Starting an Ecommerce Business: Your Ultimate Guide to Succeeding Online
eCommerce is growing 23% Year-over-Year and an estimated 12-24 million sites are live across the globe conducting eCommerce business. Although the number seems quite large, less than a million of these websites sell over $1000/year. So there is a huge opportunity for anyone thinking of starting an eCommerce store.
Another important piece of information is that 46% of small businesses in the US still do not have an online presence and that number is larger when you compare eCommerce penetration in other countries.
How to start an eCommerce business
Having now a rough idea of the scope and opportunity of eCommerce, let us take a look at how one can launch an eCommerce business. First things first though.
Do your Research:
Identify all the market trends, see where you fit in, study competition, and evaluate best practices within your chosen eCommerce category. Since eCommerce is growing rapidly pay close attention to where the market is headed and what successful eCommerce companies/stores are doing to attract/keep customers.
Top of the funnel research is extremely important and could pretty much make or break your business. As you are going deeper into evaluating your sweet spot don’t forget to conduct customer due diligence/profiling (https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-profiling). There are many free and paid tools for this but you can always start with Google (alternatively you can use Batchbook, Surveymonkey, and Alexa)
Pick your product or service:
In this phase you are going to identify what you are going to sell. Is it a product or service? Make sure you conduct extensive research during this phase. The decisions you make from here on are really crucial for your long term success so don’t just jump in to a product or service since everyone is doing it. If anything this should caution you to not chase that same rabbit hole. Remember part of differentiating your product or service is paramount to your success and it’s incredibly important to weigh the pros and cons.
If you have a product that fits a very specific niche try to evaluate marketplaces where you can have an online store without having a dedicated eCommerce website (Bonanza, Hollar, Fullbeauty, Tophatter are examples of marketplaces you can try ). If you are catering to a broader audience you can list your store on (Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Etsy, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Alibaba, and Google Express).
Dedicated eCommerce store/site:
If you choose to take the option of building your own eCommerce site look at industry leading players like WiX and Shopify. One of the key components to eCommerce success is to have a solid technology platform that can help you go to market quickly, validate your idea, and help you scale as you expand your product or service portfolio.
For the purpose of this article I will be using WiX eCommerce platform as an example. Wink Wink we are WiX Icon Partners!
How to design your eCommerce store
While toying with the idea of building an eCommerce store, many business owners can get overwhelmed at the sheer scope of their to-do list. By the way the average eCommerce website has 14 products and 1.6 SKUs. To sell across these multiple products and SKUs you need multiple product pages, pricing and features.
For example the basics needed for designing a storefront are as follows :
Ability to customize the look and feel
Ability to add products
Ability to depict a professional image using industry best practices (CTAs, High quality images, clear navigation buttons, responsive design)
Ability to add physical or drop ship products
WiX has a whole bunch of features that make launching a virtual storefront a breeze.
WiX eCommerce platform will allow you to implement all the basics from 1-5 listed above pretty much out of the box.
In addition they have a marketplace of WiX partners (Yours truly included) that can help with bringing your eCommerce dream to life.
How to market your eCommerce store
After building a virtual/eCommerce storefront comes the most important part of your eCommerce journey...marketing your store. When promoting products for your store you can use both paid and organic channels. But for most newbies a hybrid approach of SEO+PPC will yield optimum results.
For example the basics needed for marketing a storefront are as follows :
Ability to add product videos as required
Ability to implement on page SEO for each of your pages
Ability to promote your product or service on social media
Ability to be found via search engines
Ability to add GA and FB Pixel to your site
Ability to build a subscription list
Ability to market to the subscription list periodically with inbuilt templates
WiX has you covered here as well. They have a comprehensive list of tools you can use to market your storefront. The big advantage here is that from the backend of your website you can manage a whole bunch of marketing efforts and don’t have to spread yourself thin by opting for various third party tools and wasting time in managing those services.
By using WiX you will save considerable time and be able to fire on all cylinders!
How to generate Revenue with your eCommerce store
After designing a beautiful storefront, picking the right products or services to sell, marketing those products or services you end up generating revenue. So how do you do it? Building a trustworthy business is not only about having an eCommerce store and making sales.
A lot of your website traffic and revenue will be highly dependent on the customer’s trust in your brand. As you probably know having a legitimate business online is difficult at the beginning. But there are steps you can take to protect your reputation and provide your customers with a safe and professional shopping experience.
Ability to offer FAQs
Ability to reach customer service via text
Ability to add multiple shipping options
Ability to add comprehensive product descriptions
Ability to evaluate customer behavior and determine what works and what doesn’t
Ability to accept online payments
If you guessed WiX has these features as part of it’s eCommerce platform you would be right. Broadly speaking using the WiX eCommerce platform will help you to establish a comprehensive eCommerce store and intuitively help you in navigating the various aspects of online selling.
To become successful in the eCommerce business you will need a business idea, product to sell and marketing plan. This article is meant to help you get off to a good start to understand each of these areas. If you are seriously looking for additional help and guidance please contact Shuvel Digital Marketing. Until next time!