Forming your first eCommerce store is one of the most exciting entrepreneurial experiences. Not only are all the tools ready for you to go, but the overhead doesn’t have to be nearly as bad as you might imagine. And if this is something you’ve been considering doing, then there are a few essential steps to take first.
Get Your Processes In Place
One of the first steps you should take in launching your eCommerce store is ensuring that you have the proper processes in place to ensure your success. While this might sound simple, there are quite a few layers to developing your company. This includes genuinely diving into the details of each aspect along the way and seeing how they’ll work autonomously with everything else. And if this is unfamiliar territory to you, then the habit is much easier to pick up than you might imagine.
To begin, make a list of all the items you’re going to need for your eCommerce store to function, including a platform, website, marketing materials, and epacket delivery system. Look into how these mechanisms all play into with one another; for example, 28 percent of online shoppers will abandon their cart if the shipping costs are too high, which is why it’s important to find a partner that helps you bring those down. While it might be time-consuming, these are also aspects that could potentially save you quite a bit in the long run, so be patient and dive into doing things right.
Don’t Forget About Your Brand
For an eCommerce store, your brand is everything. Not only will this be how others decipher you from the pack, but how they’ll perceive your inventory as well. This is a priority straight out the gate, as that’s what’s going to give you the biggest benefit long-term. However, knowing how to invest in branding can be tricky, especially since a lot of design is subjective.
A good point to start is with your design. No matter if you’ve compiled a logo or branding kit yet, take a second to reassess what these aspects look like to you and how they might objectively look (which, if you’re having a hard time with, then ask a friend or coworker). From there, start researching designers you feel represent the aesthetic you’re after, which as noted by Thumbtack might cost on average between $50-60 per hour. Finally, after you’ve agreed to a rate, always make sure to have it put in writing with a contract negotiated by someone like lawyer Aaron Kelly, who does a great job working with startups and small businesses.
Find Leaders To Learn From
As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, finding people who’ve accomplished more than you will be a crucial aspect of your success. Almost all of us have someone we can credit for helping us achieve success. In fact, as noted by Forbes, millennials planning on staying with a company for more than five years are twice as likely to seek out a mentor; and while you’re your own boss, this is important to truly help yourself grow.
If you haven’t already, take a look around your local area to see what type of networking events there might be, including if there are any specific to eCommerce or small business. Another smart piece of advice is to follow other entrepreneurs you deem successful. For example, Brian Magierski is a serial entrepreneur who has recently been making waves in the world of crypto. Remember, these people are supposed to be key motivators for you to learn and grow from, so have that be at the forefront of your rationale when building your list for support.
Get Started On Digital Marketing
Finally, as one of the best tools to help scale your eCommerce operation, digital marketing is a must to get started on ASAP. The name of the game here is community building, which while that might sound like marketing jargon, is honestly one of the best ways to develop a customer base as it gives you great word-of-mouth. However, before we can get to that point, we first have to look at establishing a solid web presence.
Chances are, you’re probably already familiar with a few digital marketing techniques from your day-to-day life, such as social media and email marketing. Other practices you might not have worked with such as SEO should be thrown into the mix as well considering the value they produce; in fact, as noted by Smart Insights, 61 percent of marketers say growing SEO/organic search is a top priority. The overall mission of your digital is to increase engagement, which as long as you take it one customer at a time, will set you for success in no time.
What are you most excited about in starting your first eCommerce store? Comment with your answers below!