Over the past few years, the ecommerce market has been changing at an astonishing pace. Studies forecast that it will reach $27 trillion by 2020. So, to survive in such a competitive landscape and build a recognizable brand, you need to have a solid business plan.
With the help of this guide, you will be able to conduct a market research, as well as create, launch, and grow your online business. Let’s start.
Know your Products
For starters, you need to do determine what you want to sell. Think about your talents, knowledge, and interests and see whether you can use them to create products your customers would buy. By delivering authentic products, you will build a strong brand and take your ecommerce business to a whole new level.
Of course, if you are not interested in the mere process of production, you can obtain products from other manufacturers. In this case, you need to choose the way you will store your products. Namely, you can either hold them as inventory or turn to dropshipping, as an easier and more affordable option.
This sounds so simple right now, but, how to choose products relevant to your niche? This takes us to the next point- a market research.
Do a Detailed Market Research
Only by conducting a thorough market research will you be able to sell products people are interested in, establish competitive prices, think of an authentic selling proposition, and market your business adequately. Here are several crucial steps you need to take:
- Collect data on your niche to see how fast it is shrinking or expanding. Search for multiple sources of information, such as case studies, journals, research hubs, and local government statistics.
- Create buyer personas to understand the needs of your consumers. Take numerous metrics into consideration, including their age, race, sex, education, income, hobbies, and values.
- Spy on your major competitors. By knowing what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are, you will manage to deliver a better approach, avoid the mistakes they make, and gain a competitive advantage.
Choose a Unique Domain Name
At this conceptual phase, you need to select a domain name that makes sense for your brand. Ideally, it should be unique, short, and easy to spell. Such domain names are memorable and easier to type in the search box, reducing typos that might lead your potential customers to a wrong website. Once you choose the right one, you need to buy domain name and register it with an accredited domain register.
Select the Right Ecommerce Platform
Choosing a platform that will power your store properly is immensely important. What you need to know is that there are two basic types of ecommerce platforms. First, self-hosted platforms, such as Magento, WooCommerce, and OpenCart require a host to maintain their store on their own. So, if you don’t have a web development experience, you need to hire a developer to do that for you. The main advantage of these platforms is that they allow you to customize your store according to your preferences and implement numerous advanced features.
On the other hand, hosted platforms, including Shopify, Volusion, and Bigcommerce are designed specifically for the people lacking technical knowledge. Based on drag and drop features, they arm you with numerous templates, as well as built-in inventory management, marketing, and reporting tools. Their only disadvantage is the limited number of customization options.
Boost your UX design
In today’s turbulent entrepreneurial ecosystem, the only factor that determines your success is user experience. This is why merely developing a site isn’t enough. To stay relevant and reduce the bounce rate, you must invest in a responsive UX design. Offer simple navigation, an easy-to-find search bar, product filter options, visible shopping carts, and a simple checkout. Finally, you need to deliver an outstanding omnichannel shopping experience and focus on mobile users that are expected to reach 4.93 billion by 2018.
Promote your Online Business
Once your ecommerce site starts working like a well-oiled machine, it’s time to build a solid digital marketing strategy to drive more traffic to it and boost conversion rates. Every effective online marketing strategy consists of the following:
- SEO. 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, which makes them a major source of your website traffic. To boost your rankings in the SERPs, you need to employ a wide range of SEO tactics, most important of which are keyword research, on-page SEO, technical SEO, content marketing, and link building.
- Social media marketing. Given that the majority of your customers are active on social media, promoting your business this way is a must. All you need to do is choose a platform that targets the right audience. For instance, Facebook is focused on building an extensive online community, while Instagram is all about building a personal brand.
- Email marketing is still alive and kicking. By getting your visitors to sign up for your emails, you will manage to inform them about your blog updates, giveaways, new website features, as well as send them the links to specific landing pages.
Launching an ecommerce website and optimizing it properly takes work. However, if executed properly, it will result in massive conversion rates and tremendous profits. Hopefully, these tips will bring you closer to accomplishing that.