So, you’re thinking about starting your own eCommerce business. You’re right to start now; the growth of online stores is skyrocketing, mostly due to the fact that an eCommerce site is an accessible way for the average small business owner to expand their reach and dramatically increase their revenue. But before you go any further, understand that creating an effective eCommerce store that actually converts can be a pretty tall order.
If you’ve never built an eCommerce website, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different components that go into building a top-notch eCommerce shop. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to build a high-quality eCommerce store from scratch that can compete with professionals and provide you with all the perks of having access to a global audience.
- Decide what you’re selling
This particular issue is going to be a bit different for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s going to depend entirely on what kind of business you want to run and what you want your operations process to look like.
Are you starting a drop shipping business? Your decision-making process is going to look completely different from that of a local small business or tech startup. If you’re trying to come with an idea for your first eCommerce store, your best bet is going to be to find an item or series of items that either have serious upside potential from the sale of a single product (televisions, computers, etc.) or are priced low enough at wholesale that you can sell cheaper than the competition.
There are other criteria for coming up with a solid product idea, of course, but you get the point. You’re not necessarily deciding which products to sell since your entire store is likely going to be on the site. Instead, you need to figure out which of your products both converts frequently and is marketable. These are going to be your flagship products, and while every item in your eCommerce store deserves special attention, these products will take priority when it comes to promotion and conversions.
- Create A Business Model
If you’re an individual putting together your own eCommerce store for the first time, there’s a good chance you don’t have a ton of business experience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, the whole appeal of eCommerce stores is that anyone can create one. That being said, it does put you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the actual process of building and running a business.
Choosing the right business model involves a few key components. First, you’re going to have to decide what your goals are for your business. Even if you’re only running this as an experiment, quantify what success means for your eCommerce store. How many sales would you like to have in a month? What do you envision when it comes to monthly traffic? These are all things to consider when building your first eCommerce store.
You can’t expect to hit a target if you don’t know where you’re aiming for, right? Create the goal as a way to reverse engineer the results you want. As far as logistics are concerned, you’re either going to sell exclusively through your online store or also sell your products through online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Our advice? Start by selling your products on both platforms at the same time. It’ll be more work at first, but the data you collect will help guide your future decisions.
- Choose an eCommerce Website Builder
One of the best things about starting an eCommerce store today is that you have access to a variety of different website building platforms that make the process infinitely easier. Shopify, Squarespace, Bigcommerce, Wix… the list goes on and on. While each of them specializes in something different, you can rest assured that whichever platform you choose, you’ll be in good hands.
- Design and Secure Your Website
The rest of your job is actually pretty straightforward, believe it or not. First, you’ll have to design the look of your website. If that sounds intimidating, remember those eCommerce website builders have dozens of pre-built designs you can use to get started. After that, you’ll have to make sure the website actually works. You can’t make any conversions if people can’t buy anything, right?
Set up a payment gateway with multiple payment options available to customers. Credit cards, debit cards, and online wallets should all be supported by your site. Choose the right shipping partner for the needs of your demographic, and secure your website by installing the SSL certificate. Not only does it keep your website secure, but it also helps build customer trust.
What steps did you take in establishing your eCommerce store? Share your strategies in the comments.