To start selling products online and be successful, an eCommerce entrepreneur has to make the right moves early on. An online store can’t expect to drive sales and grow if the fundamentals aren’t working. Though the tools to start an eCommerce website are available and accessible, it’s all in how you use them.
These tips for becoming an eCommerce entrepreneur have already been used by hundreds to launch eCommerce brands to high degrees of success. Take them to heart as you decide your approach to your online store.
Start Small and Grow
It’s easy to get carried away, but as an eCommerce entrepreneur, you have the benefit of starting small. Instead of investing in hundreds of products, source a few products. Create an Instagram account and gauge interest. Move slowly, and as interest builds, build your business from there simultaneously.
Choose Your Business Name Wisely
You want a clear brand identity, distinct from everyone or anything else, and that’s where the strategic business name generator comes in. Have an uncomplicated name that you can reserve for your website on social media, and that is legally yours. Ensure it translates well across multiple cultures, which is key if you sell globally.
Build Your eCommerce Website Slowly.
Take your time with web design. It’s best to take your time and get your storefront right. This is critical to online selling success. Whether you hire a web designer or use an eCommerce platform, such as Shopify, carefully customize your store to suit the target audience.
Using an Existing Marketplace
If you are beginning your journey as an eCommerce entrepreneur, you may want to sell on a third-party site like Etsy or Amazon instead of jumping directly to a website. There are millions of customers waiting to connect with creative, eye-catching products there. This may be a way to offload inventory and build brand recognition quickly.
Read and research sales. Some sales techniques, even those decades old, may shine a light for you on something about your eCommerce store you’ve never thought about and can help you reframe an approach to maximize return on investment.
Be Creative with Your Brand
To attract attention, you have to be different. Be creative and stand out from the others in the pack.
There are hundreds of eCommerce brands out there. The last thing you want to be is just another one.
Find Your Niche in eCommerce
To truly stand out, have a niche. Define your brand by the specialty products that you sell. It could be handcrafted projects, an aesthetic that applies across multiple product categories, a house room such as kitchen accessories, or a specific category, i.e., fitness, electronics, etc. Be clear about your niche.
Source Your Products From the Correct Source
Think of how you will source your products. It could be in-house, sourcing them from a wholesaler, or hiring a third party to produce them. The bottom line is you want enough inventory to last a few months and, subsequently, a way to store said inventory in anticipation of sales.
How Much to Invest in an eCommerce Business
Some online shopping brands make a profit at the end of their second year. In the interim, figuring out how much product inventory to order and how much warehouse space you need depends entirely on what you understand the demand for what you’re selling.
Set Up eCommerce Fulfillment Services
Rather than do the fulfillment in-house, eCommerce fulfillment services are when you hire a third party to complete everything from order processing to shipping and delivery. It gives you much time to focus on other online business aspects.
Be Ready to Negotiate Better Shipping Rates
With more shipping volume, you can negotiate better long-term shipping rates for your brand. Look closely at your shipping processes, ensuring they meet service standards for what you expect of them. An alternative to all this work is outsourcing your shipping to a third party.
Monitor Your KPIs Monthly As You Grow
After launch, as an eCommerce entrepreneur, it’s important to monitor your metrics, KPIs, and ROIs.
Especially as you experiment with and engage in different forms of digital marketing, some strategies will work while others won’t. Watch, learn, and make adjustments. Prepare to pivot if that is what the data tells you to do.
Have Realistic Expectations
Global eCommerce sales annually are over $5.7 trillion. Don’t think you will make millions in your first month by opening a store as an eCommerce entrepreneur. As with business, many stores fail. Have realistic expectations for your success and build on it month after month.
Invest in Marketing
Let people know you exist. There may be free resources to make that happen, but there is also a lot of investment that has to happen in your marketing and advertising. Ideally, 15-30% of your first-year overall budget will go towards marketing activities.