For many of us, starting an online store seems like a dream come true. After all, this is a chance to work with the products and companies you love, while simultaneously being your own boss. However, having a store that will bring in some serious cash is no easy task, which is why I’m giving you a few helpful tips on how to get started. Check them out below:
Concept It Out
If you’re looking to start an online store, the first thing you should determine is what type of products you’re going to sell and why. The goal here is to solve a problem, being a source that people look towards either in a specific industry or culture. And while that might seem like a daunting task, the opportunity might be right there at your fingertips.
Given that you’re going to be dedicating quite a bit of time to establishing and running your store, your online business ideas should be something that you’re passionate about, and feel as though there’s a missing element to it. For example, if I’m a huge fan of fashion, but feel as though there’s a market missing for vintage clothes, then that would be my target. And since we’ve established our “what,” it’s time to start on the “why.”
Figure Out Your Design Scheme
When starting a new online business, your design is going to have two components. The first is going to be with your actual brand and aesthetic, which will be on all of your marketing materials (including your website), and the second is the user experience or UX. On the former, focus on putting together a design kit, which gives you the colors you’ll use for your materials. For example, the vapor company Juul utilizes bright tones to match the flavor of their juices. If you don’t feel like you have the design skills, then perhaps hiring a designer might be your best, or working off a theme. However, be wary of some themes, as they might disrupt your UX process, which is one of the most important aspects of any online shop.
Your UX is going to be how people behave within your site. This can be anything from how someone can view a product to what’s featured on your homepage. Design schemes generally have a mission to them based on what the company is selling. For example, the home security company Angee is trying to sell a single product rather than an entire store, which their information and design are geared towards getting you to sign up.
For your eCommerce shop, focus on the organization of information, and how you want your site to go. Try studying a few case studies of your favorite websites, as well as why you like the design scheme. I’ll note that while some of them might be out of your budget to develop, you’ll get an overall feel of what flows you like. And finally, don’t beat yourself up if your site isn’t perfect at first, as it can always be changed and grow with your business.
Familiarize Yourself With Popular eCommerce Techniques
As you’re building out your website, it’s not a bad idea to consider the different sales strategies you might want to distribute. For example, knowing how to execute an end of the year or flash sale, as well as how discount codes work. These are going to be crucial tools to staying competitive because as Social Marketing Fella notes, flash sales alone account for a 35 percent lift in sales alone. And, if you want to achieve numbers like that, you’re going to have to invest in the infrastructure to do so.
Take some time to study popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, as well as reading about the capabilities you’re going to need. Most will probably integrate with whatever content management service that you’ve chosen, which while it might take a little time to figure out, will be a relatively seamless process. And finally, no matter what level of technical prowess you possess, it’s always good practice to keep up with the latest trends.
Build Up Your Marketing
Finally, as you’re getting ready to launch, it’s imperative to start compiling your marketing plans. Given you’re just entering the eCommerce world, I highly recommend starting out with the social platforms you’re already familiar with, as well as email marketing.
As you’re most likely attune to how communities build on the social media platforms you’re already a part of, start jotting down some talking points, as well as a rough calendar of a posting schedule. As for the latter, email is a top-choice amongst eCommerce stores, citing high engagement. In fact, according to Hubspot, emails about an abandoned cart has a 40.5 percent open rate alone, which off the bat gives you a much better chance of landing the sale. Overall, marketing is going to be the primary driver of your success and should be a heavy focus in your mix.
What are you most excited about regarding starting an online store? Comment with your answers below!