You’re so excited, you are finally going to create your online store, but wait… Are you sure you’ve thought about everything necessary?In this article, our guest blogger, Mélanie Malbranque from Shopery will give you some tips you need to know before starting an online business. There are many steps and decisions that need to be studied; we’ll take a look at the most important steps to take prior to launching your online store to ensure your success.
Choosing a product
First things first, you can’t start an online store without knowing what you are going to sell. What you’ll decide to sell online has a significant effect on your success, that’s why every new ecommerce entrepreneur should choose products wisely.
If you don’t have any idea of which product you want to sell, start trying to identify niche markets. Seek to sell exclusive or unique products in an innovative way and look at new trends to help inspire your decision. If you already have an idea of what to sell online, start by seeing how well your idea is already performing.
Researching your competition
When we open an online store is essential to know who we are competing with. This information will also help us know which market position we are in and what should we do to improve. There are different ways, but the most common is searching key words related to your business in Google, you can easily find some competitors and see how they are positioned. For example, if you have a t-shirt ecommerce you will start searching “buy t-shirt” and you will end up shaping your search to find similar stores to yours to analyze them.
For analyzing the competitors first we have to find them. Once you know who they are, take a look at what they do and do a benchmark; measure and assess their quality level, define their strengths and weaknesses and don’t analyze just qualitative data, try to extract quantitative data too like shipping costs, the price of their products or the response time.
Defining your audience
An essential element when you start any business is defining and knowing your audience. The more we know our target audience the better we can focus on what they want and create a successful communication and a precise strategy. In order to define our target, we should answer the following questions:
- What are the main characteristics of the product I sell?
Depending on the type of product that we offer we will have more or less clear who might be interested. You must know what makes you different from other competitors to highlight these advantages and differentiate yourself.
- Which demographic traits define my audience?
It’s essential to create a profile of the person that is being targeted: gender, age, level of education, income level… These parameters are required because they influence and mark the needs of our market and can help us to define how we communicate or which values we promote.
- Do I have more than a target audience?
Our business can have more than one type of target audience depending to the nature of the product. We should consider different possibilities because we have to go one way or another adapting our message according to the different targets.
- How much experience do they have in the online world?
If you want to sell scarves to grandmothers, it is going to be a little bit difficult. Not because there are no funky grandmothers who can use Internet (mine, for example), but because it’s not usual. Consider the use of Internet and technological expertise that your target audience has.
Answering these questions will help you to determine the characteristics, the elements and the complexity of your online store, improving the chances of success of your business.
At this point, one of the things you should ask yourself once you defined the target audience is: what do they need to take the decision of purchasing? How can you make them take that decision even more quickly?
To succeed in any business on the Internet you have to know what your added value is and what makes you different from the rest of your competitors. There are lots of online stores but your only mission should be: stand out from your competition.
Don’t try to cover a big market. Zara, Amazon and Zalando already exist and you are not going to be able to compete against them. Sell a different product or sell differently. But don’t try to be like the others: you are the only one who can make your brand, a single brand.
Choosing a platform
The ecommerce platform market isn’t a tiny one, there are lots of options available; some might have a simple tool that everyone can use, but that isn’t always enough, while some can have fewer things, but provide cheaper rates and prices.
Shopery is a perfect solution if you want to start an online business. First of all, you can try 1 month for free without any commitments. Your online store will be running 24/7, 365 days a year so it’s better as it’s easy to set-up whatever you want, that’s because you don’t need to know anything about coding. There are integrated logistics and payment methods so you can set them easily with just one click, you can manage and sell from mobile and tablet (it’s adapted to any devices), choose between beautiful templates, control your stock, create offers or connect your social media.
Setting up your e-commerce
Once you are ready, you just need to set up everything. Choose a domain, add content and products to your store, create your social media channels, familiarise yourself with the administrator panel and how to work with everything…
Just make sure everything is ready and waiting to the launch.
Create a launch strategy
Create an online business is very simple today. The challenge is to achieve positioning in search engines, have conversion and, above all, enhance customer loyalty.
Before opening an online store, lot of people is not creating any type of promotion or launch strategy: they open the store and wait. That’s a mistake.
Even if you already have the idea, which could be very good, to launch your online store needs something more than to sit and wait for your customers: you need to tell them that you are there.
And remember, starting a business is a journey, not a race, give yourself time and go step by step. Understanding each of the seven tips above should get the gears turning and help you start a good and successful business.
In order to grow in a competitive market like e-commerce, you need to be closely monitoring your market movements.
And in order to catch up with your competitor prices automatically to offer the best deals to your customers, you should definitely give Prisync a try.