Entering the world of eCommerce goes far beyond picking a business name and building your online store. This blog post will help you launch your eCommerce site.
The eCommerce industry is booming right now. According to Statista, it is expected to surpass $4.88 trillion by 2021.
For you as a rookie online retailer, this means more competition. And, to stand out, you need to strategically approach every aspect of your eCommerce business’ creation.
Here are a few key tips to keep in mind.
Choose Your Niche Strategically
Unless you have a gigantic budget, selling commoditized products and competing with brands like Amazon is not such a good idea.
Instead, you need to focus on catering to a specific niche.
For starters, research your target market. Monitor the companies that are already in this industry. An overly crowded niche usually means more competition and fewer opportunities to succeed. On the other hand, the absence of competition may mean that the market is not profitable enough.
Create Buyer Personas And Choose Products to Sell
If you already know what you want to sell, then you need to check how profitable your idea is.
For starters, research your target audiences. Collect customer data from multiple resources and create detailed buyer personas. They should include all relevant details about a customer, from their demographic data and background to their goals, problems, hobbies, and interests. This is how you will understand what kind of products they’re interested in.
Ask yourself how brandable your product is and whether it stands a chance to catch fire in the competitive market.
Key Requirements To Consider When Establishing An Online Business
There are a few legal requirements you need to consider before starting your eCommerce Website:
Registering Your Online Business.
Choose a short, easy to remember, and unique company name that will reflect the qualities of your brand and stick in customers’ minds. Then, register your business.
Apply For Relevant Licenses And Permits.
Similar to any other business, you need to have certain licenses and permits to launch and run your business. These permits include your employer identification number (EIN), a seller’s license, a sales tax license, an occupational license, a basic business operation license, etc.
Sure, you will need to check your city or country legislation to see what kind of licenses you will need to launch an online business.
Build A Solid Budget Plan For Your Business.
First, ask yourself how you will fund your business. Will you use bootstrapping, crowdfunding, or take out a bank loan? If you want to learn more about different ways to fund your small business, read this guide to business funding by Scottish Pacific. Securing funds on time is immensely important, as it lets you plan and allocate your resources more wisely.
Establish A Solid Brand That Stands Out
Your goal is to build trust with your audiences by creating a recognizable and authoritative brand. Here are a few tips:
Choose Your Domain Name.
Even though your company name and domain name doesn’t need to be the same, you should keep them consistent. First, it makes you easily findable. If someone looks for your brand name, your online store will be the first thing they see. Second, it increases users’ trust, as they will know that they’ve landed on the right site.
Avoid any commas, hyphens, numbers, etc. to avoid confusing customers.
Finally, check the availability of your domain name. If it’s already taken, consider contacting the domain owner and ask them whether they’d like to sell it. Or, you could simply choose an alternative domain extension. Search engines value all TLDs the same.
Create A Logo.
Choosing your online store’s logo is immensely important, as it is a visual representation of your business. You need to make it simple and catchy. Start by choosing the type of logo. For example, will you use symbols, letter marks, watermarks, or combine forms of logos?
Select Your Brand Colors.
According to the psychology of colors, each color triggers a certain emotion in us. For example, red is the color of passion and love. Orange emphasizes playfulness, while yellow denotes happiness. Blue highlights the trustworthiness of your brand, while green stands for growth and nature.
When designing your brand personality, make sure you use your brand elements consistently across all channels. It’ always a good idea to create a brand style guide early on and share it with your teams to ensure that your brand looks and feels the same on your website, social networks, printed materials, etc.
Build Your Online Store
Now that you’ve registered your business, it’s time to choose the right eCommerce platform to build your online store. The options are multiple and the most popular ones are Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc.
When choosing your eCommerce platform, there are numerous factors to consider.
First, evaluate pricing plans and what you want your store to have.
Second, pay attention to things like page load times, compatibility with multiple gateways, relevance to your business structure, SEO-friendly features, and so forth. The good news is that most of these platforms provide free trials, letting you try them out before investing in them in the long run.
Attracting Traffic To Your Online Store
Just building an online store is not enough to appear right in front of your audiences. To do so, you need to invest heavily in different digital marketing tactics.
For starters, investing in SEO is critical for your site’s visibility and growth. Remember that some spammy tactics like keyword stuffing don’t work anymore. Instead, you need to align your keyword research with your customers’ intent. Optimize your site according to the latest industry trends, such as voice search, mobile searches, or visual search.
Link building is also one of the most significant aspects of your SEO strategy. By building or earning links on popular sites in your industry, you will get yourself noticed by wider audiences, increase your industry authority, and drive more traffic to your site.
Social media marketing is inevitable when it comes to driving organic traffic. First, maximize your profiles by including all relevant information and keywords. Second, use social listening tools to stay on top of relevant conversation. Third, join relevant online communities to deliver value to your customers and build personal relationships with them. Finally, start blogging and share your content regularly on social to drive greater organic traffic.
Finally, when you’re just starting out, organic digital marketing efforts won’t be enough to stand out. To increase your visibility faster, grow more relevant traffic, and target the right audiences, you should also invest in PPC.
Promote Your Products To Maximize Sales
When promoting your products online, your goal is to sell them.
For starters, focus on building your email list from day one. Run a social media campaign to gain subscribers, put an opt-in freebie on your website, or host a massive giveaway where a customer needs to enter their email address to participate. This way you will gain loads of qualified leads that, if nurtured well, will soon turn into your customers.
Influencer marketing is also a powerful product promotion tactic, as their insights shape customers’ opinions. Always connect with a reliable influencer in your niche that shares your brand’s values and targets the right audiences.
Invest in effective and multi-channel customer support. For example, use social media monitoring, live chat, chatbots, and email automation tools to provide customers with relevant answers to all their questions.
Partner with sites in similar niches to build your cross-promotion marketing strategy and grow your online reach.
Encourage customer reviews and user-generated content, as they build trust with your potential customers and give your brand credibility.
Establishing, launching, growing, and marketing your online business may sound too complex but, when planned strategically, it’s achievable.
Remember that there is no uniform strategy you could implement to your business and be sure that it would work for you. This is just a list of fundamental steps to take to launch your online store. Sure, you need to adapt them to your specific needs and test their effectiveness regularly.