Online shopping has become a staple in today’s highly digital world. People can find and purchase products with just a click or swipe of a finger. With the continuous popularity of online shopping, there is no wonder why more and more people are thinking about starting a business and jumping into the ecommerce industry.
However, selling online is a lot more challenging than one might think. While you can easily start posting products for sale on the web, it’s not as easy to find customers who would buy your product or buy from you exactly.
Starting an online business and running an ecommerce store requires a lot of planning. From finding the right products to sell to choosing the best ecommerce platform to sell from. To give you a better idea, here is a quick guide on how to plan, build, and launch an ecommerce business in 2023.
A Beginner’s Guide To Starting An Ecommerce Business
Step #1: Conduct background research on your business idea
Jumping into the ecommerce industry should be a well-calculated and planned process. To ensure that you are starting a business on the right track, the first step is to conduct in-depth research on your business idea.
Your online business can come from two general ideas. You could sell products that are already in the market or provide new digital products, goods, or services to solve a persistent problem. Either way, you need to conduct in-depth market research to see the potential as well as the risks and challenges you could possibly face.
Additionally, your research should be able to provide you with an idea about your target market and potential customers.
Step #2: Find and validate your proposed product
Finding the right product to sell online can be challenging. The product should be both profitable and marketable. There should be the right balance between the product’s supply and demand in order to generate revenue.
There are several ways to find products for online retail. Here are some examples to give you a better idea.
- Jump into popular product trends.
- Find and solve a customer problem.
- Capitalize on enthusiastic hobbyists.
- Pull from your personal interests and passion.
Once you’ve settled on the products you want to sell, the next step is to validate your product idea. Doing this provides you with a better understanding of the potential and marketability of the product.
You can consult with potential customers and look into the performance of similar products. Is there enough interest from your target market to pull from? Can you sell your product at a competitive price and still profit? Take note of customer reviews and price ranges and incorporate them into your business plan.
Step #3: Source your product
It’s possible to launch an ecommerce store without an inventory. You can opt to put your products on pre-order and limit your stock to just within the demand of customers. However, this is not encouraged, especially for new stores with little to no branding or foundation in the market.
Therefore, the next step after determining your product is to find how you’re going to source them. If you’re going to provide your own design and create a completely new and original product, you would have to find a manufacturer to contract.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to sell a product that’s already on the market, you would have to find a suitable supplier.
Reselling is a particularly popular choice for entrepreneurs who are just dipping their toes in the ecommerce industry. Starting an online reselling business in an ecommerce platform like Amazon is relatively easy and cost-efficient.
However, you would still have to find suppliers for the product through online directories and listings, process order transactions, accomplish shipping requirements, and set a designated storage location or warehouse for your inventory.
Ideally, keep your inventory at a minimum to prevent significant losses in case your online store doesn’t pan the way you want to.
Step #4: Choose an ecommerce platform or digital channel
Before you start selling online, it is important that you choose the right ecommerce platform or channel for your business. There are several options for business owners to choose from when selling products online. You can…
- Sell on existing ecommerce platforms.
- Create a business account on social media platforms.
- Purchase your own domain and set up an ecommerce website.
Step #5: Build your brand and online store
Regardless of the ecommerce platform or channel you choose to sell from, it is essential that you properly build your brand and online store.
Choosing a suitable business name can be more challenging than you might think. However, it is important that you take your time in coming up with a name that will best represent your brand as well as your products or services.
Pro Tip: Choose a name that is simple and easy to remember. Avoid misspellings, numbers, and complicated symbols. These can make your store hard to find.
Your online store, whether it’s on social media, an ecommerce platform, or a dedicated website, should be designed to be engaging and effective. When building an ecommerce website, it is crucial that you’re able to incorporate essential user interface and user experience elements that will make your online store accessible and easy to use.Another important part of building your online store revolves around your product listings. Your product or service is what your customers came for. Therefore, it is essential that you are able to provide them with comprehensive product listings complete with images and thorough descriptions so that customers can immediately see the necessary information they would need.
Step #6: Launch and advertise your online store
Once your online store is all set, all you need to do is to launch your business so that customers can start to browse your products and buy them. Make sure that you’ve established every necessary process, including order checkouts, payment methods, delivery options, as well as return and refund transactions.
While this marks the start of your online entrepreneurship journey, it does not end here. To ensure that you are running your business successfully and effectively, you need to actively promote and advertise your brand.
You cannot succeed with just purchases from family and friends. You need to be able to reach people and customers much farther than that.
Digital marketing is an essential part of running an ecommerce business. Adopt different marketing tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, content marketing, and the like to boost your online presence and visibility, increase website traffic, and encourage more sales.
Ways To Ensure Ecommerce Business Growth
Prioritize quality customer service
Customers are the heart of any business. Therefore, they should be your number one priority. One of the ways to ensure that your business can go on and stand long enough to grow is to provide amazing customer service.
Customer experience plays a huge role in any business’s success. According to recent reports, roughly 45% of customers abandon their online transactions if their inquiries or concerns are not addressed immediately. So aside from making them happy with beautiful products or services, it is essential that you ensure customer satisfaction before and after any transaction.
Invest in your marketing strategies
Ecommerce is a highly competitive industry. Whether you’re offering a completely unique and original product or simply reselling, there will always be another online store competing for your customer’s interest and attention.
Your marketing strategies can spell the difference between success and failure. The more visible you are online, the more likely people will notice and find your product. Effective digital marketing strategies can also build your brand, establish credibility, as well as create loyal customer bases.
Online entrepreneurship can be both exciting and daunting. The popularity of online shopping makes it a highly enticing venture that aspiring business owners are quick to jump into.
However, successful ecommerce businesses are typically not created on a whim. Instead, it requires a lot of planning, researching, and analyzing in order to find and establish a marketable and profitable business idea.
Want to know more about starting an online business? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company, and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.