How Can I Start an E-commerce Business?

If you are reading this you might have got tired of the monotonous 9-5 job. Do you feel it’s time to change your life?

Imagine – sitting in your living room and making millions in your pajamas. Or maybe renting that awesome office downtown and leading the whole team?

For all that to become a reality you only need fast web hosting, a domain, and a website. So It’s all up to you!

Actually, it’s perfect timing to jump into the e-commerce train. By the year 2040, researchers are predicting that 95% of purchases will be made from the web.

So if you plan to build your eCommerce business yourself, let’s get our hands dirty!

Coming Up With an idea

First and foremost – you have to come up with an idea. What will your business be about? What do you want to sell? You can brainstorm, research businesses for inspiration, do a survey, or even talk with your friends for inspiration.

You must be passionate about the thing you want to sell. After all, you’ll have to work on it day by day and convince your customers that they need it in their life.

Finding Your Product

Since products are the core element of the eCommerce business, you will have to spend a fair amount of time researching them. Finding the right product can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing. Here’s where you can start:

  • Use google trends. As the name suggests, you can check what is trending at the moment. Type in any keyword, and look at whether people are looking for it on Google. If you see that it’s trending, that’s a good sign, and you can go for it! However, you need to catch the latest trends rather than going for something that has been popular for a while. Chances are many others are already selling it.
  • Is it easy to get? The more popular the product, the less successful you will be while trying to sell it due to the competitive market. Don’t go for such things as books or basic t-shirts; there are already thousands, if not millions of retailers selling them.
  • Look for a niche. Your main task is to find an underfilled niche, and supply to that. Maybe you have already looked for a product and couldn’t find where to buy it. Perhaps it’s not sold in your county? Those are the products that are going to sell.
  • Solve a customer problem. Another approach to finding the right product is finding what problems customers have. You can go through other stores’ reviews and collect valuable feedback. Maybe there is something specific customers need, but it’s nowhere to be found.

Product Sourcing

After you come up with a product idea, you need to find the supplier. There are a few main ways of how you can get your products:

  • Making it. You can easily sell your handmade products in your online store. Making your products is great because you have total brand and price control. However, it’s very time-consuming.
  • Manufacturing it. Simply put, you find a manufacturer to make your product for you. It’s an excellent choice for someone who has a unique idea for a product that doesn’t yet exist. You have total control over quality and quantity. However, it requires significant investments upfront, which comes with considerable risk.
  • Wholesale. Here you buy other brands’ products at wholesale discounted rates and sell them in your store. It’s a pretty straightforward solution.
  • Dropshipping. It’s a very trendy way of handling your online store. You sell products that you never come in contact with. It goes straight from the manufacturer to the customer, and you act as an intermediate. It’s great because you almost don’t need any investments. However, the competition is pretty fierce.

Creating your website

A website is going to be the primary tool, which you will use for your business. Don’t worry; even if you have never made a website, with some guidance, you can do it easily.

First of all, you need to decide which platforms you will make your website on. Here is a great tutorial, which will help choosing the best platform for you.

I personally would recommend using WooCommerce, which is an eCommerce plugin for a WordPress platform.

Since you are making an online store, the speed of your website is of the utmost importance. Shoppers won’t wait around if your website load time is too long.

It should load in no more than 4 seconds; however, the faster it is, the better. With every reduced load second, your bounce rate decreases, and you generate more sales.

Not only that, but website speed significantly affects your SEO ratings. The faster it is, the higher your store will rank on google.

In order to make a website, you will need to buy a hosting plan and a domain. Make sure that the host you choose is fast and has 99.9% uptime. Fast web host servers will significantly increase the overall performance of your website.

For example, with Hostinger’s LiteSpeed cache plugins and SSD drives, your website will load at lightning speed. And all that comes at a great price too – starting only from $1.99 per month.

You might even get a free domain name together with the plan!

Don’t forget the security measures either. Since you are going to deal with customers’ payment information, your site becomes more vulnerable. Your host will provide some basic security features such as SSL, but you need to set a lot of it yourself, and here is how.

Customer Service

Customers often abandon their cart if there isn’t an option to reach out for customer support. The good news is that there are several ways to prevent that!

First of all, try to include as much information as possible on your site. That will help to decrease the number of repetitive questions that could have been answered directly on the website.

A well-written FAQ could help with answering important questions like shipping, payment methods, returns policy, product qualities, and many others.

For more complicated queries, you could opt for an email form, connected to the “contact us” button.

However, if you think that online assistance is a must for your clients – then you should invest in human resources. Either phone or chat support will require someone constantly on call.

Marketing Strategy

After you are done with technicalities – it’s time to spread the word. E-commerce marketing can be tricky, but there are a few main points that I recommend doing right away.

The key to an eCommerce marketing strategy is finding the right channels. Find where your customers are gathering, advertise yourself there, and blow up your sales.

I know it sounds easier said than done, but Google Analytics and tools like Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin help you to track all your sales and see where your customers are coming from.

After you have those insights, you can start planning your ad campaigns – Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, or anything else. Only through trial and error, you’ll know for sure what works the best.

Don’t forget to implement SEO for better search results and keep an active social media presence for better brand recognition!

And that’s it! All you need to know before starting a successful eCommerce store. I hope I helped, and good luck with skyrocketing your business!

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