Key Considerations for Setting up an eCommerce Startup
The eCommerce sector has seen significant growth in the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. This means that there is a great deal of potential for anybody starting out in the sector. Developments in software have also made it a lot easier and more affordable for everyday people to get involved, making it even more appealing.
Although having an eCommerce store is easier than it used to be, there is still a lot to be taken into consideration. In addition to the website itself, you will also need to think about what you are going to sell, who to sell it to, and how to attract customers. Below we take a brief look at some of the factors you will need to consider
Which Platform to Use?
Before you even get started you will need to think about which platform you are going to use, and there are several options to choose from. One option is to have a store built from scratch using a web builder and you will find a variety of builders available. This might be the preferred option for people with technical know-how because building a site this way gives you a lot more flexibility. A lot of people won’t have the required skills, however, or the budget to have somebody build it for them.
Another, more popular alternative is to use an eCommerce builder like Shopify. Such builders use drag and drop software that makes it a lot easier to design and build your own store. They also come packed with features that have been designed specifically with eCommerce in mind. Another option is to hire a Shopify store development company to help you with the design as well as any other aspects of running and maintaining an eCommerce store.
You probably already have a good idea about what you want to sell, but it is still something that deserves a lot of attention. If you can, try and identify a niche that fills a gap in the market otherwise you might be trying to sell something that nobody needs or wants. Make sure to do your research first to help identify products that are likely to sell well and you will be a lot closer to having a very successful eCommerce store.
One way to undertake product research is to spy on the competition and this can be easier than you might think. You are free to browse other stores to see what their best-sellers are, while also keeping an eye out for other information like price and any promotions on offer. You can also use tools like SpyFu that will give you insights into what keywords your competitors are using. This can let you know which keywords even the most successful stores are using, helping you to tap into their strategies.
How Will You Market Your Store?
Even the best-designed eCommerce store won’t sell anything if nobody knows it exists. This means that you will need to take marketing into account and paid marketing, as opposed to SEO, is generally considered to be the best option. This is because it is highly targeted, very affordable, and helps to get results quickly.
Marketing doesn’t just involve getting people to buy on their first visit; it also involves helping ensure people come back to you for more business in the future. There are numerous ways to achieve this, one of which is email marketing. Make sure to work on building an email list as soon as you’re open for business and consider promotions or other lead magnets to encourage people to leave their details.
Create your Own App
Mobile apps are very effective at generating sales from existing customers. They can help to generate sales in various ways, such as helping to let your past customers know about new products they may be interested in, for example. They will also help increase the number of touchpoints with your clients, further helping to increase the chances of a sale. Creating an app may sound daunting, and expensive, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to create an app from scratch yourself. The effort will be well worth it because you’ll know all the ins and outs of your app and you’ll be able to fix any issues as soon as they appear.
If you don’t have the technical know-how to build an app yourself, the good news is that there is software available that will help make it a lot easier for you. There is also a great deal of information available that will help guide you in making an app that will complement your business and generate more revenue.
Branding is Key
Something else that you will need to take into account is the branding of your store. This is very important because the brand is what people will recognize and associate with you after having bought something from you. If somebody associated with your brand they are more likely to use your store over the competition when it comes to future purchases.
One of the most important factors when it comes to branding is color. Different colors elicit different emotions, and the color you choose should reflect the nature of your store. For example, red invokes feelings of excitement and intensity making it ideal for a store that sells extreme sporting goods. Alternatively, purple is associated with wealth and sophistication making it a suitable choice for a store selling high-end jewelry, for example.
How Will You Process Orders?
The nature of an eCommerce store means that purchases will be paid for using credit cards, bank transfers, or e-wallets like PayPal. It is best to offer as many payment options as possible to help make it easier for customers to pay you. Builders like Shopify will come with features like shopping carts that will make it a lot easier for your customers to pay, and for orders to be processed.
Shopping cards deserve a lot of consideration because they do so much more than just help you to process payments. For example, although 70% of online shoppers will abandon a shopping cart without buying anything this does not necessarily mean the sale is lost. Having items left in abandoned carts tells you which products your visitors are interested in which is very powerful information if you play your cards right.
How Will You Manage Stock?
To state the obvious: If you have a shop then you must have something to sell. Traditionally this would mean having to purchase the stock and having a place to keep it. This would make owning a store inaccessible to a lot of people because of the upfront cost and the financial risk involved. If you have the budget and other resources available then this might still be the better option for you, but most people would likely use dropshipping instead.
Dropshipping basically means that orders are dispatched directly from the supplier to the customer. You won’t have to buy anything up-front because the supplier is paid as and when your customers buy from you and you also won’t need to store or dispatch any stock. This makes owning your own store a lot more accessible and easier to manage. There are some drawbacks, such as having to trust the supplier will be reliable, but for a lot of people, the advantages heavily outweigh any disadvantages.
While there is a lot to consider before opening an eCommerce store it is not something that is beyond the capabilities of most people. It is also possible to open an eCommerce store even on a very limited budget. Bear in mind the advice above and you are well on your way to having a store of your own that is profitable. Get it just right and you could quickly start making some very significant profits.