eCommerce is an excellent business if done in the right way. After setting up your site, many dynamics come into play which must be given due consideration. How do you bring customers to your store? How do you go about logistics and fulfillment? These are among questions that rock eCommerce startups.
If you’re planning to open an eCommerce store, here are some important factors that need consideration.
1. Find a need and fill it
Start by identifying a market that is in need of a particular product. Providing a solution to a problem for a group of people is an important initiative for any business that wants to succeed online. The ideal way to go about this is to launch a keyword research to identify the keywords most sought but have less competition from many sites. Visit online forums to identify what problems people want to be solved. Make a point of going to your competitor’s site to find out the solutions they’re providing and then create a product that is better than that of your competition.
2. The business Plan
The business plan can test whether your eCommerce business idea is feasible. To come up with a qualified business plan, you must carry out a comprehensive research. The research will among other things establish whether there exists a ready market for the product, help you to determine if your revenue model is sound and how long it will possibly take before your business turns profitable. The business plan should come up with a precise method of financing, marketing and advertising of the trade. It also comes in handy when seeking for funding for your online store, help in the setting of goals and also establishing milestones to help measure progress.
3. Choosing the appropriate business structure
The business structure that you adopt for your business will have both legal and tax implications. You can operate as a proprietorship, a limited company, partnership or take any other structure that suits you. Afterward, you need to complete the entire necessary documentation to make your business and its name legal.
4. Choosing a Domain
An eCommerce business will require a domain name. Selecting a domain name requires a lot of considerations. A company’s domain name is its identity on the web. A good domain name should not only fit your business but also be easier to find and promote. Other qualities to ensure includes making sure your domain name is easier to type, is not long and complicated, targets your area and uses keywords that describe your business.
5. Choose the right web hosting
The first step to choosing the right web hosting is to know your hosting needs. You should be aware of the kind of website you are building, whether your site needs special software and how big the web traffic can go. Other factors to consider will include investigating on the host reliability and uptime, host upgrading options, check hosting features based on your needs, prices on sign up and renewal and other supporting functions. Shopify, Wix Ecommerce, and BIgcommerce are some of the available sites for building your online retail store. The sites provide instructions and essential tools to assist you to build your site from scratch.
6. Creating the website
The design and development of eCommerce websites will make or break the effectiveness of your online store. Poorly built or unattractive site will do more to hurt your business than to help it. There are important factors to consider which include choosing and setting up a theme for your website, headers and product categories, and having a clear recognizable logo as a reassuring symbol as well as an element of trust for the business. A good design for an online business should also be user-friendly and easier for customers to navigate.
7. Use EV SSL Certificate
The use of an SSL Certificate is a must for any online store business that accepts and stores confidential customer information such as emails, passwords, credit card information among others. The use of EV SSL Certificate (Extended Validation SSL Certificate) in particular represents the gold standard for authentication and security. It provides a rigorous extended validation process through an encrypted token that contains the private key. The token is stored on an external USB device. Storing the token on USB ensures that only people with the physical device can sign the code using the certificate. The code is signed and contains a time stamp and your company information to enable users knows that the code is originating from you. EV SSL certificate features robust encryption and two-factor authentication. The platform should also be PCI compliant.
8. Prioritize SEO and Social Media
Most eCommerce sites get their traffic from organic searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. An eCommerce business must prioritize SEO to attract traffic. It involves the use of targeted keywords on the site and getting backlinks from reputable firms. Social media presence is invaluable in generating traffic to your website. It is wise to engage the services of a social manager who can help build a strong reputation with your customers and prospects.
9. Have a shopping Cart
After your site is set, you’ll need a shopping cart service or software program. The shopping cart will help to calculate shipping, sales tax and in the sending of order notifications. Because of security considerations, customers trust online stores that use hosted shopping cart software as compared to ones that use self-hosted software. 1Shoppingcart.com, GoEcart.com, and Shopsite.com are some of the available shopping carts that you can utilize for your online store.
10. Advertising, Marketing & Customer experience
After launching your website, you need to come up with a sound marketing and advertising strategy for attracting customers to your online store. You can market your store by use of promotions, sales, and emails. Once the store is up and running, you must endeavor to provide a high-quality customer service that will make customers return.
Kunjal Panchal is a Digital Strategist, having 5+ years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. She wants to explore more in story-telling and content marketing field. She is a social media geek. In her spare time, she enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.