The new year is just around the corner, and today is the day you set the wheels in motion for the eCommerce business you’ve been planning to start. We’re going to provide you with the step-by-step guide you need to get your eCommerce business off the ground and start off on the right foot.
So, stick with us if you want to learn…
- How to choose your eCommerce business niche
- How to find profitable products
- How to create your eCommerce business brand and business name
- How to build your eCommerce business online store
- How to promote your eCommerce business and build an audience
But let’s start with the basics.
What is an eCommerce Store?
eCommerce stores are online stores that enable customers to purchase products or services from the comfort of their own homes. eCommerce businesses can range in size, from an individual entrepreneur selling a few items on their website to large corporations with hundreds of employees and millions in revenue.
The key to success for any eCommerce business is understanding how the industry works and how you can leverage it to make your business successful.
Now, let’s get started on how you can start your own eCommerce business in 2023.
But before you decide to start, it’s also important to ensure this is the right path for you.
Is an eCommerce Business For You?
Take a few moments to evaluate yourself and consider if an eCommerce business is right for you.
- Are you passionate about selling products or services?
- Do you have the time and dedication to commit to running your own business?
- Are you comfortable with technology, since most of your work will be done online?
- Do you have a background or any relevant experience in sales, marketing, and customer service?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then an eCommerce business could be an excellent choice for you. However, if you answered no to any, all hope is certainly not lost! There’s always a learning curve when starting any new business, especially in eCommerce. But the skills and expertise will come with time if you start with a passion for building a business.
How to Start an eCommerce Business
Of course, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the process of starting an eCommerce business.
So, let’s get back to those critical steps to follow in the process.
Step #1: Choosing Your eCommerce business niche
Right off the bat, you’ll need to decide what kind of eCommerce business you want to start. You can sell physical products, digital products, or services. Whatever you choose, it should be something that interests you and that you’re passionate about.
Your niche will also be how you differentiate yourself from the competition so it should be something that has the potential for growth and profitability. Research the market and look at how other businesses in your chosen niche are doing and how they’ve set up their online stores.
Step #2: Finding profitable products
Once you’ve chosen a niche, it’s time to start finding profitable products to sell in your store. As there is likely going to be competition in your space, research how others are pricing their products, how they’re packaging them, and how they’re marketing them.
This gives you a better understanding of how you can make your store stand out from the rest and how you can create an edge for yourself in the market.
When it comes to pricing, research how much your competitors are charging for the same product and any other relevant information.
Step #3: Creating your eCommerce business brand and name
Once you’ve chosen a niche and found profitable products to sell, it’s time to create an identity for your eCommerce business. This includes creating a unique brand name, designing a logo, and creating a website or online store.
Your brand should reflect what your business is all about and how you want customers to perceive it. You also need to double-check that your intended website’s domain name is available and any social media handles associated with your business name are too.
Step #4: building your eCommerce business online store
Creating an online store that’s easy to use and secure is essential for the success of your eCommerce business. You have many options for building your store, including using a website builder like Shopify or WooCommerce.
You’ll need to choose how you want to accept payments, decide how customers can make purchases in your store, as well as how they will receive their orders.
It’s helpful to have a checklist of items to consider when building your store, as this will ensure you don’t miss any essential elements and that everything runs smoothly.
It might include…
- Setting up a customer service page
- Designing how products will be displayed in the store
- Choosing how customers can make payments
- Adding security features to protect customers’ personal information
- Creating content for product pages and blog posts
- Insert keywords and phrases to optimize the store for search engines (more on that in a moment)
Step #5: Marketing and advertising your eCommerce business
The last but not least step when starting an eCommerce business is getting the word out about it, so you can start seeing some sales. Next, you’ll need to create a marketing strategy that includes strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media campaigns, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and more.
Having a robust online presence is essential if you want to get your products in front of potential customers and make sales. An effective strategy can help you to build a loyal following, increase brand awareness, and ultimately generate more revenue for your business.
Your eCommerce Marketing Plan
Now let’s get into how you can create an effective marketing plan for your eCommerce business.
Create a content strategy
Content is key when it comes to SEO, so make sure you create helpful content that potential customers will find interesting and engaging. For example, you might write how-to guides related to products in your store or create blog posts about topics relevant to your niche.
Using keywords and phrases throughout your content can also help increase traffic to your website, so make sure you’re doing keyword research and using the right words. Let’s talk more about that.
