all these difficulties, knowing there is the way much easier?
That is why you need to make sure your product isn’t this type. But choose it at the beginning of your way because it will be hard to re-build your ecommerce business plan later. Even if we are talking about large deliveries, it’s better to ensure equal profits throughout the year than in the winter to rely on fate.
Your product must somehow stand out from the rest of the proposals. Of course, you can emphasize a specific product with the help of marketing tricks. But let’s leave it as a plan B.
To improve the product, you need to know what can be improved in it. For this purpose, reviews of buyers perfectly will approach. Read them on different sites. The more information you collect about the product, the more confident you will feel in your business model.
And by improving an existing product, you attract the attention of a large audience, because an improved product is often the same as a unique product. And for a unique product, there is always a buyer.
Before you choose the type of product for your ecommerce marketing that you will sell, find out how easy it is to produce.
At this stage, you don’t need to go too deep and learn all the details of production. But familiarization with the production process of this product will be your advantage and, of course, it’ll be an advantage of your ecommerce business plan.
Size and weight
One of the advantages of ecommerce marketing is that your customers are not limited only by the city where you are located. But it also imposes obligations. You need to arrange delivery. You need to figure out whether to include it in the price of the goods or make it separate.
Check the rates of different delivery services. And, of course, you need to know how much your product weighs and how large it is. Thanks to this data, the delivery service will be able to calculate the cost of transportation.
There is a very popular business model. Dropshipping allows an entrepreneur to sell products online even without stocking products by themselves.
Thanks to this business model entrepreneurs can focus on more important things than just carrying stuff. Using this method entrepreneurs can concentrate on promotion that will bring in new customers.
But does it still work in 2019?
Pros and cons of dropshipping
Alas, this business model is losing its popularity. This happened for several reasons. Let’s consider them.
- You don’t need to buy goods from the manufacturer, so it’s easy to start in this area;
- For a start, you only need money for minimal needs – creating an online store. It means no need to look for any investment;
- One of the features of this business model is that you don’t need to create the product yourself. Your only task is to find a buyer;
- In fact, the goods are not at your place. To sell it to a customer you don’t need to buy it;
- If you decide to stop doing dropshipping, you will have minimal losses.
Actually, it sounds like a brilliant beginning of ecommerce marketing plan. But let’s see what cons it has.
- Because in this area easy to start, there is a huge competition;
- You can hardly stand out from competitors because everyone works with the manufacturer under the same conditions;
- Price for advertising on the Internet is getting higher and higher because of its popularity;
- For the same reason, it is difficult for you to create a unique selling proposition;
- Low margin is a slow death of non-unique proposition.
The user can always buy cheaper the same product that you sell. And this is what makes this business model irrelevant. Manufacturer along with you and your competitors sells its goods on the Internet. The user won’t be difficult to find the manufacturer’s online store, compare prices and make a choice.
And still whatever business model you choose, you still need to build a website. There are some tips about how to do it.
Building an online store
Of course, it’s not always easy to start. And in order to start and avoid the most common mistakes, you need to analyze the strategy of your competitors. It means that you need to pay attention to such points:
- What quantity of goods presented in the online store;
- What business model is used here;
- What social networks are involved;
- Who is the target audience of these stores;
- How stores interact with the target audience;
- What kind of content is better to affect sales?
- What techniques do your competitors use to increase sales;
- How loyal visitors are and how it is expressed.
When you will get answers to all these questions you will be able to analyze the real situation of this niche. Much better to spend some time but don’t lose money. Do it before you will start your ecommerce business. It is more important for your success than everything else.
Brand name and URL
Of course, before you start to create your online store you shouldn’t only check your competitors but also figure out how your website design should look like.
Check a domain name and URL. They might be relevant. It is a very important step. And if you figure out that domain you need isn’t available, think about something similar or if it is only the beginning of your way, maybe you should think about another name for your brand.
