How To Start An eCommerce Store The Right Way: Your Ultimate Guide
The eCommerce industry has boomed for quite a while. The past few years have accelerated, with more and more entrepreneurs converting their traditional brick-and-mortar companies into online businesses.
They have more than a few reasons to do so, including:
- Not needing to worry about renting premises.
- Fewer costs to deal with.
- Expanding potential hire base through remote work.
- Being able to work from home.
You’ll need to know how to start an eCommerce store the right way to achieve these and succeed. That’s often more daunting than many people expect. It doesn’t need to be. While it can be somewhat complicated, you can start and grow your eCommerce store the right way with a few simple steps.
How To Start An eCommerce Store The Right Way: Steps You’ll Need To Take
Figuring out how to start an eCommerce store is like starting a more traditional company in various ways. You’ll have to go through many of the same steps and take care of the same legalities. As complicated as that sounds, it can be simpler than you’d expect.
You’ll need to make sure you get a few things done, as the legal repercussions of not doing so can be significant. Coupled with that are a few other necessary steps in starting an eCommerce store. These include:
- Research Business Models – eCommerce boasts multiple business models, ranging from direct sales to software as a service. You’ll need to determine what the best option is for your business. You can use various tools to achieve this.
- Do Market Research – Before you launch your store, you’ll need to know what kind of demand there is for what you offer. The more demand there is, the more product you should end up selling. Performing market research is vital to this. Make sure you check out the competition when you’re doing so.
- Cover The Legalities – Once you’re ready to start an eCommerce business, you’ll need to take care of the legalities. That includes registering your business, setting up to pay business taxes, getting licences and permits, and more.
- Find Suppliers – You’ll need suppliers in some shape or form to run your business. These are the people or companies you get product parts and services from. Comparing multiple options before making your decision is a vital part of starting your eCommerce store.
- Start Your Online Store – Once you’ve gotten each of the above sorted, it’s time to launch your online store.
Once your business has been running for a while, you’ll need to figure out how to start an eCommerce store. That’s where many of the complications come in. You’ll need to set yourself apart from the competition while making sure everything’s looked after.
Thankfully, there are a few specific ways you can get this done. While it could take you some time to grow and see success, implementing a few measures should guarantee you see success.
5 Effective Ways To Grow Your eCommerce Store
1. Ramp Up Customer Service
The better you treat your customers, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you again. You’ll need to put effort into your customer service to achieve this. Using the best live chat for small business can be an effective way of doing so.
It lets you speak with customers directly from your website and in real-time. You can address any issues they’re having while helping the checkout process go much more smoothly. Many options can be automated so you don’t need to put much effort into this.
It can also increase your website conversions much more than you’d think.
2. Use Omnichannel Marketing
There are countless marketing channels for eCommerce stores you can choose from. You’ll need to take advantage of as many of these as your resources will allow. The more effort you put into your marketing, the more potential customers will see your products and services.
When done right, that equates to more sales. You’ll need to use multiple strategies when you’re doing this, including:
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
By nailing each of the above, you can grow your eCommerce store much faster than you’d think. When you’re doing so, make sure you’re targeting areas where you can find potential customers.
3. Personalise The Customer Experience
Customers want to feel like you care about them. If they don’t, they’re not likely to buy from you. They definitely won’t do so a second time. By personalising the customer experience, you increase the chances of making a sale and developing repeat business.
You’ll need to do this across the customer journey. As complicated as this process is, you can use a wealth of resources to help with this. By collecting cookies, you can run personalised ads based on what your customers like.
That builds more of a connection from the start and makes them much more likely to buy from you. It also develops more of a relationship, which further increases your chance of a sale.
4. Publish Regular Content
Everyone’s heard of content marketing and email marketing at some point or another. Few actually engage with it or even know where to start. Publishing regular content is one of the more effective ways of doing so, with blogs being a recommended option.
These let you show off expertise in your area, which draws in potential customers and lets you develop a brand. You’ll need to go about this the right way, however. You shouldn’t publish for the sake of publishing.
Instead, you’ll need to make sure your content is informative, relevant to your audience, and represents your brand well. Making sure it’s optimised for search engines is also vital. Even taking time and publishing even on a weekly basis – and using that time to optimise content can be recommended.
You can even repurpose this content across social media and other platforms to maximise return on investment.
5. Sell Internationally
It’s not uncommon for many first-time entrepreneurs to focus on local or relatively small regional areas when they start their eCommerce store. It lets them develop their branding and secure a solid footing in a market. It’s an understandable strategy and provides ample room for growth.
At some point, however, you’ll need to actually grow. The most effective way of doing so is to start selling internationally. As complicated as that seems, it’s much easier to put into practice than you could think. With the various tools and resources you can use, selling and shipping internationally has never been easier.
Some eCommerce platforms even let you do this automatically and will take care of the logistics for you. While you could need to adjust your sales and marketing strategies somewhat, the growth you’ll see will be worth it.
Risks Of Starting An eCommerce Business
As appealing as starting an eCommerce business is, it also comes with its risks. When you’re figuring out how to grow your business, you’ll need to avoid or minimise them as much as possible. The key to this is knowing what the potential risks are.
Some of these may be obvious, but you could end up overlooking quite a few of them. The more notable eCommerce risks include:
- Security Breaches – As with any kind of website, you’ll need to worry about security breaches. You’ll have an extensive amount of customer information, all of which you’ll need to keep protected. You can save yourself from these breaches, which includes hacks and fraud, by having several layers of security, including firewalls and encryption.
- Customer Disputes – Disputes are easier than ever for customers to make, and they’re better able to try to get refunds on disputed orders. It’ll cost a lot of money if you’re not protected. You can avoid this in several ways, such as by taking care when sending out products. Use scanners and tracked shipments to avoid any further issues.
- Credit Card Scams – Stolen credit cards and suspicious interactions are always a worry in eCommerce. You can avoid the impact they’ll have on your business in multiple ways, however. SSL certificates, PCI compliance, and other security measures are a significant part of this. Add in the need to protect against security breaches, these features are vital.
By knowing how to avoid these risks, you’ll have better peace of mind when starting and growing your eCommerce store. It’s possible that each of these could come up at different points in your business journey, making knowing how to deal with them essential.
With a bit of work, however, that shouldn’t be as stressful as you’d think.
How To Start An eCommerce Store The Right Way: Wrapping Up
Once you know how to start an eCommerce store, things seem much simpler. The process doesn’t end there, as you’ll need to grow your business in a sustainable way. With a few particular steps – and several strategies – you can go about this with less stress than you’d think.
There shouldn’t be anything stopping you from starting and growing a successful and profitable eCommerce business.