Have you been thinking of starting an E-commerce business but you don’t know how to go about it? Then you are in the right place. There’s nothing more rewarding starting a business from nothing and watching it grow.
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In starting an E-commerce business, there are some steps that must be followed to ensure achievement of set goals. I will be listing the steps as follows;
Make Enquaries or Research the Basis Of Ecommerce Business
In starting any business, it is very important to make some enquaries concerning the business. In starting Ecommerce business, it is imperative to know the basics of Ecommerce. Remember, growing any business either online or offline business is an investment and it must be treated as such. Researching the basics of any business do have a positive impact on the business.
However, before you can decide on what to sell online or offline, you need to understand the different business models available, what to sell interms of physical products or digital products, product sourcing, inventory and management, Are you going to be starting with a dropshipping business model to test the market before investing or you are going to be stocking your warehouse with products investing more up front and working with a wholesaling or warehousing model? All these must be researched before starting.
Niche Research and Product Selection
Now that you’ve identified and understood the different business models available, it is important to select a niche for your chosen business model. It is important you know your audience and the people you will be selling your products to and that is why a niche selection is crucial to the success of your business. You need to project a consistent brand image of what your business represents. Once you’ve identified the image you want to project and the customers you are going to be selling to or services you are going to be rendering, you can then proceed to product ideas and selection of products. You can start with one product to invest less or use affiliate marketing to test more than one product using Amazon and creating contents around the products and directing visitors to the affiliate procducts via organic traffic. You can use affiliate marketing to validate your idea if you really don’t know what to sell even if you are going to be using a dropshipping business model.
Find The Right Vendors
It is import you shop around until you find a reliable vendor or vendors you are going to be doing business with, on a long term basics. There are competitors in virtually every niche you can think of, so there is the need to stand out interms of order fulfillments, services redered to your customers etc. It’s in your best interest to find the best quality and best prices for the products you sell or materials you use to create your products which are going to be depending largely on your suppliers/manufacturers.
Build a Business Website and get a company logo
So many local businesses are now moving their businesses online and an Ecommerce business shouldn’t be an exemption. Get a business website and an online store for your business. Choose a business name and domain name as well, they may not be the same but keep them consistent.
Make sure whatever business and domain name you choose fits your niche and don’t get carried away by not registering your business name. You must register your business name.
Select a color and logo to represent your brand. You can create this on your own or you can hire a marketing firm to do it for you on a reasonable budget. In building your online store, you need to get a domain name and a realible hosting services.
I would suggest Bluehost, its only cost $2.95 per month to start with. Also, if you are on a very small budget, there are some Nigeria HOSTING Companies too I would recommend- Smartweb and Whogohost. Their customers’ services are superb and their hosting services are reliable.
In building your online store, make sure that the designs you choose are compatible with your chosen ecommerce software like Woocommerce, Shopify, Bigcommerce etc.
Although, choosing the right Ecommerce software is not easy cos there are literally hundreds of ecommerce shopping cart platforms. You need to carefully evaluate their features, compatibility with different payment gateways, compatibility with your business structure, your web design skills, loading speed, SEO-friendly platform etc. Chose your website theme or template wisely, no one would like to visit an ugly looking website. The good news is that most Ecommerce softwares like WordPress + woocommerce, shopify, bigcommerce all come with inbuild themes and templates that would help in designing and customizing your Ecommerce store. You can as well get a custom theme for less than $100 or more.
It is important to make sure that the Ecommerce platform you choose can scale with your business and integrate with popular ecommerce marketplaces like Aliexpress, Amazon, Ebay and the rest, to increase your exposure.
Marketing Your Products Online
No matter what you sell and how you decide to sell them it is important to start by building an email list for your business. You can do this by signing up with a reliable email subscribers company in order to be able to place an opt-in freebie or gift on your website, after which you launch a social media campaign to gain subscribers, or host a giveaway for customers to subscribe before participating.
Building an email list gives you a group of warm leads to work with, making the sales process much easier.
Providing consumers with coupons and content via email helps to keep your brand on their mind, boost sales, and establish credibility.
Also, try as much as possible to always respond quickly to customer service and product quality issues, and work on building relationships.
Email marketing is essential for driving conversions. Make sure you set up coupons, thank you emails, and up sells so you can turn visitors into shoppers.
There are tools that can help you monitor and optimize every step of the sales process. Tools to optimize where your traffics are coming from, why they are not converting to sales, what to fix etc. And you can do this by carefully optimizing each page and taking a close look at your product listings and your sales funnel.
A brief view explaination is given below: