Ecommerce businesses have grown popular in recent times. Entrepreneurs embrace this business method because it is flexible, more cost-effective, and allows business owners to reach a broader market easily. Much like starting a brick-and-mortar business, there are several things to put in place when setting up your ecommerce store. This guide will show you what you need to get your ecommerce business up and running in no time.
Selecting an ecommerce niche is a crucial step in opening your online store. Without a specific niche, you may fill up your store with hundreds of products from different categories and have no real focus. If you sell everything but don't have a huge budget to maintain stock of all product categories on your site, customers wouldn't count on you when they're in need. That isn't good for business.
When choosing your niche, it's important to select a competitive area because this indicates there's a market in that niche. However, avoid picking an overly crowded niche or one that's dominated by a major brand. After selecting your niche, identify your target market and segment them according to demographics such as gender, age, cultural background, and occupation. This will help you know their needs and how to meet them.
2. Select Your Business Name and Register Your Company
Your business name is an important aspect of your brand, so you should pay close attention to it. Decide on what you want your business name to communicate and select a unique name that appeals not only to you but your target audience.
If you select an abstract name, do some research to ensure it doesn't have a negative translation in other parts of the world. Since you'll be selling online, your customers can come from anywhere. After selecting your business name, register your company with the appropriate authorities to avoid personal liabilities and risks.
3. Secure Your Domain
Your ecommerce business's domain name is one of the first components of your brand that customers will experience. It's best to have a domain name that is identical to your business name or closely matches it. There are various things to consider when selecting a domain name. For example, think about the emotional responses you'll want users to have when they see your domain name and how easily customers can remember the name. You should also consider incorporating a targeted keyword in your name to increase your website's discoverability.
Many ecommerce business newbies discover that their desired domain names are unavailable. Rather than pick a domain name that is unrelated to your brand and risk your business's future, leverage domain brokerage. A domain broker can help you secure a profitable domain name from a seller at a fair price.
4. Choose an Ecommerce Platform
You need to find the right ecommerce platform to launch your store. There are numerous paid and free ecommerce platforms available in the market. Many offer free trials to first-time users and tons of interesting free themes.
When choosing an ecommerce platform for your store, carefully evaluate its loading speed, compatibility with your business structure, and SEO friendliness. You should also look at their mobile friendliness, security, aftersale support, and scalability. If you don't have a scalable platform, it will be difficult to handle demand peaks as your ecommerce business grows. Some ecommerce platforms to consider are BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix.
5. Select Your Website Layout and Design
After securing your domain name and ecommerce platform, the next step is to design your website. Ideally, your website's layout and design should be simple and user-friendly. Your customers will have to navigate your site themselves when shopping for items. So, make the process easier for them by ensuring that a customer with limited technical knowledge can quickly find products and purchase them.
Use an attractive and modern website design with appealing colors, pictures, and slogans that boost the overall beauty of your website. You can also leverage ecommerce website extensions and plugins like Magento and BigCommerce. Typically, ecommerce platforms come with basic extensions. But paid extensions can help enhance your website's functionality, improve your conversion funnel, and make it easier for customers to find products.
6. Market Your Ecommerce Store
It's not enough to have an impressive online store; you'll need to put it in front of potential buyers through strategic marketing. There are various ways to market your ecommerce business, such as content marketing, pay-per-click ads, social media, or a combination of two or more. After you develop a suitable marketing plan, think about how you'll monitor your campaigns to ensure you're achieving your business goals.