In recent years, e-commerce has reshaped the modern marketplace and business industry. With the elimination of the need for a physical store, business owners can achieve new heights with e-commerce stores in this post-COVID world.
“E-commerce isn’t the cherry on the cake; it’s the new cake.”
However, every new phenomenon has its own challenges and not everyone with an online store is guaranteed success. Therefore, businesses need to look beyond the hype and develop their own perspectives on the value of an online store – will it work for your business?
If you think e-commerce might be the way to go, here are some pointers for getting started.
Before setting up your e-commerce store or finding products to sell, the very first thing you need to do is research. You need to understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re going to do it. To figure that out, you need to research every aspect that is related to your business.
Creating an online business is an investment, so you need to understand the business model that suits you the best. There are many business structures available, and each accommodates different needs and requirements. For example, if you are someone who likes the idea of having your warehouse full of goodies, managing inventory, and being ready to invest upfront, the wholesaling or warehousing model will suit you the best.
However, if you want to turn a profit without the hassle of stocking goods, packaging, and investing heavily at the start, drop shipping or print-on-demand would be a smart choice for you. If you are interested in rebranding and selling your favourite products under your own brand name, you might do well with white labelling. Ultimately, understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you identify the best business model that can drive your e-commerce store to success.
The design of your online store is the first thing that grabs the attention of your customers, which is why you need to create a visually appealing website with easy navigation and quality images. Your website could be a professionally designed, personalised site, or else one that’s built using a template from an e-commerce platform like Shopify – either way, your customers should be able to easily manoeuvre within the website to find their desired products.
Having well-organised product categories is key for easy navigation. You also need to focus on having the best quality images of your products. These images are the very first thing that can convince a customer to buy the product and the only way for them to confirm exactly what they are buying. Therefore, having high-quality images on your website creates a good impression and instils trust.
Your website also needs to be mobile-friendly; this would give you an upper hand in generating more traffic into your store. Your website could be optimised for mobile and tablet users by making components usable across different screen sizes.
Content is a key element in e-commerce stores. In a physical store, customers get a chance to feel, inspect, and even try out products before buying, but what attracts buyers online is product information. The more high-quality and valuable information you provide, the more your customers feel confident about buying your product.
Being the most informed business in your industry or space also builds trust among your audience. Having things like a FAQ page with pre-identified questions and answers about your products, as well as creating a blog with well-informed articles about your area of business, would also help your customers to have a better understanding of your brand.
“You can’t just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic.”
You should always invest in more innovative and creative marketing strategies in order to increase the reach of your business. In modern times, the most common and most effective marketing is having an active presence on social media. You can establish a rapport and a connection with your target audience through these sites – consider tailoring your approach to each based on the platform’s audience!
Blogging, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), influencer marketing, and email marketing are some other ways to establish and grow your brand.
Brand collaborations can also be extremely effective tools. For example, if you are a new small business, collaborating with a much larger, successful e-commerce store can increase the awareness of your brand while bringing a certain amount of revenue to you as well. Just remember that the other brand has to get something out of it, too!
As your most valuable assets are your customers, it’s always a good idea to give something of value back to them. A common, yet effective way would be to offer discounts, offers, and giveaways for your subscribers and returning customers. These deals can vary from a free shipping deal to a chance at winning a monthly giveaway.
You can also attract more customers by including pop-up deals in your online store. Although pop-up ads may irritate your visitors, a freebie will always grab their attention.
So, there you have it! Those are our top tips for starting an e-commerce store – good luck!
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