Today, eCommerce is slowly taking over the retail space. Many brick-and-mortar stores are taking their business online as it eliminates costs on physical handling of products. Starting an eCommerce business can be easy with the right sources and knowledge you will make it a success. Some people consider drop shipping, others use sites like WooCommerce and Shopify while others open their e-commerce stores from scratch.
As you begin your online startup, the learning curve can be steep. From website development to shipping products, the process can be overwhelming. In this article, we are going to take you a step by step process of how to start an eCommerce business.
Step 1: Conception of the Business idea
To start off, have an idea of what you intend to sell, your target consumers, and the initial cost of operation. Identifying the product is vital when planning how to start an eCommerce business. Do thorough market research and identify gaps in the market.
Being unique will make you stand out and help grow your business faster. Ensure your line of products are trendy and make maximum use of current trends. When starting an eCommerce business, most online startups prefer light products to cushion them from shipping costs.
Brainstorming is vital, ensure the product of your choice carries low production cost but is of high quality. This puts you in a good place as your customers will be enjoying quality products at a fraction of the price they would be charged in physical stores.
If you are planning on starting an eCommerce business, here are some of the tips you can consider when choosing your business idea:
- Focus on your skills and experience
- Undertake a thorough market analysis for your product
- Watch the technological space. You don’t want to sell something that will be obsolete in a few years
- Examine what your potential competitors are doing. What improvements can you make to stand out?
- Use social media to find what people need
- Do a SWOT analysis
Step 2: Branding, Naming, and Website Design
Most people don’t know how to start an eCommerce business because they don’t try. When you have an idea on the table, now figure out your brand name, your vision, mission, goals, and brand colors. Come up with a name that the customers can associate with, is appealing, and fits your market. Create relatable domain name, social media pages and design an intuitive website.
Starting an eCommerce business is heavily dependent on network and technology. Design a website with gives your customers detailed information on each of your products, your policies and price points. Prepare a comprehensive FAQ section and consider using chatbots to engage the customers when your reps are busy.
When starting an eCommerce business, website design is everything. Building a website, investing in content creation for SEO and cementing your online reputation can take a while. You can consider using eCommerce platforms like geekApps and WooCommerce to help launch your business with ease.
Step 3: Warehousing & Transport Logistics
As you continue to learn how to start an eCommerce business, you will notice that you will not be working alone entirely. Probably, you’d want to avoid inventory costs as much as possible. So, if you’re marketing products that need shipping, consider liaising with the manufacturer so that you can ship directly from their stores.
When starting your eCommerce business, you may have to consider repackaging the products to meet your brand’s vision. How a product is packaged influences consumers’ views about your product when starting an eCommerce business. The type of packaging used depends on the size, type and shape of the product.
As you start an online store be aware of possible bottlenecks that can hamper logistics. Engage your website development team, your marketing personnel, your fulfillment team and customer care reps about your shipping procedures.
Your shipping goals should revolve around:
- Boosting conversions
- Increasing order value
- Expanding your market
- Decreasing costs
- Streamlining operational efficiency
Step 4: Establishing Customer Service
Online entrepreneurs who know the secrets of how to start an eCommerce business understands the importance of an efficient customer service team. Today’s customers have sky-high expectations. When you start your online store, give your customers top priority. Good customer service promotes satisfaction and reduces complaints thus facilitating business growth.
In online business, your customer service team is like front-desk agents acting as direct contact to your customers. Your reps are the only direct contact your clients will reach out to your business. When starting an eCommerce business make your customer service the medium to which customers make requests and search for information.
Here are some of the essential tips for eCommerce customer service:
- Implement multi-channel customer service where you integrate customer conversations from emails, live chats, phone calls, social media platforms and text messages
- Use chatbots
- Automate email marketing
- Use CRM and other tools to personalize customer service
- Utilize customer feedback
Step 5: Product Launch and Market Planning
Brainstorm on the marketing strategies you will use and consider you will be working on online promotion platforms like social media. You can use marketing agencies or freelancers to advertise and market your goods when starting an eCommerce business.
Launching your online enterprise is the last step on how to start an eCommerce business. At this time your website should be functional. Use social media platforms to announce your brand and hold press release interviews to give more details about your business.
Sometimes starting an eCommerce business can be overwhelming and that is why you might want to consider soliciting eCommerce services from offshore companies. Outsourcing these services from Israel IT gives you peace of mind. We are software developers who design eCommerce websites and guide entrepreneurs to launch successful product lines.