Table of Contents
- 1 Are you thinking about starting your ecommerce business soon?
- 2 Do your Market Research
- 3 Pay Attention to Licensing Requirements
- 4 Choose an Ecommerce Platform that Meets your Needs
- 5 Set Up Payment Gateways
- 6 Build a Recognizable Brand around your Store
- 7 Customize your Online Store
- 8 Promote your Store
- 9 Conclusions about starting your ecommerce business
- 10 General FAQ’s
Are you thinking about starting your ecommerce business soon?
Now is a great time to be thinking about starting your ecommerce business.
The ecommerce industry is flourishing and is expected to reach $4.88 trillion by 2021.
For entrepreneurs just entering the world of online selling, this means lots of competition.
That’s why just designing a product and choosing an ecommerce platform is not enough to stand out. To grab people”s attention and increase conversions, you need to have a solid launch strategy.
Here are 7 key steps to take.
Do your Market Research
When entering the world of ecommerce, many entrepreneurs dream of becoming the next Amazon or eBay. To sell a wide range of commoditized products, you need to have an enormous budget and, above all, to compete with lots of established brands.
So, instead of casting your net wide, identify a specific niche.
Start by performing solid market research. As a new business, try not to enter the overcrowded market, as it includes stronger competition. Still, if the competition is low, this may mean that the niche is not profitable enough.
Once you pick your niche, you need to identify your target audiences. Conduct surveys, ask for feedback, observe customer interactions on social networks to collect customer data and build solid buyer personas. These details should include your customers demographics, backgrounds, interests, problems, etc.
Pay Attention to Licensing Requirements
Ecommerce platforms make it easy to set up an online store and payment gateways.
However, many inexperienced entrepreneurs forget that ecommerce businesses do not differ from regular, physical stores. To sell your products online, you need to get the required licenses and permits.
Here are a few steps to take:
Choose an Ecommerce Platform that Meets your Needs
There are many ecommerce platforms to use when building your store and some of the most popular options are:
Here are a few additional ecommerce platforms to choose from:
Set Up Payment Gateways
Each of your customers has their preferred payment method. That?s why you need to adapt your payment gateways to their needs. Not all ecommerce platforms offer the same payment gateways, so this is a key thing to consider when selecting them.
Here are a few most popular gateways to consider:
PayPal is one of the most popular payment platforms that is designed not only for individual users but also for companies and developers. It provides 24-hour monitoring, has solid revenue protection against fraud, and offers fast payments.
Above all, it has an enormous reach of over 200 countries, supports 25 currencies, and it super-easy to integrate with most ecommerce platforms.
Authorize.net is a payment gateway that provides direct credit card payments. It supports all popular credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, and Visa Checkout, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Payments are made either via a credit card or via an electronic check and the money is transferred to you via a bank account.
Stripe is designed specifically for online stores. It is customizable, offers one-click checkouts, and provides real-time analytics options. Besides credit card payments, Stripe also supports other types of payments, such as Bitcoin or Alipay.
Amazon Pay is the top choice of many ecommerce businesses. It boasts simplicity, customized buying experiences, and top-notch security measures. Users can spend more time browsing products and less time checking out, which may increase the overall buyer journey and maximize your conversions.
Some additional payment gateways to choose are:
Build a Recognizable Brand around your Store
Just building a responsive ecommerce website is not enough. To gain customer’s trust and position yourself as an authority, you also need to build a solid brand around your name.
For starters, choose a consistent brand and domain name. This way, when a customer looks you up, your website will be the first thing they will see on Google. Consistent brand and domain names gain people’s trust. Ensure that your domain name is brandable, memorable, and easy to spell and search for.
Then, pick your logo, as this is the visual representation of your online business. It should reflect your values and missions, helping you stand out in the sea of similar businesses. You want to choose a logo that is unique and easily recognizable to increase brand awareness.
You also need to pay attention to the choice of color palettes. Choose one or two main colors and a few supporting colors. Each color triggers a certain emotion in a customer. If you want to emphasize trustworthiness, use blue. Green is perfect for organic products, while pink is ideal for makeup brands, as it stands for femininity.
It’s important to maintain brand familiarity and consistency across all online and offline channels you use.
No matter if it’s your packaging design, social networks, blog posts, printed materials, a brick-and-mortar store your brand elements need to be used. Creating a brand style guide that would dictate the use of your brand’s logos, colors, typography, and message across all marketing channels may help.
Customize your Online Store
When you begin starting your eCommerce business it’s important to stand out. Do you have a brand guide? Picked your brand colors, typography, tone of voice, personas defined, and it all comes together-right?
Today’s customers don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all buying experiences. They will give their personal data and even pay more to get relevant products and offers.
So, what to do?
For starters, start tracking each buyer’s interaction with your website. Look at their browsing and purchasing history and provide relevant product suggestions. You could also recommend related products and send them targeted email newsletters, based on their interactions with your site.
You should also invest more in your UX design. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and that it includes breadcrumbs, search boxes, and internal links that will simplify customer’s searches.
Reduce the number of categories in the navigation menu and provide product filtering options to help people find the products they’re searching for.
Provide 24/7 customer support. Integrate a contact form, make your email address and links to social profiles prominent, and create a detailed FAQ page.
Most online stores have live chat, but why not use chatbots, too? They will provide accurate, friendly, and human-like answers to your customers in real-time, irrespective of their location or time of day.
Promote your Store
Starting your eCommerce business requires that you have sales. This requires that you develop a demand waterfall. How many visitors do you need to make for the sales forecast?
Now that you’ve built your store, it’s time to drive traffic to it.
There are many digital marketing opportunities to leverage.
First, invest in SEO. Hire an agency that will help you understand searchers’ intent and align your keyword research efforts to it. Target organic and long-tail keywords that will help you show up in relevant searches, in front of the right audiences.
Building links on relevant sites, blogs, and platforms in your niche will also increase your brand credibility and help you drive lots of organic traffic to your site.
Second, use PPC. As you’re new in the digital marketing skies, it will be difficult for you to rank high in Google’s SERPs. With the help of PPC, you will increase your visibility and drive relevant traffic, without having to wait for months or years to reach the first page of search results.
Third, social networks help you humanize your brand and build personal relationships with your audiences. Use them to grow your online community, provide value to audiences, collect their feedback, and answer their questions faster.
Conclusions about starting your ecommerce business
Building and launching an online store may sound like rocket science to you but it’s not that difficult. When you plan each step strategically and dive deep into the research process, you see that this entire process is logical and easily achievable.
Keep in mind that running an ecommerce business requires testing your tactics and revamping them.
Hope this helps!
What is the definition of e-commerce?
E-commerceÂ is the action of buying or selling products on online services or over the Internet. Modern electronicÂ commerceÂ typically uses the Internet for at least one part of the transactionâ€™s life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail.
What is ecommerce with an example?
Electronic commerceÂ is a way of doing business over large electronic networks such as the Internet. Also calledÂ e-commerce,Â electronic commerceÂ greatly facilitates transactions between companies and consumers (B2C), between one company and another (B2B), and between individual consumers (C2C).
Is Amazon an ecommerce website?
AmazonÂ is one of the most popular online marketplaces used by both individuals and businesses, and theÂ siteÂ is available in many different countries and languages. From those humble beginnings,Â AmazonÂ has become the most extensive onlineÂ ecommerceÂ retailer and one of the most influential brands in the world.
What is the e-commerce process?
E-CommerceÂ (also known as electronicÂ commerce) is aÂ methodÂ of buying and selling products or services, making money transfers, and transferring data over an electronic medium (Internet). This network allows people to do business with no barrier of distance and time.