Starting an ecommerce business isn’t as difficult as you’d imagine, but there are certain steps you have to take in order to get up and running. You want your store to be accessible, legal, and financially sound, all while providing excellent customer service. Read on to learn how to start an ecommerce business.
Develop Your Strategy
First thing’s first: you need a strategy for your ecommerce business. Who is your target demographic? What will they purchase from your site? And how will you get them there? Think through the ways you will market your website and get traffic. Do market research with your product by attending live shopping events (flea markets, craft fairs, farmer’s markets, trade shows) and see how real people respond. There’s no use spending time and energy developing an ecommerce business unless you’ve done your product and market research first. These tips will help keep you competitive.
Build Your Website — Or Hire Professionals to Do It For You
If you don’t build websites as a profession — or at least as a hobby — you should invest in professional web design and development services. Your web design will make or break your ecommerce business, so don’t take the project on yourself unless you’re sure you can handle it. Even with professional web designers, you will still need to do your homework. Find ecommerce websites you like and pay attention to their branding and shopping experience. Similarly, find ecommerce websites that are frustrating to navigate. Take notes and avoid the things you find annoying.
Get Your Product Ready for Shipping
You need to be prepared for fulfillment when your ecommerce store goes live. Set up a shipping station with a scale so you can buy postage digitally. Make arrangements for actual shipping pickup or dropoff. Order packing supplies. Make sure you know how much it will cost to ship your items so you can set shipping fees accordingly. The last thing you want is to make a ton of sales and charge way too little for shipping.
Make Sure You’re Legal
There are rules for running any business. Check with your local and state laws (and probably an attorney) to make sure you understand these guidelines and requirements. You will need to pay some fees and do quite a bit of paperwork to get started. Then you’ll need to track and pay taxes and registrations throughout the year.
Once your ecommerce business is up and running, the real work begins. Now it’s time to start directing traffic to your site and optimizing for conversions. Check out these 5 features that will set your ecommerce site apart from your competitors.
Need help getting your ecommerce business off the ground? Our design and development team have years of experience building custom ecommerce websites that make operating an ecommerce business a breeze. Interested in learning more? Talk to us today.