The future is bright for the eCommerce industry. With the average number of consumers rising consistently, we’re not exaggerating when we say that the business is booming. Compare that to the average brick-and-mortar stores that are currently being forced to slow down because of the pandemic, and eCommerce is suddenly beginning to look like the better option.
However, not everyone is digitally savvy and well-versed in the ins and outs of coding and building up a website. This deters many store owners from actually transitioning or creating an eCommerce store to work alongside their physical one. Sometimes, store owners aren’t confident that they’ll succeed.
Forget about that doubt right now—here are the six steps that will make your transition from offline to eCommerce as smooth as possible!
Look Up Business Models—Find One That Fits!
Starting an eCommerce store isn’t as easy as going off of a hunch and planning things out as it goes. You have to do your research before you dive into the eCommerce industry, or you’ll be doomed to fail!
Just like starting a regular business, growing and developing your eCommerce business is an investment. Researching on ideas of what you should sell on your eCommerce store is just the tip of the iceberg! You have to think of things both in the short and long term and treat it as such.
Different business models fulfill various purposes and work for multiple reasons as well. Researching business models and seeing which one would work best for you is how you make sure that your transition from offline to online is smooth.
Focusing on a Specialty
After planning out what business model you’re going to take, the next step is to find out what your niche will be. Your specialty is what’s going to be your eCommerce store’s specialty. Having something your eCommerce store specializes in basically sets you apart from the rest and allows you to cater to a more specific group of people!
You can’t just dump different products with different categories on your eCommerce store and expect it to work like big eCommerce names such as Amazon. Finding a specialty that has competition but isn’t dominated by major brands is a good start. Ensure that competition exists because that’s a clear indicator that there’s a demand for those types of products.
Once you’ve got your specialty, knowing what you should and shouldn’t sell in your eCommerce store comes naturally. There’s even an added bonus of easy marketing if your niche is prominent on social media!
Knowing Your Target Audience & Choosing Your Products
You’ve found your niche—that’s great! However, before you start thinking about the products you want to sell, you have to keep in mind your target audience.
If you don’t fully understand who you’re going to be selling to, things aren’t going to go as well as you’d expect them to. It would be best if you researched your target audience thoroughly. Not just that, you also have to keep in mind your image as a brand as well!
Think about your ideal customer and how you can keep your brand’s image consistent throughout its lifespan. Luckily, you don’t have to create survey after survey to get answers. Facebook does a good job showing you the potential reach you can get in the detailed targeting of their ad set!
Once you’ve got a clear picture of who your ideal customer is—it’s finally time to choose the products you’re going to create, invest in, and sell. If you want to test the waters a little, affiliate marketing is also something that you can delve into!
Setting Up Your Business & Choosing Your Brand Name
Before creating a website for your eCommerce store to set foot on, you still have to set up your business brand. For starters, you’re going to want to choose a name for your business and register your company. Make sure you don’t skip this because doing it ensures tax benefits and legal protection!
After registering your business’ name, you can make a separate name for your site. Your store has to have its own unique identity that lets it pop out and make it memorable. Choosing a pun about your niche as a store name or something catchy will make sure that your customers remember you.
After all of this, you have to focus on the paperwork that comes with setting up a business. Get a business permit, an employer identification number, and apply for business licenses.
Next, you have to find vendors that can provide high-quality products for a fair price. There are a plethora of different vendors out there—find one that you can see yourself working with for the long term!
Finalizing Your Business Plan
Now that you’ve got all the setup needed to get started on making your eCommerce started finally, it’s time to finalize your business plan. Put your plan on paper, and make sure to mark down your starting budget and your monthly expenses needed to keep the business running!
Find out when you break even and when you can consider yourself to be in profit. Your business plan’s financial aspect is the most crucial one—make sure you understand how to utilize your resources and utilize them efficiently.
Building The Online Store
After all of the abovementioned steps, you’re an eCommerce business owner. Now, it’s time for you to make your website finally!
Register a domain name, redirect any pre-existing URLs that may be relevant along the line, and start thinking about your design and the software you’re going to use. The way your eCommerce store looks will depend on your imagination and the limitations of the platform that you use.
Choosing a platform isn’t an easy job—there are hundreds of them to choose from. Just make sure that you find one that has a fast loading screen, multiple features, allows different payment gateway options, SEO compatibility, and works with your business structure!