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How to Set Your E-Commerce Store Up for Success

by Marcin Wieclaw
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How to Set Your E-Commerce Store Up for Success

An e-commerce store is a fantastic way to sell your products or provide a service for a range of customers. However, if it was easy to succeed with e-commerce, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Many people have launched an online store, only to abandon it because they did not understand the key e-commerce strategies required to ensure success.

With this in mind, how can you guarantee your online store thrives, grows, and reaches the lofty heights you expect? If you have products to sell, choosing e-commerce could be the best solution, so here is a detailed guide to help you set your store up for success.

Why Start an E-Commerce Business?

Broader Reach

While a traditional brick-and-mortar store is ideal for the local community, it also means that you will rarely manage to reach as many people as you’d like. If you’re setting up an e-commerce store with the goal of vast appeal and success, you need to find a way to reach as many people as possible.

Since anyone who has an internet connection can use your business, e-commerce means you already have a deeper pool of potential customers. With this, you can sell products to customers anywhere in the world.

Affordability

Another factor to consider is affordability. Although you still need to pay for domain names and maintenance, you also don’t run into the issue of renting a physical store space. With rent as high as it is, this may not be feasible, especially not when you’re first starting your business.

Instead, use the space you currently have, such as a spare room or your workshop, and sell products from your home. You can minimise your total costs and focus on developing better, safer products for your customers.

Independence

An e-commerce business also offers you independence you cannot achieve in traditional employment. If you’ve never been someone who responds well to being managed, becoming a business owner could be the answer.

As an e-commerce business owner, you have the independence you’ve always craved. However, you may not be able to abandon your current job immediately. Still, many business owners manage to balance both careers until they are ready to become a full-time e-commerce store manager.

Flexibility

Similarly, there is a level of flexibility that makes managing an e-commerce store much more appealing. You can operate whenever you need and as long as you continue to fulfil orders, you can do other things in your life without feeling like you only have time to work.

Furthermore, showing flexibility and being able to adapt easily can improve your business and give you all the tools you need to excel in your industry. This benefit means you can avoid common issues associated with running a business, including burnout or apathy, which can keep you motivated and ensure you are passionate about running your business.

Convenience

If you’re looking for a convenient business solution, e-commerce is the place to start. Many e-commerce business owners run their companies from home, so as long as you have space to develop products or store stock, you shouldn’t have to go anywhere.

The flexible hours can also benefit you, while being in complete control gives you a level of self-sufficiency and professional satisfaction you may not achieve elsewhere. You also never need to worry about exhausting your local market, because there are always other markets available.

How to Set Your Store Up for Success?

Pick the Right Platform

The right platform can make a significant difference in how successful your e-commerce business is. Researching the best platforms can provide a thorough overview of your options and you can decide which platform works best for you.

The most popular options include Esty, Shopify and Squarespace, although you can integrate e-commerce features on Wix or WordPress, among other options. All of this depends on what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with. When your business grows, you may be able to move platforms if you want to expand your reach.

Choose Your Business Name

You will also need a business name that makes your company immediately recognisable and easily searchable. Furthermore, a dedicated business name can operate as your domain name, which enables customers to visit your store directly from their browser.

Choosing a business name can be tricky, so you may want to stick to your real name or a pseudonym at first. However, if you have a fun, easy-to-remember company name, operating with this can help you establish your brand immediately. Remember, as important as your brand name is, it still isn’t as important as your products.

Similarly, businesses are easier to identify when they have a logo. You can use a logo maker to design a few prototype options and decide which works best for you. Designing a logo can be tricky, though. You need it to represent your brand and vibe. It must be easy to identify. You shouldn’t copy other companies, as this could risk copyright infringement.

Some e-commerce businesses work with graphic designers, but if you can’t afford this initially, you can make your own logo as a placeholder. Again, don’t fret too much over the logo as it is only one piece of a much more crucial puzzle.

Build Your Inventory

There’s no point in having an e-commerce store if you have nothing to sell. Instead, it’s better to build your inventory before you take your store live, as you could risk customers ordering products before you have developed them.

If you already make and sell products, you should have a modest amount of stock. However, if everything is only made to order, you may not have a strong inventory. It’s worth making a few examples of the products you intend to sell so you have something to send customers if they order them.

Take Photographs and Create Product Descriptions

When you have made these products, you can take photographs of them to upload and showcase your skills. You will need a product page for each product or you can include the same product on one page in different colours, especially if you make pillowcases or something similar.

Along with your photographs, create product descriptions that will entice people to purchase these products. There are various ways to write a product description, including listing the key features or highlighting why the product would benefit the customer. Use SEO and meta tags to improve your chances of ranking on search engines.

Create Social Media Profiles

Marketing is vital for boosting your e-commerce store. Social media profiles will help you spread the word about your business and attract more customers, whether friends or strangers. Post photos of new products and offer launch day competitions to inspire hype and generate interest to help get your e-commerce store off the ground.

Determine Payment Options

Businesses that offer a wide range of payment options are usually more successful, so you should follow suit. You’ll need to provide a diverse range of payment options in your portal, including regular bank transfers or e-pay options like Google or Apple. Besides this, PayPal also works but it should not be the only option, as some people may not have an account.

You also need to ensure the payment portal is secure. Otherwise, you risk leaving sensitive customer data out in the open, which makes you a target of hackers that could damage your business’ reputation before you’ve even got going.

Consider Shipping Distance

The most successful e-commerce websites ship all over the world, but it’s not as easy as packing your products into a box and sending them to the other side of the globe. Every country has specific laws and regulations surrounding what comes into the country and what you have to pay.

Researching international shipping can help you determine which countries you want to serve. It could be easier to focus on countries nearest to you initially before expanding your service as your business grows. There’s no point in sending products somewhere only to lose all the money you earned through taxes, so educating yourself is essential.

Offer Support

Customer service and support are crucial for building your business and establishing excellent relationships. But you can’t be at your computer or phone all the time. Instead, setting up a live chat for website visitors to answer questions can benefit your e-commerce site. You can still answer questions yourself while working, but this feature means your customers are never left in the dark.

Create a Companion Blog

Your e-commerce business shouldn’t only focus on selling products. If you want to establish your business–and yourself–as an authority in your industry, a companion blog is a great tool for your digital marketing needs.

Business owners can share insights or include buying guides about their products, especially around the holidays, which can increase sales and garner even more interest in your business.

Success

E-commerce success is possible but only if you take the correct approach to ensure you set yourself up for the future. Your customers want excellent products but they also need a platform where finding these products is straightforward. Along with this point, business owners can utilise everything available to ensure they reach as many people as possible to guarantee consistent performance and long-lasting customers.

 

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