When you come up with a great idea for an online store, you may want to get it kicked off almost immediately. Before you dive right in, it’s beneficial to educate yourself on some of the most important steps to take in order so that you can lay the foundation for your thriving business. If you are looking to start an eCommerce business and don’t know where to start or if you’re looking to strengthen the groundwork of your current business, read on!
What am I selling?
If you are anything like the majority of other eCommerce sellers, you do not create your own product to sell online. This means you have to determine the items you want to sell. Unless you have an item you’re passionate about and can market well, you need to do some research to ensure the success of your business. First, you can look into current trends in the eCommerce space. To do so, you can go on online selling platforms like Amazon and take a peek at the trending sections. Items that are selling well or that are predicted to sell well may be a good place to get your foot in the door. If you go the route of selling trendy items, you may run the risk entering a market oversaturated with competitors. Without products that match the vibe of your brand and help create awareness of your brand, odds are sales will come and go. Which leads us to…
What is my brand? What will I name my business?
What do you think of when you hear the word “brand”? Most people probably answer the name of a brand, like Nike. That is not the definition of brand we are talking about. When getting your online business up and running, creating your brand means displaying culture, vision, purpose, and more. To display these components, you’ll craft your logo, brand title, and tagline accordingly. Although creating your brand feels basic, it requires a little more thought than you might anticipate. Start by asking yourself, “Why do I want to start an eCommerce business?”. Looking further into your motivations and values can help you create a brand identity that appropriately conveys what your company stands for to your customers.
What will my shipping process look like?
If you’re like many other sellers in that you do not create your own product, you must consider how you’ll get the product to people who buy from you. Will you carry and ship your own stock, or will you leave that job up to someone else? If you choose to carry and ship your own stock, make sure you have the time to effectively ship your items as well as the space to store your stock. The benefits of handling your own product are plenty: you have more control over product quality and you can provide better customer service. On the other hand, you may decide you’d rather a third party hold and ship your inventory. Having a fulfillment center take care of your placed orders takes a lot off of your plate, but there are a couple things to consider before diving right in. First, you have no control over product quality. Products can get damaged by handlers and get shipped to a customer’s front door without your knowledge, leading to dissatisfied customers. On top of this, shipping is totally out of your hands. If your fulfillment center is particularly backed up, your shipping time increases and you can do nothing about it. Take time to think about your resources and abilities to decide whether conducting order fulfillment yourself or via a dropshipper is best.
How will I attract customers?
Online businesses old and new struggle with how to keep bringing in new customers. Unfortunately, people will not magically stumble upon your storefront. You have got to go searching for customers! Many new eCommerce store owners find it helpful to create a marketing related plan for customer acquisition. When creating this plan, you may want to consider who your target market is, what social media platforms they frequent, and what type of promotions and advertisements would draw them in. In doing this, you’ll be refining your marketing process. You definitely want to build some brand awareness and reach potential customers via online advertisements when you start out. Ads catered toward your target market are a good way to get your name out there!