E-commerce is booming these days. Many retailers are closing their physical locations and focusing solely on online sales. While e-commerce was growing before the pandemic hit in early 2020, it has now become more important than ever. Many are looking for ways to purchase the items they need and want from the safety of their own homes.
This has led to a boom in online sales. Are you interested in capitalizing on this growing form of commerce, but don’t know how to get started? Look no further. We have gathered some of the best tips for moving ahead with your new online store.
Find the right business model for you
Committing to your e-commerce venture is a big step to take. Growing an online business takes careful planning, dedication, and a certain amount of risk-taking. It is an investment, both of your money and your time. It is important to not make the leap into e-commerce without educating yourself on the various types of business models out there. Whether you are looking to sell a digital product, an actual, physical product, or a service to your potential clients, there is an ocean of options out there to choose from.
You might want to look at drop shipping or print-on-demand services. Or maybe a warehouse or wholesale model might work better for you. You might want a personal website for your business, or maybe an online marketplace, such as Amazon or Etsy, might be the option that best fits your needs. You will also have to decide whether you want to pursue business to business commerce or business to consumer commerce.
All of these choices might seem overwhelming at first. You will need some guidance in order to decide what kind of model will best work for your online business.
EcommerceCEO’s Business Blueprint Course (my.ecommerceceo.com/ecommerce-business-blueprint?r_done=1) can help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the perfect e-commerce business model. EcommerceCEO will give you a step-by-step plan for deciding which e-commerce business model best fits your needs as a budding e-commerce entrepreneur. It’s like having a mentor session with an experienced e-commerce expert. The course can help you explore unfilled product niches and utilize your self-starter nature to the fullest.
A lot of online business attempts ultimately fail because those who started them did not have a clear strategy for moving forward, despite their idea having a lot of selling potential. Don’t let these pitfalls happen to you. Let ecommerceCEO point them out and help guide you around them. It is a key aspect in setting your online business up to thrive.
Create a financial plan for your business
After you have settled on the e-commerce business model that is right for you, it is important to create an outline of your plan and pin down the financial aspects of running an online business. If you don’t have the financial details in place, your business will never get off the ground. You will need to map out your expected start-up expenses and make a budget for the beginning stages of your e-commerce journey. Finding out what your break-even point will be is an essential step in starting your business.
In this phase, you will also need to determine whether you will need to hire additional staff, just how much you have available to spend on marketing, and how you will be sourcing your product. Also, you will need to think about sales tax, whether or not you will take out a small business loan, and how you will keep up with your accounting and bookkeeping as a small business.
Be realistic when you create your business plan. Try to come up with important questions and issues to address. You need to put down on paper exactly what your product is. Will you be selling physical goods, digital products, or an online service? Also, note down who your clientele will be. Will you be pursuing a business to business model, a business to consumer model, or a marketplace selling model?
Determine how you will be sourcing your goods. Will you be offering a product you create yourself? Or will you be sourcing from another provider? Research your options when it comes to accepting payments from your clients, whether by credit card, PayPal, or other payment options.
While accounting and bookkeeping might not be the most exhilarating part of running your own e-commerce business, it is still an essential element to a successful business venture. There are many adequate accounting software programs available out there at affordable prices – some are even free!
Build your online presence
After you finalize the details of your business plan, then it is time to start building your online presence. This can come in the form of selling on a digital marketplace, such as Amazon. Digital marketplaces eliminate the need for you, as the seller, to deal with taking credit card payments, and you won’t need to worry about purchasing a domain name or URL for your business. For many though, a website is a good option for making their product available to the world.
In order to start selling, you will need to choose a company name, register your e-commerce business, and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
After you come up with the perfect name for your business, then you can create a logo and design template to attract potential customers. Choose a logo that reflects your business in a professional and appealing way. You can do this yourself or hire someone else to do it.
Once you have your design elements, you can build your website. The next step is purchasing a domain name and all the redirect URLs that are relevant to your brand name. Make sure that whatever web design you implement has compatibility with your e-commerce software of choice. There are many e-commerce selling platforms available out there. A few good options are Wix (wix.com), BigCommerce (bigcommerce.com), and Shopify (shopify.com). Decide what is important to you when it comes to an e-commerce platform.
Loading times, easy set-up, forms of payment available, and SEO (search engine optimization) are all important factors to keep in mind. You also need to consider your level of skills when it comes to web development. Maybe a selling platform that is simple to set-up, such as Wix, is the best option for you if you’re not so experienced with web development. It is also a good idea to purchase a theme, or template, for your website.
Content is key
When finishing the format of your website, you need some good content to boost your online presence. Maybe writing content is not your strong suit. That’s not a problem. You can easily hire someone to write it for you, and their many companies that offer content writing services. Read on to learn how to obtain quality content now. You’ve found a product you’re willing to stand behind in your e-commerce venture.
Now you need to promote it. Marketing, designing a website, and filling it with content – all of this might feel overwhelming to you, especially if you have no prior experience in these vital areas. However, it is easy to hire some of these tasks out. For example, to help your website get noticed in search engines, you need top-quality SEO content written by native speakers. Similarly, if you are looking to expand your reach on the web and break into the market in other countries, you’ll need to translate that content.
To fulfill both needs you could use a quality content-writing site such as topcontent.com, which offers original content in over 20 languages plus a translation service. With prices based on the number of words, you won’t be caught out by hidden fees. Content can be custom ordered and published directly to your website using their sleek content delivery system.
Join an affiliate program
One final tip for beginning e-commerce sellers is to join an affiliate program in order to partner with other businesses and bring traffic to your website. Topcontent has an affiliate program that can help you get started (app.topcontent.com/affiliate-program). As a Topcontent affiliate, you will receive a tracking link that is unique to you. Place this link on your business website. You will receive a commission from everyone who clicks on the affiliate link and signs up to become a Topcontent client.
There is a one-month tracking cookie attached to the tracking link, and if the potential client signs up within one month’s time, you will receive your commission. This is a good way to add some extra income to your business without too much extra work involved. Amazon Associates (affiliate-program.amazon.com), Awin (awin.com), and CJ Affiliate (cj.com) are just a few more of the many online affiliate programs you can look into.
Now that you have acquired high-quality content for your business, decided on the right business model, put your financial plan on paper, built your online presence, and joined affiliate programs to boost traffic to your website, you are well on your way to making your mark in the flourishing world of e-commerce. These are just some of the things you will need to think about when you are getting started. If you are looking for more detailed help and practical instructions for how to set up your business, you can check out ecommerceceo.com.
Setting up a viable and profitable online business is not easy, but it can be quite rewarding. Working from the comfort of your own home and finding a sustainable form of income online is more enticing now than ever. With some research, creative thinking, and the right product, you too can venture into the exciting and fast-growing world of e-commerce.