Starting an eCommerce business can be a daunting task. But with the right planning and execution, you can create a successful business that sells products online. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips on how to start and scale a successful eCommerce business. We’ll cover topics such as choosing the right platform, creating a marketing strategy, and shipping products.
With so many variables involved in creating a successful eCommerce business and one of them is having an eCommerce business plan, it can be hard to manage expectations.
Here are 10 steps to starting an eCommerce business.
1. Make a comprehensive business plan
Forget about writing your business plan on your own; use an online template. Figure out whether you will start a website from scratch or sell on Etsy or another platform. What do you plan to prioritize in marketing and how much money you can invest? Try to outline as many details as you can.
The pre-made templates are easy to edit and thorough. You’ll discover things you hadn’t considered before. I recommend LivePlan or CompanyBuilder.
2. Build a website that sells your product.
Ecommerce website hosting and design is affordable. If you’re serious about starting an eCommerce business you should shell out a few bucks. I recommend Shopify, but other hosting companies will work too. Great tools are available to make the initial process easier, such as Nexcess’ guide on “How to Build a WordPress Online Store. Once your website is up, you’ll want to promote it so people can find it – Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, or Twitter Ads will be your best bets.
3. Select a product to sell
There’s no need to buy inventory upfront. You’ll also need to decide how you want to get paid for your product – whether that’s through credit card processing or PayPal, or something else. Once this decision is made, many vendors will drop ship products right away so you don’t have to wait until the website starts making money before purchasing the product. An easy way to find vendors is through Vendor Watch.
4. Determine what you want your customers to experience on your site to be like
Customers should be able to easily find and purchase what they’re looking for in a matter of minutes. If you do not know much about web design, then hire someone who does. There are plenty of freelance sites talented workers can be found at, such as freelancer.com
5. Drive traffic to your website
You can do this through organic search, social media marketing, and PPC (pay-per-click). Organic search is great if you’re selling a product that consumers would want to buy regardless of how it is marketed. For example, if you sell cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies – people will be searching for these items no matter what your online store looks like. If you’re not sure whether your product is “organic” search material, then try marketing it on Facebook and Twitter first and see if the numbers work out to justify hiring an expert in organic search optimization. Social media sites are relatively cheap to advertise on but only last for a few days to a couple of weeks. On the other hand, PPC advertising can be very affordable and last for many months or years – depending on your budget.
6. Get creative with customer retention
Customer satisfaction is one of the primary determinants of successful eCommerce businesses. It’s important to create something great (your product should be superior) and make sure customers are satisfied after they make a purchase. You could also offer incentives like free shipping or other discounts for first-time customers to return again in the future. The key here is that you’re doing something special for your customers so they will not forget you!
7. Create an email list
Sending emails through services like MailChimp or Aweber is simple – all you need to do is send the email and collect the email addresses through landing pages or pop-ups. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. The key here is to build content around your target market so you can collect names for your mailing list, this way when you’re ready to sell again – all of your current customers will be notified automatically (you won’t have to go out and find them).
8. Diversify inventory
You could end up seeing success with one product line, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Ideally, the more products you offer the easier it could be for people who like what you’ve done (customers) to purchase something else too! Concentrating on many different products and building a following could result in turning your eCommerce site into a business.
9. Making it work for you
Don’t forget to take some time off and celebrate once your website is live, has cash coming in the door, and employees! Taking a vacation may be just what you need as well as following proven methods for success as an Internet entrepreneur – read How I Make Money Online. So many people have been where you are now and have tips on how to avoid mistakes that they made along the way. Also, consider hiring a coach or joining courses online that’ll help you grow your business. Good luck!
There’s a lot of information here but there’s no need to write it all down verbatim. Just write important points as bullet points.
10. Expand your business
Offer the same products in other languages if there’s demand. Expand into retail stores by doing a few co-marketing deals. Having a retail store right next door to you that carries your products makes sense because it will be easier for customers to come and pick up items instead of having them shipped. Establishing an eCommerce site doesn’t have to be difficult – all you really need is the right information and some time to put it all together.