With much of the world staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, eCommerce has become more important than ever. These six strategies can help you start a successful eCommerce business.
1. Take Enough Time To Get Your Launch Right
Launching your new eCommerce site before it is ready can derail your business before you even get started. Customers have little patience for a website that does not function correctly and can quickly lose trust in a company that does not have a professional, fully functional site on day one. Unfortunately, even if you repair your site quickly, customers who had a bad opening day experience may never return and worse they may tell other customers never to visit. Design your site with care and be sure to thoroughly test it before your launch date.
2. Choose the Right Product
No matter how well designed your site is or how great a job you do marketing your new business, you are not likely to be successful if you do not choose a product or service people want to buy. There are a lot of people trying to compete in the eCommerce market. Rather than trying to sell the same thing everyone else is already selling, it may be better to identify a niche market that you can become a leader in. These niche products may be a new product or service that addresses an unserved need or a unique take on an existing product. You will probably be more successful if you can choose a product that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. It also helps if you can identify an upcoming trend before everyone else has already jumped into the market. Whether you are selling mens watches or the latest electronic gadget, you will want to position yourself as an expert with a unique product that you are uniquely qualified to sell.
3. Treat It Like a Serious Business
Because eCommerce businesses can often be established much more cheaply and quickly than a brick and mortar business, there is the temptation for people to treat them like a side-gig, rather than an up and coming business. If you do not treat your eCommerce startup like it is a serious business, then it is unlikely to ever grow beyond the status of being a hobby or something you do on the side. You need to be willing to pour all your time, effort and passion into your new business to grow it into a success.
4. Do Your Homework
Many new businesses fail because their owners jump in blindly without doing the research they needed to do before starting. You need to study the market, the current trends, the predictions for future trends, what your competitors are doing and be intimately familiar with the workings of whatever industry you are planning to get into. Find out what other businesses are doing that is working for them and copy it and also find out what they are doing that is not working and figure out how you can do it better.
5. Register Your Business Name and Trademarks
Your brand is how customers will know who you are. An important part of that brand identity is your company name and logo. You will want to choose something memorable, that makes sense for the product you are selling and the customers you want to sell it to and that someone else is not already using. You then need to make sure you register your company name and logo so that no one else can legally use it.
6. Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a written outline of what you want your business to be and how you plan to accomplish it. Writing a business plan will help you solidify your business idea, spot any potential flaws in your business model, and serve as a roadmap for your business development. Additionally, if you need financing to start your business, your lender may want to see a copy of your business plan when they are evaluating whether or not to approve your loan. Your business plan should include a mission statement that encapsulates your business goals and philosophy.
The eCommerce landscape is extremely competitive, but there are still opportunities for startups to grow into successful businesses. However, it is important to give your business the best chance of success from the start. These six strategies can help you build a foundation to grow your startup into whatever type of business you want it to be.