E-commerce Business Blueprint: How to build, launch and grow a profitable online storeHexRowAdminLogin
Running a successful e-commerce business is not a piece of cake anymore. You have to face several challenges, move through different stages to become the winner. Everything will become much easier when divided into stepwise actions. A strategic approach will land you in a favourable position among your competitors.
So, here we have brought you this step by step guide for opening a brand new online store. We will start right from the scratch and let you know the efficient techniques. By referring to this guide, you will be able to make the right decisions in demanding situations. So, without any further delay, let us begin…
1.Making the product decisions
The very first dilemma of an entrepreneur is to pick up a suitable product! As a beginner, you must choose a product that has a good demand in the market. It should have high-profit margins to scale your business. It should be genuinely solving some pain points of the customer. Bonus points, if the product is currently trending! Okay, but where to carry out the research for creative product ideas?
You can conduct simple keyword research on Google and explore opportunities. Go through the customer feedbacks and reviews on top products in the market. For a more realistic picture, interact with your potential customer. Take the help of social media and SEO analytics to find which product has performed well.
Once you filtered a bunch of product ideas, the next step is to evaluate them. For this, you have to see if the product will go right with the current market trends. Like, you have to examine the potential demand and scope of growth in the upcoming future. You have to analyse your competitors and demarcate your target audience. Are there any regulations on your product? What will be the ideal size and package content of your product? And the final concern is how will you acquire the products! You have to choose from 4 possible options- Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or dropship.
With the above set of questions, we completed our first step. Let us move on to the next one-
2. Researching and planning
A solid plan will only come after thorough research. And here we are talking about the most important – ‘competitor analysis’. To thrive in a market where many brands have already established their territory, you have to be super careful. Start with identifying your top competitors. Dive deeper and understand their marketing strategy. What is the unique style that distinguishes them from others? How they have priced their products and shipping their orders?
After you have retrieved all the information, gear up to write your detailed business plan. We will recommend you use a template for this. The template already instructs what to include in the plan – Company overview, Market Analysis, features of products, marketing strategy, logistics and operation methods, financial plan etc.
3. Setting up your online store
The first step here is to select an ideal brand name that represents your business, goals and mission. You will get various tools online like – Namelix, Wordoid, Shopify’s business name generator. These applications suggest amazing brand and website domain names once you type some keywords.
After you found the perfect name, focus on creating a custom logo for your business. Use any of these free tools to craft an attractive logo- Logojoy, GraphicSprings Logo Creator, Logomaker by Craft, Hatchful from Shopify etc.
Now is the time to build your e-commerce website for real. You will be creating a homepage, various product pages and landing pages. You have to place compelling website copy, product descriptions and strong CTAs. The product images have to be well shot, formatted with good resolution. Oh yes, how can you forget to decide on a nice theme and colour palette for the website that appeals to the visitors! While doing all this, ensure that you apply SEO techniques as well. They will help you to rank in the search engine and gain you more traffic.
After you created a professional site with good UX, it’s time to reflect on your sales channels. You have to look where most of your audience usually shop. Then you can opt for a mixture of channels that includes- Etsy, eBay, Amazon and Shopify.
4. Final works before launch
You finalised everything for the e-commerce website. But have you planned a sustainable shipping strategy? Will you offer free shipping for the first-timers? Before jumping into marketing, calculate the expenditure in delivering the products. Decide how you will package the items. Will you offer a refund policy to dissatisfied customers?
You can boost your profits only by tracking progress. So, it is essential to mark the top KPIs or Key Performance Indicators before launch. You can track these metrics using analytical tools.
So, after applying all these measures, our new store is ready to launch. Congratulations!
But our job has not finished yet. Instead, we have to concentrate more to bring out the best results with every passing day. So, here are the post-launch actions you must take-
Acquire your first set of customers
The flow of traffic to your website determines how fast you will acquire customers. There are many pathways you can try. For example, SEO will fetch you organic traffic without much investment. You can capitalise on paid ads if you want to speed up the process. Reach out to the existing audience and expand your network.
This is the most well-known technique followed by marketers to spread brand awareness and drive engagement. This is like an umbrella term that covers various marketing channels. It includes email marketing which is a very efficient tactic. You can run email campaigns to attract subscribers for conversions. Social media marketing involves getting user attention through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and many more.
Once you are done with all the above strategies, your next work is solely optimisation! You have to conduct A/B tests, review the data insights to improve your business model. You have to keep spotting and fixing the leaks in the conversion funnel. You can always add extra features to your website that boosts the UX like automation, personalisation, live chat etc.
So, this marks the end of this brief guide. You can consider it as a blueprint for your new start-up. You have to keep in mind all the mentioned steps and work accordingly. We hope you found it informative. So, get ready now and embark on your new journey of entrepreneurship!