Steps to Starting an eCommerce Business
What kind of eCommerce business are you going to establish? There are as many different eCommerce enabled websites out there as there are different stores in your local high street or shopping mall. Below are the steps you need to take in order to get your shop set up and running:
1. Choose your business model
First you need to decide: is this going to be a side project while you hold down a job? Is it going to be an eCommerce store to add to your existing high street store? Or is it a store that you’ll add to an existing blog? This will likely impact your strategy in a big way. Think as well about your ambition and your plans for growth. Do you intend to scale this business?
2. Choose your products
Picking your products is easy if you already have a blog or a store. In that case, you are simply going to be adding to your existing business, meaning that you can look for products that fit your current industry/niche.
But if you’re selling something completely new, then you need to think about the kinds of products you’d like to work with and also what you can acquire.
Think as well about how you’re going to get those products:
- Make them?
- Buy in bulk and resell?
- Sell affiliate products?
- Sell digital products?
There are plenty of options but different choices will work better for different types of eCommerce business.
Next think about creating a niche for yourself. How will you differentiate yourself from all the other similar businesses out there? What can you do to make your products unique? This will help you to reach a more specific audience which makes marketing considerably easier.
3. Set up your shop
Next you need to create your shop! This means you’ll need to create a self-hosted WordPress site. Use a hosting package that will also give you your own domain.
Now just modify the look and theme of your store and add plugins as you see fit to create a unique look for your business.
4. Order products
The next thing to do is to create your products and to start stocking your store with inventory. This is going to mean ordering items in bulk usually, which will mean you get them at a lower price. You then sell them on at a profit and reinvest the money you make back into your store.
With your first few items in store, you now need to market that store in order to start making sales. To do this, make sure you are running a blog connected to your site and that you are regularly adding relevant content here and sharing it to social media.
You can also use other methods to drive traffic to your store: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, influencer marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising being great choices. Just make sure to work out your return on investment (ROI) before you invest too much!