Launching an online store is perhaps one of the most exciting ventures of entrepreneurship. Not only is it a fun project where you can make money on the side, but you’ll additionally be more engaged with a community that interests you, allowing you to learn more. And if this has always been a mission for you, then I’ve provided a few helpful tips on how to get started. Check them out below:
Know Your Market (and how you’ll meet it)
As the world of eCommerce can be lucrative, it’s also one of the most competitive out. According to the US Census, approximately 53 percent of internet users have made a purchase online in the past year, which is a pretty staggering when you factor in how much each of those was really worth. And if you’re looking to capture even the slightest percentage of that, then you’ve got to know how to attack your market.
Assuming that the online business you’re trying to start is a field you have an invested interest in, look at what needs aren’t being met that you could serve. Additionally, try to maximize on the margins you’ll get on inventory, going after what will provide you with the highest ROI in the meantime. Also, when it comes to buying strategy, try to aim more conservative starting out, as you don’t want to be sitting on inventory that’s not selling.
Regarding where to look, try to source from places where you can safely afford the volume, such as online wholesale suppliers or outlet stores. Another aspect to consider is shipping costs, as well as finding a partner that you can rely on to get your packages there safely. As you’re going to be perfecting your store and how to reach your audience, don’t be afraid to take things on a trial-and-error basis, as it will allow you the freedom to grow towards your goal.
Draw Out Your Foundation
Once you have a good idea of the audience that you’re going to approach, it’s time to mapping out how you’re going to reach them. This is an ideal time to consider not only the upstart cost but additionally the resources that you’ll need around you. And no matter if it’s having someone straight from law school help with your contracts or a designer to help with your logos, all of this ties into the foundation you’re trying to set.
In drawing your upfront costs out, it’s better to overestimate as it will give you some breathing room to work with. In regards to contractors, try to find those that you feel match what you’re going for at the most efficient rate. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest, it does mean that you should study the value that you’re going to receive in return for the price you pay. All-in-all, try to assess your upstart costs from a patient approach, as it will secure you with the most funding you need for this business to be successful.
For the final aspect of your foundation, you’ll need to quantify best the revenue streams you’re predicted to make. As noted by CNBC, the global eCommerce rate in 2015 grew 20 percent, which while that would be impressive to hit in your first year, probably won’t be what you’re expecting. Instead, try to aim for a range that’s feasible for both the volume and price point that your industry allows, focusing on how to improve profits.
Invest In The Proper Marketing
Finally, once your foundation is set in place, it’s time to start showing people what your store has to offer. And while you might not have the budget of a Fortune 500 company, with the right knowledge base on the best digital marketing tactics, your store could see some serious drives in profits; however, that all starts with focusing on where your audience interacts.
In compiling a marketing mix, try to hedge your bets per the number of materials you can produce. For example, while SEO, social media, and email marketing are all low cost-high reward models, these also come with a consideration as to how much time you’re willing to spend on them. While doing all of them is essential, take a stab at each in seeing what produces the best output for what you put in.
An excellent example of this is with SEO, which is basically implementing keyword search terms into the content of your website to rank higher in a search. While a lot of people think that aspect might not matter, as noted by Kissmetrics, 70 percent of visitors come from organic search. And if you’re able to capitalize on any specific search terms you hold, then this is an excellent strategy to consider.
In regards to how to move forward with your marketing plan, look into more case studies on digital marketing and best practices. Make it your goal not to just build followers, but an audience and community that actively wants to engage with you. Overall, marketing is your chance to connect with those interested in you, so embrace it as a means of building further.
What’s most exciting to you about launching an online business? Comment with your answers below!