As online retail sales increase markedly each year, there’s no better time than the present to start your own eCommerce store. Increasingly, people are choosing to buy products from their phones rather than drive to a physical store.
So you can take advantage of this modern digital trend, we’ve compiled the 5 fundamental steps you should take when launching an eCommerce store:
1. Find a profitable niche.
An important rule regarding sales is to always sell what you like and what you know. When you are choosing a product, it’s important to pick something you know and are passionate about. A good way to nut down what may be a profitable niche for you is to list all the things you like to buy and use in hobbies and daily activities.
For example, if you’re into to skiing, you might start an eCommerce site in this niche. You could sell everything from skis, boots, goggles, helmets, gloves, jackets and other things related to winter sports.
Another good planning exercise is to list what you and your friends complain about. If you know people who occasionally complain about something, maybe they need a solution that can be delivered as a product or service.
Even the slightest dissatisfaction with current products or distributors is a sign that there is a need for something better.
2. Website functionality.
It’s no secret that we are living in the mobile age. However, merely developing a mobile app for your products is not enough to execute a successful mobile strategy. Globally, devices are becoming a native party of our everyday lives, whilst mobile commerce booms and usage penetration peaks. This means that the average consumer won’t use an app just because it’s downloadable.
Whether on a website or an app, strive to make the mobile experience for your consumers a seamless extension of the culture your brain is promoting. This requires you to be in tune with your customer behaviour, and be able to understand what makes them laugh, cry and purchase.
5. Security considerations.
You’ll pay a monthly fee for just about any hosted cart, but it will be a small price to pay for not having to worry about security patches, server configurations and regular updates.
Most eCommerce sites will use a hosted cart. However, this is a small price to pay for not having to worry about server configurations, updates and most of all, security. There are many hosted cart options for you to choose from, With a few of the most popular being: Shopify, Spark Pay and Volusion.
However, it should also be taken into consideration how you’re going to protect your customers’ data. Are you technologically advanced or will you enlist reputable IT company? Not only will IT support services protect your data and boost your website’s security, but they can provide technical support, up to date stats, as well as other eCommerce support services so you can track and monitor your data and continuously improve.
6. Market, market, market!
This may seem obvious, but most businesses grossly underestimate how much marketing is involved to build a viable eCommerce site. Especially in the initial stages, there is a considerable amount of effort required to expand your business’ reach. Marketing should involve a combination of both digital strategies and brick and mortar techniques in order to reach the largest audience possible. Think about starting a blog and gaining a social media following, whilst also utilising print media and traditional advertising tools.
Starting your own eCommerce website may sound like an arduous undertaking, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. It can be as simple as finding your niche, assessing your mobile website functionality, keeping your data secure and marketing wisely. Of course, every eCommerce sector is going to vary, however these are the 4 fundamental steps that you need to take to ensure your site is as successful as possible.