Have you ever dreamed of owning your own eCommerce business and becoming your own boss? Perhaps you already own a shop or business but don’t yet sell your products online? Despite online shopping being the norm and potentially entering into what can be a saturated market, it’s actually never been a better time to start your own eCommerce business. Online sales are through the roof, especially after global lockdowns and shopping trends continue to show huge growth in the number of people shopping online.
Setting up your own eCommerce business will of course, be hard work. You’ll need to do your research and really know your stuff in order to succeed. It is essential to ensure you have a solid market base for your products and a business strategy that you can realistically implement.
Knowing where to start with your eCommerce business can be overwhelming, but don’t let this put you off. Your dreams of selling online can become a reality if you are arm yourself with the right knowledge.
Choose a Product to Sell
Deciding on the perfect product to sell is an essential first step to selling up your eCommerce shop. You may already have an idea or something in mind you have always wanted to sell. It’s now time to ensure that investing in this product will be lucrative and to do that you’ll need to do your research.
If you plan to sell a product based on your own passion or hobby, it can be a great way to keep enthusiasm for your business alive even when things get tough. You do, however, need to make sure there is a market out there that shares your passion and wants to buy your product. You don’t want your passion turning into a nightmare!
If you can spot a trend early enough to cash in, this could very well be your key to success. Don’t be confused between a tend and a fad (ie something that will disappear as quickly as it came).
Solving a particular problem with your product is a proven route to eCommerce success. Perhaps you have noticed customers’ frustration with their own experiences of a particular product or a limitation of suitable products on the market. Always read reviews on similar products and research profit margins for the product you are interested in selling.
Trend Hunter is a useful website full of data and information about shopping trends, topics of interest, customer behaviour and is a great place to do some research into your eCommerce business and potential customer base.
Try also keeping an eye on Google Trends, you’ll see how popular your chosen topic is, or you also can keep an eye out for new trends and try and spot the next hot thing.
Research and Planning
This really is the most critical stage of all, never be tempted to skip any of the planning stages because you are excited about getting your product out there.
Make sure you thoroughly research all of the competition. If you don’t think you can sell your product better than they can, then you may well be in trouble. When looking at your competitors, take note of who their target market is, their prices, and what they offer in terms of shipping, returns, and customer service. You’ll need to evaluate how you can do things better and seriously try and work out whether there is room for your business in the market.
A business plan is an essential next step in getting your eCommerce business off the ground. It’s an especially useful tool if you are looking for investors as you’ll need to show them evidence of the all-important profitability.
You’ll find many business plan templates online to guide you through writing a business plan. As a rough guide, make sure you include a clear summary of your business, along with your market research, information about the products you are selling, your marketing ideas, details on team structuring, and a full financial plan.
If you get to the end of the planning stage and don’t feel you have made the right choice with your product, never be afraid to go back to the drawing board and start over with a new idea. It will pay to get this right at this stage, and if you have second thoughts, don’t ignore them. You absolutely don’t want to start investing time and money into a product that just isn’t going to sell.
Setting up Your eCommerce Website
Once you are 100% confident in your product, it really is time to get the ball rolling. Choose a catchy business name, register your shop domain, commission a beautiful logo and company branding with an appealing colour palette. Beware of any design schemes that look as though they may look out of date quickly. Website re-designs can be time-consuming and expensive.
Before you set up your eCommerce store, make sure you have a good understanding of SEO, or employ someone who does. Making sure your site is well optimised for Google search can be the difference between make or break. You may have the best product and website in the world, but if no one can find it online, your business will very quickly fail.
Next, you’ll need to decide which platform to build your e-commerce website on and whether or not you feel confident in doing this yourself. Many ‘off-the-shelf’ eCommerce solutions offer numerous features and functionality for those looking to design and build their own eCommerce website.
It can be highly beneficial and save time and effort by employing specialist eCommerce web designers. They will be able to guide you through the full process of getting your stock online and can offer support and maintenance after you go live.
If you are looking for a professional eCommerce website designer, Focus Web Studio would be happy to discuss the best options for your online shop. We tailor all of our quotes to suit our customer’s needs and design you a bespoke eCommerce website using WordPress (WooCommerce) or Shopify. We are experts in website security, an essential part of selling online and keeping sensitive customer data secure. We can help integrate your payment system and offer advice on the best payment solution for you.
If you are looking to sell your products via other marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay, Etsy or Google Shopping, we can enable you to automate this process and help to maximise sales.
We offer monthly support and maintenance plans to suit your budget, and whenever you buy any services from Focus Web Studio, your project will contain no hidden extra costs.
Please get in touch to discuss ideas for your new eCommerce website, and we would be delighted to help your business dreams become a reality.