Deciding that you want to start a business is really exciting. It’s also a huge undertaking that should be thought-out carefully when it comes actually putting it into action. Sure, everyone’s doing it, but with that much competition out there, you have to make sure that you go about doing it the right way, otherwise you’ll find yourself dried out financially with no customers to speak-of. Perhaps that’s not what you wanted to hear, but it is important. Here are some details to help you start out on the right foot for the best chance at getting the attention you deserve.
The important factors to consider
As you may already know, there are quite a few things to focus on when it comes to a new eCommerce business. As far as making it successful, you’ll really want to focus on these elements.
• Do you have a market?: This is a serious question. Are there people who are interested in buying what you’re selling? If not, there’s no point in getting an eCommerce going because you won’t make any sort of profit from it no matter how hard or smart you work. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the market isn’t too saturated (ie: there aren’t too many people doing the same thing) for you to make a profit without going into the gray area.
• Do you want to be in business?: You know that you want to be in business, but do you want to be in this particular eCommerce business? If you have no interest in selling what you’re selling, it won’t end well. You don’t have to love, love, love your product, but you should at least be interested in and excited to show other people how helpful it can be.
• Social media content: In this online-based world, you’re going to want to really focus on social media content. Make sure that you are putting together platform-matching content so that you can take advantage of the marketplace and get the word out about your eCommerce. Social media offers free publicity with sharing and liking, etc. Create content that is going to be exciting, educational, entertaining shareable and, of course, relevant to your company. This will get people talking and it will help get them through your virtual doors. Connection with your customers is vital, so take this step seriously.
• Website content: Even though social media is a powerful tool with getting the word out, having a website is still relevant in today’s day and age. You should focus on having a website with quality-written content and then litter it with keywords and other SEO features (more on that later). This will also show your professional to interested shoppers and you’ll be able to show them how big a deal you really are. This is all going to help you stand out against the competition and give you more of a connection with your customers. We can’t stress enough how important it is to connect with those customers.
• SEO and search ranking: Since there are a lot of brands out there and a lot of businesses that are going after the same customers, you’ll really be able to get ahead of the competition by focus on the legal and safe SEO strategies. You may have heard of “black hat SEO” before that get you hits and likes and shares, etc, but they are never worth your time. Not only will you eventually get found out, you’ll be banned from all of the major search engines potentially forever. So, play it safe and rely on analytical and research software to offer you true keywords and SEO tools. From there on, focus on quality-written content for social media and website and work those keywords in. This will help you rank higher in each engines and give you the snowballing traffic you’re looking for! While it often takes longer than black hat SEO tricks, it will be more fruitful and it keeps you above board.
Don’t forget the practical details:
Now that you understand the true importance of connecting with your customer and offering them shareable and informative content through social media and website content — complete with proper SEO — you also need to take a few minutes to focus on the smaller, important details.
• Inventory and shipping: With eCommerce comes inventory and shipping. Are you looking at dropshipping, where they store and ship your products to customers when orders are submitted? If so, be careful how you do this and make sure that you pick a reputable place to represent your brand. Because the drop shipper will be representing you and you want to make sure that you’re making a positive impression on them. Also make sure that you price your pieces of inventory so that shipping won’t be too low to make a profit or too high for customer interest. This can be a hard balance to strike, so be careful.
• Returns or cancellations: Inevitably, there will be customers looking to return merchandise or cancel their orders once they’ve already been submitted. Make sure you think about what you’d like to offer for a return and cancellation policy and then communicate that clearly to customers before they submit their order. You will get customers who are always unhappy, but as long as you are clear on your policies and stick to them, that’s all you can do.
• How much you want to invest of your own capital: Often, we dig into our own finances in order to pay for the start-up costs of our business. As optimistic as we want to be, it’s a good idea to pick ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend on your business. You don’t want to go bankrupt just in case, so make sure you pick a number that you’re okay to spend and stick to it.
Starting an eCommerce is going to be fantastic and rewarding experience, especially when you do it the right way. These will help you do just that. Enjoy the journey!