There are always two sides to a coin, and e-commerce is not much different. While many consider establishing an online store as simple as running any other business, many blogs point out the several hiccups that might be encountered along the way.
But there’s no denying that it’s a fantastic way to make extra money. With a bit of time and technical knowledge, you can build your own online store. However, it’s imperative that you go about doing it the right way. And though there are several stories of people achieving overnight success, you should take the time to learn everything properly.
There’s never going to be a better time to get online than now. Ecommerce has been growing at 13.7% on a year-to-year basis. In fact, the hardest part is deciding the niche of your business or what you plan on selling. However, a little research is all you need to get you started on the right path. Following are a few things that you shouldn’t overlook while developing your online store.
#1 Create a plan
The first step that all entrepreneurs, especially an online leather jacket store, should have a realistic, functional business plan. When writing an e-business plan, you must focus on the kind of experience you want your customers to have. By highlighting your objectives, strategies, the current industry, and financial forecasts, you will be able to devise a system that can help your store thrive and grow. The most important part of any plan is how you see your store a couple of years down the road.
You need to begin by identifying your goals, the target audience, the type of product or service you want to provide on your site, how much money you need to invest, how to establish a strong online presence, etc. By focusing on all of these points, you can aim at increasing traffic to your store.
#2 Research the industry
Everyone has a great new idea, but is it unique? Will there be enough people interested in buying your product or service? Begin by searching on Google- an entrepreneur's trusted friend. You’ll find that the market is very competitive- no surprise there.
The best way to stand out in the crowd is to provide something different. Rather than catering to the needs of the public, tweak your idea and focus on serving a specific audience. For instance, instead of approaching the consumers with all kinds of outerwear, niche down and consider selling only the best leather jackets.
#3 Test before you invest
Before you invest a great deal of money, effort, and time into your new project, you need to make sure there is a demand for your product. One of the easiest ways to do that is to start a blog and ease yourself into the industry. Not only will you be able to identify whether there is a demand for your ‘bright idea,’ but you are sure to gather a significant amount of information about the current market.
A simple WordPress blog will suffice. And you can master the technicalities in no time at all. As you research and write about all relevant aspects of the products you plan on selling, you’ll become a bit of an expert. Create interesting content, provide links in each article, and employ the services of Google Awards. Increased organic traffic is a sign that you are headed in the right direction. Customers will appreciate what you’re writing and have an interest in what you’re offering.
#4 Recognize the competition
Analyze the market and establish your stance in the industry. Look at the products that your competitors are providing. Identify any of their shortcomings or gaps. Fill the void and make a place for your business.
An effective way to make connections and build relationships in your industry is to get active in forums. It will help to keep you updated about recent trends within your niche. It’s also a great way to get more links from posts and funnel new visitors to your page. Once you have the contacts and understand the in-depth components of the trade, you can move forward into the retail business.
#5 Get online
Decide on a domain name that depicts your brand and instantly attracts more online visitors. It should allow customers to understand what the business is about clearly. It’s not only about hiring an expert website development agency to create your ecommerce store. You need to select a professional logo design that adheres to your brand, utilize clear typography, and implement a persuasive color scheme that coincides with your brand. And don’t forget to employ high-quality SEO tactics to drive your online credibility and raise brand awareness.
#6 Design to impress
Implement the right software that can deal with multiple customers and products at the same time. Design a website that’s easy to navigate and enhances UX. When a customer appreciates and enjoys visiting your site, he is more likely to continue further and commit to a purchase.
An online store is not much different than your regular brick-and-mortar store. You need to target a digital customer in the same way as you would a walk-in one. You must be able to provide adequate content about the various products that are being sold, facilitate internal search, provide filtering and sorting options, supply clear pictures with precise detailing, and promote unhindered checkout. Though some go as far as providing customer ratings and reviews, it’s more important to extend services to increase customer engagement through a mobile-friendly app.
#7 Provide payment options
If a customer cannot complete a transaction, there’s no point of working this hard to establish your ecommerce store. Equip your website with the proper payment gateways and logistic services before launching.
Consider the following:
- Does the business require currency support?
- It should have an impressive payment processing time.
- It should integrate with the existing UI.
- It should be a feasible option with low setup fees.
- Implement appropriate fraud protection policies.
- Always provide complete information about the bill- customers hate hidden costs.
- Provide adequate customer support.
#8 Pamper your customersFinally, pay special attention to your customers. Sway them to your store by creating a unique UX that is hard to forget. Create customer loyalty through promotional discounts for valued customers and providing product suggestions based on previous purchases or searches. It’s important to review your products and services to identify any issues.
A happy customer will pass on his experiences to anyone and everyone. Therefore, it’s crucial to integrate social media with your online store. It’s the best ways to incorporate marketing and generate more sales.
There are numerous things you need to focus on when developing your ecommerce store. Remember to begin by gathering enough knowledge about your audience. And throughout every step, don’t forget to analyze the ROI.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs.
You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524