Starting an eCommerce Business?
Starting an eCommerce business from scratch can be a daunting task.
Before getting started, there are many aspects to consider and plan for, including the website, inventory, logistics, marketing strategy, building your domain authority and more.
This article will walk you through the steps of starting an eCommerce business so that you can see if this is something you would like to pursue.
Find a Viable Product to Sell
This is one of the most critical steps for anyone thinking of starting an eCommerce business.
Your product should be something that sells and has a high demand in your particular niche, but it also needs to make sense from a logistics perspective.
My own eCommerce business is Lelu Fashion – a jewellery store, which specialises in wedding and occasion-wear pieces.
I keep my products at, or close to my home, so that everything is within easy reach, with no delays to my customers. This way, I can promise a delivery time of only 1-2 days (much better than many of my competitors).
For example, if you want to sell handmade scarves on Etsy, then those would need to be shipped from your location or sourced locally. This enables that they can be sent quickly without too much time between production and shipping.
An excellent place to start looking for an idea might be Pinterest or other social media platforms where users post about products they are interested in purchasing online.
Check out my Pinterest course, if you are thinking of using this platform to boost your website visitors.
You could also speak with people who have successful businesses in your industry (catering companies may know restaurants that produce food, etc.)
Design a Website With a Store
The next step is to design a website where you can actually sell your product.
Many different platforms and tools are available for this, but they all have some things in common.
Successfully starting an eCommerce business will include you having an attractive storefront that is easy to navigate.
You can also consider communicating with customers on your store. Simply find out how to add a chatroom to your website.
Your site should be mobile friendly to avoid customers being frustrated when purchasing items on their phone or tablet.
One of the best ways for your store’s checkout process (including shipping)to show up properly on various screen sizes is responsive web design (RWD).
RWD allows sites’ layouts, images, fonts and content to change dynamically at each break-point from one size range into another.
Partner up With a Logistics Company
Logistics is the process of ensuring that your product gets from you to a customer in an efficient and timely manner.
There are many logistics companies out there, but they need to handle all aspects of your business so that they can give advice on what kind of packaging should be used or how far ahead each step in the shipping process should happen.
Most eCommerce businesses will need storage space where products can sit until they are ready to ship.
It may also make sense for them to have their fulfilment centre (warehouse) with employees who sort through orders, package items and ensure labels are accurate before sending packages off.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Since eCommerce businesses do not have the same advertising channels as brick-and-mortar stores, it is essential to develop a marketing plan that will help you reach your target customer.
Some ideas for this could be social media content such as Facebook or Instagram ads which can send customers directly to your website where they purchase items.
You may also want to create blog posts on topics of interest in your industry so that people looking for information on those subjects find their way back to your online store.
Content Marketing is a very important aspect, which comes with owning your own eCommerce store.
You now have a game plan for starting an eCommerce business from scratch.
Remember that it is going to take time and effort as you create your website, find the right product(s) to sell, choose logistics partners, develop marketing strategies and more.
Good luck on your venture!