If you dream about launching the next ecommerce success story such as Net-a-porter or Moda Operandi, then there’s never been a better time to get started.
While you may get discouraged feeling that all the best online store ideas have already been done, the fact is, the ecommerce industry continues to grow with no signs of slowing down.
In 2019, there are still plenty of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to make their visions a reality.
The good news is, when compared to traditional retailing, ecommerce businesses are relatively straightforward to set up and manage. That means that there are less things to prevent you from launching than there used to be.
Not only are ecommerce businesses faster and cheaper to set up, but many of them can be run from your home – while some businesses models don’t even require you to carry physical products!
As with venturing into any new territory, it can be hard to know where to begin and how to succeed. But provided that you’re willing to put the work in over the long term, and you have strong belief in your abilities, then there’s really no reason why you can’t succeed.
So if you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, and you’re toying with the idea of starting your very own ecommerce store, read on.
Here are some key tips to consider if you’re thinking about launching an ecommerce business.
Tip #1 – Get niche-y
When you’re small, it’s crucially important that you clearly define WHAT you’re selling, and exactly WHO you are going to sell it to.
Decide what type of clothes or products you want to sell right down to the smallest details. This could be anything from selling the perfect capsule basics for busy professional women, through to luxe maternity wear or eco-friendly activewear.
Keep in mind that your niche should fill a gap in the market or meet a demand (so do your research – more on that below).
Once you have decided your niche and ideal customer, then it’s a case of designing/sourcing these clothes from manufacturers or wholesalers and offering them for sale.
Dropshipping is a great option for novice entrepreneurs as it means that you can experiment with selling all kinds of products and clothing without having to buy it in advance or store it.
Tip #2 – Tackle the technical stuff
The next step is to choose the best eCommerce platform, to get your online store up and running. This will involve a custom domain name registration which should be as close to your company name as possible in order to establish your brand.
Many platforms offer domain registration and hosting along with web design which streamlines the process and makes it easy to manage your business all in one place.
Tip #3 – Do thorough market research
As with any type of business, it is important to carry out market research before committing further time and money into your venture.
Market research will help you identify gaps in the market, set prices, learn from your competitors and avoid costly mistakes.
Use the information to build your brand around filling any gaps in the market and establishing your point of difference.
Tip #4 – Perfect the customer experience
We’ve all stumbled upon online stores that are clunky to use and slow to load. And we’ve all clicked away from those same stores as fast as we found them.
When setting up to the store, you need to make sure that it is a fast and smooth shopping experience for the consumer. This will mean that navigation, customer service and product information is easily laid out.
High-quality product photography, detailed product descriptions, plus reviews and customer service contacts are all essential.
Tip #5 – Get your brand out there
Once you have your store up and running, and you’ve ironed out any teething problems, then it’s time to increase awareness about your brand.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to gain brand exposure that can cost literally nothing. So growing your network through sharing engaging content, running promotions, and connecting with your target demographic is a no-brainer!
In addition to social media, you can use various forms of digital marketing to increase your visibility online and improve your brand reputation.
Whether it be delivering useful and informative content through a blog on your website, or simple advertising, these steps will attract more visitors to your store.
And once you have them, it’s then a matter of converting them into customers through high-quality products, competitive prices and a smooth shopping experience.
If you have a passion for your product and a passion for projects, then setting up your own ecommerce store can be an enjoyable business venture and potentially a profitable one.