New to Ecommerce? Start Here, and Take The Guesswork Out of the Equation
Opening your first ecommerce shop from the comfort of home is an exciting event that can give you and your family financial freedom. But, it’s not as easy as slapping up a website and hoping for sales. You have to put some work into it before it can work for you. Here is a quick rundown of a few things you can do to help ensure your success, courtesy of LRM RiverValley Marketing.
Starting a Business
If you’ve never started your own business before, you’ll have to start from scratch. This means doing everything from coming up with the name to forming as a legal entity. You will also need to decide what you are going to sell and how you will do it. Many e-commerce businesses start by dropshipping, which means registering as an independent seller but not holding inventory. Instead, your products are sold by a third party, branded with your information, and you pay a fee on top of the cost of goods and shipping. Salehoo notes, however, that there are many excellent dropshipping businesses. You can sell everything from gaming headsets to sunglasses and even specialty items, such as calligraphy pens.
Your website is one of the most important aspects of your e-commerce business. It is, after all, what your customers will use to buy from you. Florida-based digital marketing agency Studio98 notes that your website should be mobile-friendly. This is because the vast majority of your customers are using their mobile devices. Your site should also be easy to navigate and have your contact information clearly listed. Underscoring the importance of a great mobile site, Ecom Bytes explains that mobile ecommerce is now its entirely own genre of commerce with new trends popping up each year.
Image is Everything
In business, especially when you’re talking about online, image really is everything. When you’re trying to convince people to purchase something based on information they see on the screen, you have to have an excellent description and even better photos. Product photography requires patience, but it’s possible to use even an iPhone if you have the right backgrounds and studio lighting. Another important factor in your online image is your reputation. Collect reviews where possible, follow ethical business best practices, and keep your word to your customers.
Marketing in the Digital Age
Marketing today takes place mostly online. For an ecommerce business, this typically means beginning your marketing campaigns using social media. User-generated content, videos, and direct selling are all major components of online marketing. Make sure that you have a visible and active social media presence and that you routinely listen to and engage with your customers.
From the time you have your first customer, you begin growing. To maintain your momentum, build a solid foundation. You also need to understand the basics of search engine optimization and how to plan an effective customer service strategy. Your sales funnel, online traffic, and even how you deal with supplier delays all affect your ability to grow and scale from the beginning. Something to keep in mind here is that it’s less expensive to retain happy customers than it is to acquire new ones. Take the time to make sure that each customer is happy with their order. Never lose sight of the fact that customers can and will leave an online review, and these can have an extremely positive or negative impact on potential customers’ view of your business.
Although your business is in its early days now, trust that with perseverance and determination, you will soon be an established seller. Until then, be patient and persistent. Ecommerce is a wildly aggressive industry, but your piece of the proverbial pie is out there waiting for you to outlast the competition.
LRM RiverValley Marketing is a local marketing agency, which focuses on small to medium-sized businesses and start-ups. LRM was founded in April of 2016, by Lara and Ryan Millican. Call (479) 883-3869.
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