Helping others get started in e-commerce is something I have always loved to do.
Years before earning an MBA in Internet Marketing, I marketed a major corporate retail brand. Marketing an established ecommerce brand and launching a new one is a different game. I have been helping internet entrepreneurs since 2008 and have discovered all the pitfalls new businesses face.
Tired of watching small business owners struggle to get started, I have put together this guide to give you a smooth ride in your ecommerce, It took me years to learn everything included on this site. Use the information here to set up your ecommerce store, protect yourself legally, get your finances in order, market and sell your product, and get started building a store.
There is nothing useful about starting a business out of nothing and watching it grow. You build it and no one can take it from you.
Online retailing is a flourishing business. But I’ve seen too many ecommerce companies struggle to attract it. Managing an online store can be complicated quickly, which is why I’m a big fan of launching an individual merchandise line + combo site.
This ecommerce model is very different from typical online stores that rely on product sales.
- It starts with a niche and a persona, NOT a product
- Highest profit margin
- One product you will worry about shipping
- Use sales off affiliate marketing to reinvest
- Discover what else is selling and launch new lines
- Natural growth projection
Building an ecommerce business requires more than choosing a brand, writing a product list, and starting selling products online. Even the best business ideas can be crushed if you don’t get enough traffic to your site.
How to Start an Ecommerce Business |
Ecommerce Business Basics Research
Starting a research is the first critical step. Do not act as honest. The growth of any online business is an investment. Treat it as such.
There is no single business structure that works for everyone. Business, software, digital sales and physical products are just the tip of the iceberg.
Before deciding what to sell online, you need to understand the different business models that are available.
It’s not rocket science, but it affects your business structure.
This will help you identify in my E-commerce Business Blueprint course.
If you want to make a profit without touching the product or making big startup investments, dropshipping is a smart choice.
If you like the idea of having your warehouse a lot of good, invest more upfront and work with a wholesale or warehouse model. Do you have a business idea for the perfect product idea or favorite product that you want to sell under your brand? See white labeling and production.
And then there are the subscriptions, where you carefully work out a set of products or one product that will be delivered to customers on a regular basis.
The e-commerce business model that most appeals to me is one product category that you complement with affiliate marketing, You can control marketing and brand marketing on a concentrated product and focus the rest of your energy on driving sales by monetizing traffic.
Ecommerce business models must be read
Ecommerce Types: Ready to Start Your Successful Ecommerce Business? Learn more about the process of selling products online and other types of online business models here.
Start exploring niche ecommerce
It hurts when people email me to their ecommerce site and it is filled with hundreds of products, dozens of categories and no real focus.
If you don’t have a big budget, you can’t be the next Best Buy or Amazon. To run a profitable ecommerce store, you need to occupy a niche.
Choosing your niche is the most important step in starting your online business. Begin this process by identifying successful companies that are already working in this space.
Make sure the area is competitive – the absence of competition usually indicates that there is no market.
However, don’t pick a cluttered niche and skip anything dominated by major brands. If you have a problem with that, think further about what you want to do – the more specific you are, the less competition you will face.
Lowering down also gives you the advantage of having a lot of “shoulder” niches, which are related to what you do but are not identical. You can work with business owners in these niches to promote, become (or acquire) an affiliate and grow your customer base.
Choose a product category with at least 1000 keywords and focus on a niche that works well on social networks, where publishers in the area are affiliated with Amazon. If you can try out a few marketing opportunities, you won’t have to worry about shipping so many products, but you can still make money.
Be sure to read about choosing a niche:
People and product choices
Now that you’ve identified a niche and business model, you might be tempted to start looking for the products they sell.
Not. Before you think of product ideas, think about personas. You can’t expect people to buy your product if you don’t know who you’re selling to.
Who are you? What does trade represent? Who are your ideal customers? You need to project a consistent brand image (a journey that starts with your brand name). An organic seed company that started selling conventional fertilizer would not last long.
Once you’ve identified the image you want to project and the host you’re hosting, it’s time to come up with product ideas. I suggest starting with one – you will invest less in the beginning, and if you want to offer more you can try the waters of affiliate marketing.
For example, from an organic seed company, you can find popular organic products on Amazon and create content to send traffic to those related products. If something ignites, you might consider making your own brand of that product. If you are not 100% sure what to sell, you can use affiliate marketing to validate your idea.
Carefully evaluate it before investing in a product. Even if you choose a dropshipping model, you want to carefully examine it and get a feel for the product so you can identify potential issues and prepare customer service scripts to answer common questions.
The product selection must read
Establish your brand and ecommerce
If you want to start a successful business, you need a brand that connects with your person. Identifying your person makes it easy to build an ecommerce brand. You can avoid women’s colors and images if you sell products to corporate business women interested in sustainable living.
But before you set up shop and get into the fancy bite of building a brand – there are a few basic steps you will need to take.
Step 1: Register your business.
Choose a business name and register your business. There are legal protections and tax breaks to include, so don’t skip this.
Step 2: Select a store name
Your site name and business name may not be identical, but adhering to them has advantages. Notice that whatever you choose fits your niche – you don’t want to choose a last-minute brand name.
Step 3: Get Business Licenses
If you are not familiar with this process, the Small Business Association there are plenty of resources to help you get started, including a mentor network of mentors and small business fundamentals courses. Get active mentors – their advice can be invaluable, even for small things like acquiring business licenses. One of the smartest decisions I ever made was finding someone who could show me the ropes.
Step 4: Get your employer ID
You will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account and file business taxes next April, even if you do not plan to have employees. Your EIN is a bit like your company’s social security number: it’s a unique number that identifies your business and helps you file important paperwork.
