Millions of people want to be their own boss. With the Internet, the goal becomes more accessible than ever as people can make an e-commerce business via a marketplace or website builder without hassle.
Yet, you have many to-dos to tackle before reaching the maximum potential of an e-commerce business. In this article I will walk you through the process of starting an e-commerce website in no time.
1. Know Your Target Audience
A target audience refers to people who will buy the product or service, not those who use it. For example, the target audience for a children’s bookshop should be their parents and not the children.
Knowing and narrowing your target audience is essential because it’s difficult to reach everyone at once. It will also help you get a vivid picture of who your audience is and their motivations to buy your product to create suitable marketing strategies.
2. Conduct Market Research
Market research helps you get an accurate review of your business, prospects, and competitors. Check the different types of market research below.
Interviews: Provide face-to-face interactions, allowing you to have a natural conversation and see the interviewee’s body language.
Surveys: Compared to interviews, surveys can save more time and give respondents flexibility to fulfill it, but you may not get a detailed explanation.
Competitor analysis: Helps notice the competitors’ performance and outdo them.
Public sources: Refers to accessible materials or statistics from reputable parties, like government or research agencies.
3. Register Your Business
Registering your business is necessary for plenty of reasons, including tax requirements and a loan from the bank. It also avoids being sued by another registered company with the same name as yours.
One-person business owners or sole proprietorships can be an exception, although you have to be responsible for the lawsuits, debts, and taxes.
The business registration requirements may vary depending on the location and type of your business. Generally, you have to get a registered notary consisting of the business details, like the business name, objective, and amount of capital.
If you’re stuck on the brand naming process, check a business name generator that helps you find a perfect business name by only typing the keywords around your business.
4. Secure Your Domain Name
You not only need to register your business in the physical world but also in the digital space by purchasing a domain name. It refers to the address of a website that people type on the browser bar, such as Facebook.com.
After picking a brand name, go to a domain availability checker to ensure that no one hasn’t used it, then purchase it. For a budget-friendly option, get an e-commerce builder offering a free domain name in their pricing plan.
5. Choose the Right E-Commerce Builder
Creating a customer-friendly e-commerce site starts with choosing the right e-commerce builder. Consider these must-have elements of a suitable e-commerce builder.
Affordable pricing: Think about your budget and understand the platform’s payment plans. Some platforms may add more costs as you scale up your business.
Freedom of customization: Helps you avoid a generic look and personalize the design elements to match your brand.
Easy third-party integration: For enhancing the site’s functionality. Examples are built-in live chat and loyalty program software.
Reachable customer support: To help you tackle the problems immediately during the building process.
6. Build a Beautiful e-Commerce Website
Almost 40 percent of customers will visit the business’ website before purchasing in the physical store. As it determines the customer decision-making process, make sure your website carries good functionality and design.
e-commerce builders may offer templates but customize them to avoid being identified. Find a theme and get inspired from other sites if you have no idea how to make yours unique.
We recommend checking out creative solutions by a chocolate company Bon Bon Bon who apply fun vibes through their design elements like colors and patterns, also a fashion line Bouguessa using a minimalist layout and emphasizing the design on their high-quality photos.
7. Configure Payment and Shipping
More than 60 percent of people abandon their shopping carts before checkout, so it’s important to make your checkout process user-friendly.
Here are several tips for a better payment flow.
Avoid opening the payment to different windows or pages.
Keep the layout away from distractions.
Offer multiple payment options, such as bank transfers and digital wallets.
Guarantee privacy and security to the customers.
Just like diversifying payment options, you also need to vary shipping services because each carrier has its pros and cons, and your customers may have different preferences.
8. Write Your Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions protect your business from a later claim since it acts as a contract between you and your customers. You can include a shipping and returns policy, clear descriptions about your products and services, and guarantees offered, if any.
Don’t just copy from other sites because you may have different terms and offers. Imagine any scenario of what might go wrong and think about what you would do for each issue.
9. Take High-Quality Product Photos and Videos
Product photos and videos help customers visualize the offered product or service. Moreover, it can be an attention-grabber as the human brain can process visuals faster than words.
Vary the shots to help your audience get an overall look at the product and engaged with the visual story. Use personalized visual creatives to make your brand stand out and avoid over-editing to keep the visuals genuine and honest.
10. Have a Solid Launch Campaign Strategy
A well-designed e-commerce platform may not be recognized without a well-planned launch strategy. Get a successful launch campaign strategy by applying these methods.
Pay-per-click advertising: Is a great method to direct targeted traffic to your website.
Influencers: Persuade their followers to buy your product as their opinions are trusted.
Press release: Informs media and their readers about your business launching.
Giveaways: Helps you generate the audience’s excitement and buzz around your business.
11. Set up Your SEO-Friendly Blog
Integrating a blog to the e-commerce site will increase the amount of content, which will lead to higher chances to be discovered originally and indexed by search engines.
Publish high-quality content in your niche and include relevant keywords in the SEO elements, such as title, meta description, and images. Maximize local SEO techniques to get more local traffic. Also, organize the site hierarchy by using readable URLs and creating categories and tags.
12. Leverage Social Media
Applying social media marketing for business is vital because they influence the majority of consumer buying decisions and help connect with the audience directly.
Before using social media for your business, create a strategy by:
Knowing the goals: Helps you set the focus and make measurable strategies. Examples are increasing brand awareness, generating engagement, and creating a community.
Picking the best platforms: Understand which platforms your audience mostly uses and select two to three platforms to help you focus.
Understanding the types of content: Vary the content from live streams to infographics and videos.
13. Launch, Track, and Tweak!
After everything is set, launch the e-commerce website and analyze the performance to help make improvements.
Track these important e-commerce metrics to measure your success.
Sales conversion rate: Refers to the percentage of people visiting your site and the ones making purchases.
Growing database: Contains the number of customers’ profiles you have collected.
Website traffic: Looks at how many people visit your website and how they find you–from original search, social media, or paid ads.
Shopping cart abandonment rate: Lets you know the number of people who leave the store without completing their purchase.
Social media engagement: Shows the percentage of followers and engagement–likes, comments, saves.
As you know the data, you will get the idea of which strategy fails and performs well.
A lot goes into starting an e-commerce business, and it can be intimidating. Don’t worry about making everything perfect the first time you create it. Continue learning by doing and tweak it as you go. With practice and consistency, you will proudly be a boss for yourself.
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