Strong online presence and excellent customer services are key to success for an eCommerce business. But then, just like other businesses, you need to put a lot of time and effort to achieve these goals. So, you need to know how to start an eCommerce business.
Entrepreneurs can start an eCommerce business straight away without worrying about the physical location. It is way different from offline or brick-and-mortar stores because of different terms of budget and other conditions.
In this article, we will go through key aspects to consider when you are about to start an eCommerce store. Though the online or eCommerce store can be run by using a laptop, you need to keep certain points in mind to ensure its success. Here we include all factors ranging from extensive research and eCommerce web development to management of eCommerce business online. Let’s start with the fundamentals of eCommerce business.
How to Start an E-Commerce Store-Top Tips to Consider
Whether you are a retailer of FMCG or selling gift articles, you need to focus on these five factors to make your business successful. Even if your business is not completely online then also these tricks will help you a lot. Let’s start from scratch.
1. Research Market and Define Target Audience
It all starts with studying your market sector. For example, if you own a retail store for selling seasonal items, you need to identify the user’s needs across different demographics during various seasons.
You can plan accordingly to promote your products. You should also do extensive research on the expectations and pain points of the target audience and create a business model accordingly. Before registering your business and get the domain name, it is better to define the clear roadmap.
When it comes to starting an online business, it is necessary to determine the way you can present your company or store to the world.
Unlike offline businesses, you need to establish a brand first in the online business. Here the product is secondary and therefore, you need to do proper research.
2. Choose Domain Name and Make Website
A seamlessly-performing website is a fundamental necessity for the eCommerce business. You can choose the domain name and determine the necessary features for the website.
Your eCommerce website is an online representative of your business and helps you strengthen your online presence. You should give your eCommerce website the name highly suitable for your business model and market trends. Here, it is fair to mention that when you select the domain name, never look at the prevalent keywords for the sector. For example, you should not secure the domain name as ‘www.cheapitemsonline.co.uk’ for your online business!
Keep the domain name simple and close to your business name because such a domain name is easy to remember and you can easily target the existing customers with such name. This is indeed the first step when you start an eCommerce website.
3. Select the Best Platform
Do you know that there is no best platform for your eCommerce website? Yes, what we mean here is the most suitable platform for your eCommerce business needs.
When you start an eCommerce business, you have some basic needs in mind, and you should opt for the platform that can fulfill them in the best possible way. An eCommerce web development company can help you select such a platform from top eCommerce platforms like Magento and WordPress. Let’s go through the introduction of both these platforms.
Magento- It is one of the largest and most popular platforms for developing eCommerce websites. Its popularity is largely attributed to the ease of uploading new products and categories. Though it needs some assistance from developers, it enables you to manage the eCommerce business over the period.
Magento 2 plugins and extensions are also helpful for the enhanced functionality of your eCommerce website. Magento is a highly flexible and scalable platform that enables you to sell a range of products online.
WordPress- It does not require any introduction. As a robust and reliable CMS, WordPress has set many milestones in the web development domain. WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin of WordPress to build a WordPress-based online shop. Many service-based and lead-gen enterprises can leverage the benefits of this platform. You can select the right ones from a variety of WordPress themes and plugins to meet your business requirements. If you own an eCommerce shop with limited products, then WordPress can remain handy for you.
4. Competitor Analysis
So, the domain name is secured and the web development platform is selected. Now comes the real part. You need to study the competitor’s activities and find out their flaws.
You can make a list of characteristics that can make your eCommerce website comparable with that of your competitors. Also, you can identify the features that can make your website even better than its rivals. What’s more, competitor analysis can help you make a website compatible with the prevalent standards and best practices. You can readily improve or remove bottlenecks of the competitor’s website.
Here are the key metrics of competitor analysis. In other words, you need to focus on the following aspects of your competitors’ websites.
- Color, fonts, and branding
- Functionality and interface
- User journey, navigation, and experience
- Load time and overall speed of the website
5. Build an engaging and user-friendly website
It is of utmost importance to build a website with all desired features and seamless functionality. Once you have selected the right platform, the web development company can enable you to hire web developers to build an excellent eCommerce website.
You need to ensure that the website is developed as per your strategy or roadmap. You need to collaborate with the team of web developers for including necessary features. As an owner, you know your business model, target audience, and the sector best. It can help you come up with a user-friendly and feature-rich website for your eCommerce business.
A sophisticated and interactive business website with customer-friendly features can certainly boost your sales by attracting more people toward your business.
6. Promote the website effectively
In today’s highly challenging and competitive environment, you just cannot skip the promotion of your website. Be it through an SEO campaign or a digital marketing campaign, you need to promote your website for drawing the attention of many people. Here the reader-friendly and keyword-rich content come into the picture.
The SEO-friendly content can help you make the most of SEO and PPC marketing methods. You need to make an effective marketing plan and take care of its execution. A reliable digital marketing solutions provider can help you promote your website among the target audience.
You can also use creative ads, videos, third-party blogs, and online community building for promoting your eCommerce website. Though the customer services remain at the core of your website and business model, you can get a good amount of web traffic initially by driving a marketing campaign.
7. Redesign website regularly
The eCommerce sector is thriving amid a lot of challenges and ever-changing user demands. Your eCommerce website needs to be updated regularly to meet these requirements and challenges efficiently. It is better to remember that the span of online attention is shorter than the physical attention. Therefore, if you want to keep your online business growth for a long time, you need to keep the website changing. It can help you stay ahead of the competition and make you reactive to changes in the online domain. Also, your business can enhance the brand reputation with fresh and revamped looks of the eCommerce website.
Along with this, it is better to show legal documents like privacy policies, necessary disclosures, and T&Cs on your website. You should also show the proper contact details to ensure that your business does not operate through the online mode only. You can also show a virtual office address if you do not have any office. All these details in a high-quality website can send trust signals to your website’s visitors. This information is also necessary to build a loyal clientele as well.
HD images, review sections and help centers are also necessary to build trust among your existing and prospective customers. Last but not the least; you should give your visitors a secure payment gateway that can help them pay through credit cards or other means. As compared to a brick-and-mortar shop, you need to put more effort to confirm the legitimacy of your online store.
Other Important Tips
The eCommerce business has unique requirements, and we can consider it as a combination of online and offline business. Once you know where to sell products and how to promote them among the target audience, you can come up with an amazing eCommerce website.
Merely having a seamlessly-performing website is not sufficient for your eCommerce business. You require some physical space for storing products or goods. A convenient and cost-effective warehouse or storage location is necessary to boost your online business.
Some of the eCommerce startup owners have already kept a provision for storing goods in their homes. An unused garage or an extra room in your house can act as a warehouse initially. You need to make sure that all the products you have listed on the website are easily available. This can save you valuable time and effort.
If there is no possibility of a storage location in the vicinity of your home office, you can opt for temporary units for off-site storage. Though ideally, a storage unit should be near to the home or office, it is okay to rent the facility at the initial stage.
If you want to start an eCommerce business, these tips will remain very helpful as we have covered all necessary aspects from research to promotion of your eCommerce website. Opening an eCommerce business is quite a hard task, but careful planning and proper execution can help you come up with a customer-friendly online store.
At Solwin Infotech, we assist startups and small retailers to boost their online businesses by providing best-in-class Magento 2 stores. Our in-house team of experienced eCommerce web developers can handle any size of project with ease. Just send us an email at email@example.com with your project requirements, and our expert consultants will get back to you soon.