How To Build, Launch And Grow A Successful eCommerce Business
There is a lot of work that goes into the process between the conception of an idea for an online store, to an up-and-running online store, to then a successful store. However, there is an unending amount of resources out there to tell you what steps you need to take, and the most important ones have been compiled into this post.
Step 1: Choose A Product
Without a product, there is no point to an eCommerce business, because there’s nothing to sell. So it’s safe to say that this is the most important step. There are several strategies you can use to find the right product, several of which involve asking yourself what kind of successful eCommerce business you want to be running. So, first, you need to determine what is most important to you. Is it more important to you that you are pursuing a passion, or that you are pursuing a profit? There isn’t a wrong answer, but if you’re pursuing a passion then you most likely already have a product or a series of products in mind that you want to sell.
If profit is what you are after, then follow one or more of these strategies and you will arrive at a product ripe for a successful eCommerce business. First, do your keyword research. This strategy requires a comfortable knowledge of SEO, but the point is to find a product that has a high SEO capability and so it will be easiest to market and most likely more profitable. The next strategy is to create a unique brand. Even if it’s a product that has been sold in a variety of different forms across hundreds of eCommerce stores, if you can create a creative and unique enough approach to this same product, then you’ll be able to beat out the competitors. The third strategy is to find a product that provides a solution to frustrating or painful problems for customers. People will always be searching for a solution to their problems and will always be willing to purchase something to fix it (as opposed to purchasing something just because they want it). Another strategy is to find out what your customers are passionate about. If you know about a niche market where people are willing to shell out money for their passions (sporting equipment, for example), occupy that niche and sell to them. Finally, try research upcoming trends. This is important to capitalize on it early because of the very nature of “trends,” but if you can get in before the trend gets big, then you’ve found a great product to sell.
Step 2: Choose A Manufacturer
Choosing a manufacturer for your online store can be an incredibly stressful process. Not picking the right manufacturer could mean a host of problems down the road. You also could be selling a product that’s already in place, in which you would need a supplier rather than a manufacturer. But either way, the first step to take is to find a handful that you can check out in terms of the policies or their materials. A great resource to find manufacturers or suppliers are through online supplier directories, which you can find for both domestic and overseas manufacturing. You also can take advantage of good old Google search, although take care that you may need to do more than a little digging. Another excellent resource is to reach out to other businesses (eCommerce and storefront) that seem to be roughly at where you think your supply level will be and ask them about who they use. Referrals and word of mouth are a great way to get anecdotal information about how a supplier and manufacturer operates and how well they do their job.
Step 3: Preparing Your Business
This is the nuts-and-bolts of the operation in terms of building your business foundation: it’s time to write a business plan. First, you need to do research into your competitors. This requires some digging throughout the internet to take a look at the other successful eCommerce business selling similar products. Determine who you think your top handful of competitors are and then evaluate what they are doing well and what they aren’t doing well with their business, their website, and any social media work they have. You can gain inspiration and knowledge about what you should do with your own eCommerce store, and if there are any similarities in what they lack, make sure that you have it in your business.
Once you’ve research, it’s now time to create your business plan. First, you need to create a general description of your company, the products it will be selling, and the customers it will be selling to. Next, include any research you’ve compiled about the audience you are selling to and the industry you are selling in. Then, devise a day-to-day plan of operations and who is going to be a part of it. How are you going to be running your business? What is your customer service going to look like? Who is in charge of various different systems and operations? After that, make detailed notes and information about the products you are going to be selling and how you are going to be marketing them. And finally, create projections for your revenue and finances. Pick five years out to keep it manageable, but sit down and figure out where you think your business will be then.
Step 4: Build Your Successful eCommerce Business
Now it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and figure out what you want to call your eCommerce online store. The problem with an online store (and consequently, a website domain name) is that there are so many online stores that you’re perfect name might already be taken. Which means you should prepare yourself for being flexible (and prepare yourself for disappointment). Come up with a few different names you really like, and then see which ones are available. If you really love a specific name and it’s already taken, try to find a way to adapt or enhance it so that it’s a little different. Once you’ve chosen a name, you also need a creative logo. This is going to be your brand, your product, and your store’s personality all in a small graphic. Not everyone is great at graphics, so while there are plenty of online resources that can help you out, it’s also worth it to look to a professional to help you create a unique, well-crafted logo.
Finally, it’s time to actually create your online store. There is plenty of information out there about which eCommerce platform or solution to use for your type and level of business. It’s important that you keep in mind what your business specifically needs, what you are trying to achieve with your website, and what level of tech savvy you can be to handle creating a website. Once you have it set up, then you begin filling in your product photography and product descriptions, and you’re on your way to a successful eCommerce business!
Although this article lists only four actual “steps,” there are quite a lot of steps and things to consider when creating and operating a successful eCommerce business. While a lot of people attempt to DIY their online store, there are professionals who can walk you through it, like design and development agency 1 Digital Agency. 1 Digital can do everything from designing and developing your store, all the way to digital and SEO marketing. However, stick to these steps (and a lot of Google searching) and you can be the owner of a successful eCommerce business in no time. If you are planning on starting your own eCommerce online store, contact Genius eCommerce today and let us help you get the ball rolling!