Choosing a name for your brand is a hard task, but you can ask our experts. They will share with you their valuable experience. It is always important to have experienced mentors behind your back during creating process.
Choosing a platform
Make sure that the design you choose fits your chosen platform. Currently, there are many platforms. There are so many of them that we will need a separate article in order to describe the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. Therefore, be careful when choosing a platform.
You should know exactly what result you want to achieve, and then the chance to choose an inappropriate platform will be small. And in order to formulate specific requirements, you will be helped by ready-made design, market analysis, and competitor sites.
Ask the right questions
Before you begin, think again about your goals and objectives. Do you know how to achieve them? Are they clear enough?
If not, then work on them some more. After all, it is possible that instead of expanding into the pros and cons of BigCommerce, Shopify and WooCommerce, etc., you could sell products online on a marketplace like Amazon.
Think about the future of your online store
Make sure your online store can grow with your needs. If the business is successful, can you expand the range? If so, how will you do it? If not, think in advance about how to do it differently.
Time flies. Everything changes around. Think of a better result, and sooner or later you will necessarily achieve it.
In the beginning, was the Mail
Exactly! Before starting work, make sure that you have an email marketing company.
Needless to say, mail marketing is very important for your business. It’s still very effective. Therefore, at the very beginning, you need to develop a marketing company.
You need to know how you will attract customers. Good email marketing is indispensable in any business. We all once came across the tricks of email marketing.
Customer service is a vital item of any business, and of course business on the Internet. You need to make sure that your customer service is working smoothly. But how to get this?
This can be achieved very simply. For this, it is enough just to remember that your customers aren’t your debt or obligation, but your capital. Change your attitude to the subject and get a new result. And in this case, we are talking about good-quality customer service. But let’s look at this item in more detail.
What should be a good
First, you need to create a unique email, which will be responsible only for customer support. You don’t need to talk about promotions, lure customers, etc. using this email. Your goal is to solve the problems your users have.
Reply to emails as soon as possible. The sooner you answer the user’s question, the more likely this correspondence will end with the purchase.
In addition, when questions are answered immediately, the client shows more confidence in such online stores. And the trust of the client is something that is very hard to earn, but easy to lose.
Call it your special tactic. Your goal is to optimize your process of communication with clients. If you need to convey the same information to hundreds and even thousands of people, why not use the templates?
Of course, you need to personalize each letter. Don’t forget to change the names in them. So, you are more likely to be heard by a potential customer.
But what to do with customers
who are unhappy?
Happiness is usually quiet. But disappointment likes to talk. Therefore, unhappy customers – a dangerous phenomenon. However, everything, as usual, depends on the approach and your efforts.
Give gifts to unhappy customers. And especially it is worth doing, if the reason for which they are dissatisfied, occurred through your fault.
Initially, you will make certain mistakes. It’s unavoidable. But the outcome of this depends only on you.
Work on updating your online store constantly. Don’t allow the design or some features to become outdated. And this can easily happen. In our time, everything is developing rapidly.
According to statistics, 44% of visitors will tell in their surroundings about the unsuccessful experience of buying things on the Internet. So, you need to be pretty careful. Discuss your website design. Test your site. Collect feedback. And only then launch your ecommerce project.
When you start to get a steady profit, develop your ecommerce marketing plan. It’ll help you not to get lost among competitors.
So, what are the chances
Ecommerce marketing costs a lot of money. Therefore, you should make sure that you price your goods in the right way. But why is it so expensive? The answer is popularity. Everyone has an idea to have his own online store. Everyone dreams about passive income. But…
But again, turn to statistics. According to modern research, 50% of online stores don’t achieve the first sale. Only 10% of them function successfully. Recently, so many online stores have been created that it is difficult to judge the size of the competition. Practically most niches are full of offers. But not all of them. And if you are really going to devote yourself to this direction, you first need to create your own unique offer or get some product ideas. Maybe exactly you invent a new approach that will appeal to most buyers. You will never know until you try. And now it’s time to do it!