Planning on launching an e-commerce business? This is something that many people have done since the start of the pandemic, either as a way to earn money on the side or as a full-time business. This is a business that you can run from home and there is the potential for success, but it is also important to understand that there is no guarantee for success and it can be hard to get your online store noticed. Therefore, it is helpful to be aware of a few tips that should help you to get set up and running and find some early success with your e-commerce business.
Sell Products That Are In Demand
It might sound obvious, but it is vital that you are selling products that are in demand. Many people start an online store selling products that they are interested in, but if these are too niche then you will never succeed. Currently, there are lots of great options for products that are trending, such as:
- Home exercise equipment
- Exercise clothing
- Maternity wear
- Arts and crafts
- Pet accessories
- DIY supplies
- Electronics and gadgets
Establish A Target Market
Following on from this, you will also need to establish a target market. Selling all of the above products would not be much good because that would be too broad and you would find it difficult to target such a wide customer base. Instead, you need to have a theme for your store, such as health and fitness, or the home. You can then establish your target market and create customer personas to keep in mind when marketing your business.
Analyze The Competition
As mentioned in the introduction, e-commerce is fiercely competitive and has become even more competitive during COVID-19. This means that you need to have a strong understanding of your competitors and industry leaders, so spend time analyzing their stores to determine their strengths and weaknesses. With this information, you can then create a brand that will stand out and define a USP. In order to find success in any competitive industry, you need to be able to differentiate yourself and bring something new to the table.
Create A Strong Brand Identity
Leading on from this, you also need to create a strong brand identity that will be memorable and appeal to your target customer. You need to have a relevant and catchy name for your online store and consider using a professional logo designer to create a high-quality, professional-standard logo that will impress.
Choose A High-Quality E-commerce Platform
It is impossible to succeed in e-commerce without a high-quality e-commerce platform for your store, such as Magento. Open-source platforms like this allow you to easily design and maintain professional, easy-to-use and customizable online stores. When designing your store, make sure that it is easy to navigate and has a smooth purchasing experience for your customers.
Backup Your Data
When starting an online store (or any other type of business), you need to do all that you can to protect your data. This is particularly true in the current climate, where cybercrime is a major and growing issue affecting businesses of all sizes. There are a number of ways to protect your data and business from cybercrime, including cloud backup solutions from experts like avepoint.com. Some cloud service providers often do not do enough to protect your data, so make sure that you have backups available.
Use High-Quality Product Information
When launching an e-commerce store, one of the most important considerations is the product information that you provide. Keep in mind that online shopping has limitations and consumers will always be taking a slight risk when they purchase products online. This is why you need to provide as much information as possible, such as:
- Professional photos from multiple angles
- A product video
- Unique descriptions
- Size guides
- Directions for use
- Customer reviews
Offer Shipping Options And Free Returns
One of the main reasons that people abandon their shopping carts when shopping online is the cost of shipping. You are more likely to find success by increasing your prices and offering free shipping or by offering free shipping when customers spend a certain amount, but you should also provide a range of shopping options so that people have a choice. As mentioned above, there is always an element of risk when it comes to online shipping, so free returns should also be an option and this can help to build trust.
Have A Strong Presence On Social Media
It is important to use digital marketing to increase the visibility of your online store, but you will struggle to compete on the search engines against the household name stores. This is why social media is such a valuable tool for an e-commerce store owner, as it is a way for you to reach a much larger audience and get more traffic to your store. You need to have a strong presence on social media, including creating and sharing high-quality content that will be valuable to your target customer. If you have a home e-commerce store, for example, then you could offer decoration tips, how-to guides, information on trends and more. Additionally, be sure to be responsive and try to create a community for your target market on social media.
Make Customer Service A Priority
Have you ever had a negative customer service experience with an online store? It is incredibly frustrating whether this taking a week to get back to you, do not apologize for a fault or are generally rude. This will deter customers for life and lead to a negative reputation, so instead, you need to make customer service a priority and treat every customer with respect.
Hopefully, these tips will help you when setting up your online store and help you to find success in what can be a competitive industry.