Step 5: Apply for business licenses and permits
Working with an online store does not exclude you from needing certain business licenses and permissions. Check with your city, county and state to see what types of sales tax or home business licenses you need and get them before you get started.
Step 6: Find the right suppliers
You will have a lot of competition in selling your products online, so it is in your best interest to find the best quality and best prices for the products you sell or the materials you use to make your products. Shop around until you find the supplier you want to do business with for the long term – this includes your ecommerce software (your “shopping cart”). Think scalable from the start.
Step 7: Creating a logo
Don’t worry too much, but be sure another company isn’t using it in your niche. However, the logo design does not have to be terribly original (and really no need).
Step 8: Get it visually
consider cyour brand colors, the images you use, and the text format or fonts you will use carefully. If you have the budget, you may want to hire a marketing company to create a design design for your business. If not, you can create your own. Just follow and read marketing tips that are designed to enhance your brand.
An ecommerce business must read
Create your own online store
Once you have legally registered your business and started thinking about design, you need to register your domain name and any redirect URLs that may be relevant. You will need information on the designs you settled on in the last step now that you are finally building the store.
Whatever design you choose, it must also be compatible with ecommerce software.
There are literally hundreds of e-commerce shopping cart platforms. Choosing the right e-commerce software is not easy. You need to carefully evaluate things like loading speed, capabilities, compatibility with different payment gateways, compatibility with your business structure, web developer skills, SEO-friendly features, and more. I compile reviews and comparisons to help you choose the right one.
Once you have decided on an ecommerce solution, do not hire a “CRO Expert” or expensive development company. Just use the theme. You may need to pay a small fee of $ 100 or more to get a good template, depending on the basket you choose and what they offer.
There are many themes for BigCommerce, Shopify and WooCommerce.
If you do not want to worry about making a credit card payment, you can sell the products online in a market like Amazon.
Do you like the idea of your own digital real estate? Make sure your ecommerce platform can connect with you and integrate with popular ecommerce markets to maximize your exposure.
Setting up your online store is much more than adding products and content. You also need to set up your email marketing and automation.
This is important to set up BEFORE collecting traffic. Email marketing is essential to drive conversions. Make sure you place coupons, thank you for emails and upsells, so you can turn visitors into customers. You also need to think about customer support.
An e-commerce website must read
Here are some resources to help you get started:
Attracting Customers to Your Ecommerce Store
He apologizes The field of dreams fans, but if you build it there is no guarantee that it will come. You need to market your store.
When choosing a shopping cart, I told you to think about search engine-friendly features. They are not all the same.
The days of keyword stuffing since the early 2000s are long gone, but SEO is alive and well. You need to keep in mind the keywords and search terms on every page of your site, in your URLs, and in your ad campaigns. You also need to think about driving traffic to your site.
The best ecommerce sites invest a lot in online marketing. If you don’t have the means, you better have elbow grease. Subscribe to marketing newsletters or listen to digital marketing podcasts to keep your pulse in the digital marketing field and get your fill of marketing tips.
Will you use sponsored content, social networks, pay per click ads, or a combination of strategies? How will you track which campaigns drive traffic to your store? If the marketing of your site seems overwhelming, will you hire help?
Ecommerce marketing must be legible
Marketing your products online
Your site is not the only thing you need to drive traffic to. The products you choose should also be included in your marketing budget.
Your mission is to sell products, not drive traffic. To sell products, you need to think outside your site and look for areas to expand.
No matter what and how you decide to sell yourself, the first step is to create an email list. Put a free user on your site, launch a social media campaign to gain subscribers, or host a gift where your client’s email address is a “fee”.
Launching gifts is my marketing tactic for launching fast traffic and subscribers. Giveaways have the added benefit of increasing your brand and product visibility. Creating an email list gives you a bunch of good results to work with, making the sales process easier.
Allowing consumers with coupons and content via email helps keep their brand in mind, increase sales, and build credibility. Keep emails interesting – ask for your customers’ queries frequently, including reviews. Quickly answer customer service and product quality questions and work to build relationships. There is no sales interaction regarding the first sale; always focus on the next one.
See how and where traffic is flowing on your website. Are your product pages targeted at your personality? Are you losing potential customers in the same place? If you are driving traffic to your store but nothing is selling, repair leaks in your sales funnel by carefully optimizing each page and carefully reviewing the product list. Use analytics to help with this business. There are tools that can help you monitor and optimize each step of the sales process. Take advantage of them.
Look into affiliate and affiliate marketing to boost your brand presence by offering affiliate marketing options and partnering with resellers in your niches. If you’re nervous about accessing other retailers, check out options like JVZoo (www.jvzoo.com), ClickBank (www.clickbank.com) and Amazon Associates.
You can also offer bloggers in your niche a free sample of your product in exchange for reviews. If you sell products on Amazon, one easy way to gain consumer respect and trust (and reviews) is to seek feedback. With each product, add a card that asks for an honest review and provides contact information for your business (email is sufficient unless you have a dedicated phone line for customers).
Product marketing must read
How to Create a Non-Starchy Amazon Affiliate Store to Start a Private Brand
For more information on marketing your products, read these articles:
Ready to start your online business?
Did this post answer your questions about starting an ecommerce store? If so, please share it. I have spent years helping business owners like you. Running a successful ecommerce site does not have to be a struggle or expensive.
If you have time for fat and elbow, you could start a profitable online store for several hundred dollars a month.
Your success is important to me. Taking the time to read the resources above will save you hundreds of hours of work and you will know where your money is more likely to be worth e-commerce. I really hope you enjoyed the insights I shared about starting an ecommerce business. If I miss anything you would like to see covered, let me know in the comments.