ECommerce is a major factor of modern business. It’s even popular to forego a brick-and-mortar store altogether in favor of running a business entirely online. Here are five ways to help you start an eCommerce business.
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1. Utilize software platforms
If your planned eCommerce company is a small business or startup, you can greatly benefit from various technological tools, such as sales operations software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and other programs. These platforms can help you streamline or automate various processes and workflows, allowing you to be more sparing when hiring employees and giving current employees more time to focus on creative work and business development. Software solutions can also assist you in collecting, organizing and analyzing market, sales, and customer data in order to improve your strategies, tools and products as you grow your business.
2. Choose a type of eCommerce to focus on
ECommerce doesn’t only refer to selling goods to individual customers. There are many types of eCommerce platforms and business models, including business-to-business or b2b eCommerce, business-to-consumer or b2c eCommerce and consumer-to-consumer or c2c eCommerce, among others. When you’re planning your eCommerce business, you must start by considering what model of eCommerce business you want to run. The model you choose will be informed by your target audience and will then inform your overall business strategy and your business practices.
3. Look for viral growth opportunities
ECommerce is an extension of the internet, which means it can also greatly benefit from the way information moves and changes online. A good eCommerce strategy focuses on capitalizing on opportunities for viral marketing to grow your business and expand your customer base. You can develop marketing strategies that are designed to go viral, but this isn’t always reliable. Many eCommerce businesses instead choose to piggyback on pre-existing internet trends. Look for communities or properties that seem to mesh well with your eCommerce business model or inventory. Reach out to other businesses, content creators, influencers and marketers to develop your viral growth strategy and increase your business’s exposure.
4. Focus on strategy
You should focus as much as possible on strategy when you start an eCommerce business, just as you would for any startup. Without a solid strategy, it’s far more likely that your business will fail or falter. A good strategy includes all aspects of your business, including finding and maintaining your niche, determining how to reach and attract your target audience and managing your business processes and workflows. You should periodically reevaluate and adjust your strategy. Most business leaders do this annually. Doing so helps them confirm whether their strategies are still successful and make changes where they notice their strategies losing their effectiveness.
5. Spend time perfecting your website
An eCommerce business’s success rests almost entirely on the success of its internet platform. You should dedicate enough resources to be able to perfect your website as much as possible before launching your business. Make sure all of your content, including copy, graphics, animations and audio, are clean, crisp and match your branding. Give your website a consistent brand image across all web pages. Perform usability testing to ensure your customers will be able to easily navigate your site and find the things they need. Find ways to ensure your eCommerce platform is seamlessly incorporated into your site.
Starting an eCommerce business is quite similar to starting any other business. While you don’t necessarily need to budget time, money or other resources to find or maintain brick-and-mortar stores and other physical properties, you still need to work on such aspects of running a business as your strategy, branding, product management, and employee management.
What do you think about these tips for starting an eCommerce website? Do you have any of your own to add? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.