The internet brought about a golden opportunity to conduct business seamlessly through eCommerce. Ecommerce continues to prove that there has never been a better time to start an online business than now. As a result, most people have hopped on this bandwagon, where a large chunk have greatly succeeded. However, setting up an eCommerce store is no easy feat. Online business owners must put tons of details in place if their online business is to thrive. This article will give you the essential tips on setting up an eCommerce store and what you will need.
Set up a platform for your website
A platform is essentially your website’s location on the World Wide Web. It allows you to create eCommerce websites that integrate basic business activities such as payment, social networking, and order processing. For a website to be considered good by its customers, it must have a robust online platform. Having a weak online platform dramatically reduces the quality and speed of your eCommerce store, which is a sure way to disappoint customers and lower revenue. On the other hand, a quality platform ensures that your site loads quickly and there is minimal or no buffering.
There are numerous platforms to select from, depending on your preference and type of website. Some of the most commonly known website platforms are Shopify, WordPress, Squarespace, and Magento. Most of these platforms have been exclusively tailored for beginners, and they have simple user interfaces that are easy to use. Additionally, there are tons of templates to choose from in just a few clicks. Hence, creating an eCommerce store with either of these platforms is very easy, saving time. Depending on what you are selling, these platforms come in handy in propagating your online business globally. You can contact them online and initiate the process.
Secure a Domain
A domain is the address of your website, which is typed by people who want to reach your website. It should be short and synonymous with your brand. There are two types of domains; country-specific and global domains which end with a .com. Country-specific domains ensure that you only target local customers, while general domains have no specific niche. It would help if you chose popular domains depending on your products. Some specialized eCommerce domains include; .store, .supply, .shop, .boutique and .gifts.
A good domain name gives conversions to your advertisements, thus attracting more customers. It improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and ultimately amplifies your brand to a higher level of popularity.
eCommerce websites are unfortunately a common target of cyber-attacks. It is therefore vital to secure your domain from attackers over the internet. Failure to secure your domain can result in a disastrous outcome such as theft of personal and financial data. Ensure that you choose a stable platform and secure your admin area. Several strong firewalls protect websites from unauthorized access, such as Prophaze WAF, Cloudfare WAF, and Sucre firewall.
Have a Marketing Plan
The internet provides a broad customer base for eCommerce businesses. Effective tapping into this advantage is a recipe for business success. However, there is plenty of competition online for eCommerce businesses. So if you want your business to prosper, you need to make it stand out among the competition. You can only achieve business prosperity by having a great marketing strategy. A decent marketing plan makes sales easier for any eCommerce business. It helps you to identify the niche of your business so that you can target ideal customers.
Digital marketing has numerous mediums through which you can promote your brand. Hence e-commerce companies can easily reach the public through various electronic devices such as computers and phones. Customers always have these devices in proximity; thus, your ads can capture their attention at any time. Advertisements can take different forms depending on the product and targeted audience. If you do not have sufficient advertising information, it is vital to contact a professional digital marketing firm.
eCommerce companies can present digital marketing through videos, paid social advertisements, search engine optimization, among tons of other methods. It is often a productive method and, if properly utilized, can lead to the realization of more profits. Most importantly, digital marketing does not cost a lump sum of money. You won’t have to overspend to spread the word about your products and brand. It also makes eCommerce efficient since a single ad reaches a lot of customers.
Advertising should be a primary focus for any eCommerce business. It is a vital way of spreading the word about your products and brand. Never before has there existed a seamless way to contact a large number of customers. Embrace professional digital marketing and boost the popularity of your product.
Product sourcing and storage
eCommerce companies require a reliable source and store of their products. Products need to be readily available whenever a customer purchases them on your website. They should also be correctly stored, mostly the fragile products, so their quality is not distorted. The most common sources of products for eCommerce businesses are manufacturers, wholesalers, trade shows, and drop-shipping. Each of these sources works uniquely and is suitable in different circumstances. You can source goods depending on your specification and sell them through your website.
Dropshipping has emerged as an excellent option for eCommerce businesses to source their products. It is a method of product sourcing whereby another vendor fully fulfills your customer’s order. You only list a specific company’s product on your website, and they handle the after-sale services. Hence, it is a low-cost, low-risk method to conduct eCommerce. Dropshipping is also an easy way to conduct business if you lack supply to the demands of customers. Further, your website will display a wide variety in the product catalog, which significantly increases the chances of meeting your customer’s needs.
Even though drop shipping is better than most other ways of product sourcing, it depends on the product. Cheap products result in a lower profit margin; thus, you need to sell a lot to make a substantial profit. You also have no control over the quality of products from your suppliers, resulting in customer dissatisfaction. Additionally, if a dissatisfied customer wants to return a drop shipped product, the process is often hectic.
A shipping partner
eCommerce websites display products that they must transport to customers located in different areas. Customers expect a swift and secure delivery of their orders. An online business that performs dismally in the shipping department ends up losing to its competition. It is therefore essential to have a professional, reliable and trustworthy shipping partner. Choosing the right partner to transport your products significantly boosts customer satisfaction.
The most widely used shipping companies are FedEx and UPS. Both of these companies have immense experience in the transport industry. As a result, they are popular among many people, thus boosting their confidence with many customers. FedEx and UPS are, therefore, a no-brainer when looking for shipping partners for your eCommerce business.
Other shipping companies may be a better solution in some situations. For example, major companies may be too busy and unable to deliver on time. Some shipping companies will also deliver your products at significantly lower prices than FedEx and UPS. Additionally, other partners may ship some products which the big shipping partners prohibit. Examples of such products include fine art, obscene material, and vaping products. As a result, online entrepreneurs need to consider other local shipping partners, like IntelliQuick for the Southwestern United States, before settling on the common courier companies.