The future of e -commerce is incredibly bright, however, starting an online business is not as easy as it seems. It requires a full understanding of the Digital presence concepts, decision making and diligence.
To help new entrepreneurs venturing into the e-commerce business, we have brought together the most important steps needed to start your online store, develop it and reach your success goals:
Choosing the right product or Idea:
The first step in starting an online store is to identify the products you want to sell or services you want to provide and who your target audience is. You may choose to target your products towards business owners, also called B2B, or sell directly to consumers (B2C).
Below are a few strategies you can utilize to choose a new project:
- Solve the pain point: This strategy is all about understanding consumers. It revolves around solving a need or problem customers complain about in the market.
- The hobby strategy: This is when you build a product that highlights a hobby that has not been adequately supported or represented by a brand. For example, brands such as Nike and Adidas regularly draw amateurs from various sports games, and develop products specifically for this category.
- Empowering talents and Passions Strategy: Starting a business about a product that you are passionate about gives you enough motivation to power up this project and continue to grow it.
- Experience strategy: You can always launch your own business within the industry of your expertise and knowledge no matter what your experience is.
To successfully launch your business, you need an extensive research on the product or service you're going to offer. The research should evaluate your competitors and provide insights on how you can sell your services differently or how your product can distinguish itself from others.
It is desirable to create a SWOT Analysis where you can study the strengths and weaknesses of your project, how your product or service is delivered, the opportunities for excellence as well as threats from competitors. This analysis helps you develop a clear plan on how to resolve these issues in the future.
If budgeting is one of the obstacles you faced, read more about essential steps to save money here.
Business Plan Development:
To launch your online store, you will need to write the business plan first and set your financial budget. After which you can start with the below:
- Select the right name: This is more than just finding an attractive name or one that reflects your business. You will need to check the availability of this name as a domain or on social media platforms. Websites such as https://namechk.com/ can be very helpful when you need to check if the name is available.
- Creating the LOGO
After selecting the name and buying the domain online, you can go ahead and create your social media accounts using that name. The next step is creating your brand logo; you should aim to create one that is easily remembered by customers. For LOGO design you can either utilize the services of a freelance designer to do the work, go for websites that provides design services at reasonable prices such as, https://designbuddy.com/ or design it yourself through free sites that don't require a lot of design experience such as https://picsart.com/.
- Selecting the hosting platform
: There are many websites that provide e-commerce services, like BigCommerce and Magento, however, the monthly subscriptions may be expensive for new projects that are still launching. Therefore, you should carefully look through the list of benefits included in those pricings before signing up.
- Selecting a payment gateway and delivery partner
: Decisions regarding accepting payments and adopting payment gateways have to be clearly addressed in the action plan, that in addition to the requirements for companies you can subcontract to handle shipping services. Once that is decided upon you can start executing and signing your contracts.
Launch and Marketing:
Now that you've launched your online store, the real work begins! Efficiently marketing the products available on your online store is the basis for your success. When you first launch, your focus should be on increasing the traffic to your online store through:
- E-mail marketing.
- Social media marketing
- Paid Advertising and Boosts
- Quality Website Content and Search Engine Optimization