So, you are thinking about starting an online store? Great! You probably know that online stores are increasing in popularity, and more and more people are shopping online. You have all these ideas on how to improve your revenue, visitors, when to add promotions, shipping, etc. All of those represent essential factors that will heavily influence your success. Still, there are a few even more essential steps beforehand that you need to examine since they will set the foundation of your progress carefully.
Creating an online store is one of the final parts. There is a lot of research that has to be conducted when planning what store to open and what potential customers want. That is why we will go through 5 things you need to do to have a successful start.
- Research eCommerce business models
When you’re at your core beginning, you need to know what you will be selling in terms of products or services and have the right approach to selling it. Are you a service-based business, or you handle physical products? Are you better suited for dropshipping, wholesaling, or warehousing? Maybe affiliate marketing? Or perhaps you aren’t certain yet? Well then, get to work and research different types of online stores and their business models.
There are many options, so choose carefully.
- Choose your niche and your target market.
Research your buyers’ persona and make sure the industry can become successful and don’t pick an overly competitive market. It will be tough to gain some traction.
In this step, you want to shift your focus on a thorough analysis. Research your industry. See who the big players in the game are. Research your possible future clients, what sites they visit, where they live, their hobbies and interests. That way, you will know how to reach your customers, whether with ads or blogs, maybe even videos, etc.
- Website planning
We’ve reached the step of registering a brand and a business name, getting a domain, and creating your website. There are many sources where you can check if your business domain name is available, such as Name.com domain search. Create your logo and brand colors, something that lets you stand out.
Then, you want to create a website. Now, there is no need to wait to get all the products available and then create a website. By then, you lose the opportunity to raise awareness and build some traction and engagement with your future users. You can still create a site, but label it as an under-construction site or coming soon website.
For example, let’s use the Coming Soon & Maintenance Page plugin. This plugin is designed to help you create a website that will inform your visitors that you are currently in the process of building your business and website and that you are close to finishing. By obtaining this plugin, you get a drag and drop page builder and an extensive library of different themes and images you can use to create the site. However, if you want to, with this plugin, you can block search engines if your website is under maintenance. Moreover, you can create your logo, edit the header, use different fonts, and edit the content size, text, and color.
This step is of crucial importance for establishing your brand – gaining an audience even before you go live and ensuring that your opening move has all of the ingredients that provide success. If you want a more in-depth view on this topic, dive into this piece, and discover what it takes to have good hosting, coming soon page, and website design.
There are tons of different plugins you can add to your site, whether for page login customization, popups, client portals, author boxes, or others. They can do wonders for your website, considering the considerable value that they add in terms of customizations and enhancements. Still, they are a mixed bag after all – too many of them can slow your website down, a malfunctioning plugin or a theme could cause severe damage to your website, and when you get one too many, there’s a high chance that you’ll forget why did you even install it in the first place. That’s why you need to be careful and make the right calls, so it’s always a good idea to keep a blog like NavThemes bookmarked so you can easily access recommendations and reviews to make your choosing process effortless.
- Take care of the financials.
By now, you know how your business will look like and who your target audience is. Now, put your business plan on the paper and see your monthly budget and expenses.
Find your breakeven point and project your revenue and expenses. This is probably an essential step as it allows you to operate if done correctly.
- Attract customers
For this section, it’s all about advertising. You need to pay attention to SEO and update your website and content with proper keywords, but also offer value to your clients and customers. Observe the statistics and your bounce rate so you can see if something needs to change. Next, start your marketing and advertising campaigns. Create interactive ads and channel them to your target market and audience. From this, you need to develop good leads that you can later use for promotions, coupons, or testimonials.
Once you start selling, you must provide fantastic customer service. This matters a lot. One-time buyers will become returning customers if they are satisfied with your business methods. To endure this, pay a lot of attention to their approach, how you respond to their inquiries, and how you deal with returned goods.
Next, use content marketing for promotions or building awareness, as well as offering something to your clients or blog visitors that they can use for their own needs. Here, you can focus on social media and building your following, creating email leads and newsletter marketing. This matters in terms of building engagement and creating a community of customers. Stay up to date on the newest trends in your industry, but also what is being said about you and your business on social media.
You can also do this by making your site look more appealing by adding sliders, different themes, slideshows, etc. More of these hacks can be found on the ResizeMyImage blog, which covers everything from design and photography tips, graphic design, social media, WordPress related subjects, and other relevant topics.
Starting an eCommerce business is the move to make with the massive potential it withholds, but you need to approach it with caution considering the details that can decide between a top or flop outcome. Implement these steps in your work and prepare for hitting it big because success is just around the corner!