Keyword research 101
Yes-you’ll need to do keyword research to find the best keywords for your eCommerce business. This involves finding out what terms and phrases people are searching for related to your products or niche. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Moz to help with this.
With the right keywords on hand, you can include them in your content and be confident it’s optimized for search engines and can be easily found by potential customers.
Use social media effectively
Social media is a good way to reach customers and build a following for most businesses. Use various platforms to showcase products from your store, share tips and advice related to your niche, or offer discounts on certain items. Also, ensure you’re interacting with potential customers by answering questions or responding to comments.
Take advantage of other marketing tools
In addition to organic traffic from search engines and social media, you can also use other marketing tools to reach potential customers. This may include paid search, retargeting campaigns, or leveraging influencers in your niche.
Keep track of how your eCommerce business is doing
Once you have launched your store and started marketing it, make sure you keep track of how it’s performing. Keep an eye on how many visitors are coming to your eCommerce site, how many purchases they’re making, and how much revenue you’re generating.
You should also track how well your marketing campaigns are performing, so you can adjust them if needed. This tells you if your eCommerce business is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
If you notice your eCommerce business isn’t making the kind of progress you hoped, some common culprits could be behind this.
Common Problems with eCommerce Sites
Here are some things to look out for if your eCommerce business isn’t performing as well as you’d like.
Poor product descriptions
People won’t make a purchase if they don’t have enough information about the product. So make sure your product descriptions are clear and concise. That way, customers know exactly what they’re buying.
Outdated website design
If your website looks outdated or isn’t user-friendly, people will be less likely to purchase. Your website should be modern and easy to navigate, so customers will have a positive experience visiting your store.
Slow loading pages
If it takes too long for pages to load on your website, people will get frustrated and leave without purchasing anything. Optimizing your site for speed can help you keep potential customers engaged and reduce bounce rates.
If you’re not getting enough people to visit your website, it could be because of a lack of marketing or poor SEO. Spend some time doing keyword research, optimizing your content for search engines, and taking advantage of other marketing tactics like retargeting or influencer outreach.
(Learn more about SEO for a small business here)
Advertising Strategies for Your eCommerce Business
Coming up with an effective advertising strategy for your eCommerce business is also a must. Advertising can be a great way to reach potential customers and get them interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some of the most popular types of online advertising for eCommerce businesses:
Search engine advertising
Setting up search engine ads can be a great way to target customers who are looking for specific products or services. You can use tools like Google Adwords to set up campaigns and target people who are searching for words related to your products.
Learn about Google shopping ads versus search ads for eCommerce next.
Social media advertising
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are other excellent ways to advertise your store. You can set up targeted campaigns that reach people based on their interests, location, or other demographic information. Just do your research ahead of time to find out which platforms your target audience spends their time on.
Retargeting campaigns are a great way to target customers who have already visited your website and encourage them to come back and make another purchase. You can set up retargeting ads on Google, Facebook, or other advertising platforms.
Analytics Tools for Your eCommerce Business
Finally, you should also employ analytics tools to track your store’s performance. This will help you understand how people interact with your website, how much they spend, and how successful your marketing campaigns are.
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and popular analytics tools for eCommerce businesses, and it’s free to use. You can track how many visitors you’re getting, how long they stay on your website, which pages they visit, and much more.
How to Start an eCommerce Business: FAQs
Here are three common questions we get about how to start an eCommerce business:
What do I need to start an eCommerce business?
To start an eCommerce business, you’ll need a website, a payment processing system, and inventory or products to sell. You’ll also need advertising and analytics tools to help track how your store is performing.
How long does it take to launch an eCommerce business?
The timeline for launching an eCommerce business can vary depending on how much work you need to do, including how many products you plan to offer. Unfortunately, there’s no specific timeline—launching your store could take anywhere from one week to six months. To speed up the process, consider using an eCommerce platform like Shopify that can help you quickly set up your store. Of course, working with eCommerce experts helps with this too!
Why isn’t my store getting any traffic?
We understand how frustrating this can be if you put a lot of work into your store but no one bites! Troubleshoot some of the items we listed in this post to see if there’s anything immediately identifiable. It might also be worth getting an eCommerce store audit so you can get some specific, actionable advice for your store.
And most of all, reach out for help! There are eCommerce experts (like our friendly team at Blue Water Marketing!) who have seen and done it all when it comes to starting an eCommerce business. We’ll ensure you get all the help you need to make your store successful. Call us today!
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