10 Things You Need To Know Before Starting an Ecommerce Business
Some people are naturally born with the urge to start a business, as they love the concept of buying and selling. So, once they connect with a product, they cannot wait to start their brand and push it out to the target audience.
People often prefer to run an e-commerce store, as it comes with many benefits, and they see it as less stressful. Also, it is rare to see someone who says that they have never made a purchase online before.
Chuks has always been a fashion enthusiast, and he dreamt of owning a luxury e-commerce store for men’s fashion. So, he played around with the idea for a long time and started saving up towards its capital. In addition, he even shared the idea with his friends.
Of course, his friends were encouraging and offered to help him out in any way that they could. It kept the fire burning within Chuks, and he finally got enough capital to get the business running. The plan was to launch the e-commerce business before the end of the year.
One day, his sister voiced out how she thought he wasn’t ready to run a business as he didn’t know some things about starting an e-commerce business. At first, Chuks thought she was against him, but he later realized she was telling the truth. So, he braced himself and started researching businesses and things he needed to know before starting an e-commerce business.
Therefore, we have also decided to assist and share a list of things to keep in mind when starting an e-commerce business and possible solutions to each issue.
In no particular order, they are:
You must choose the right platform.
A step to getting it right with your e-commerce business is choosing a platform that gives you visibility. After all, if people cannot see your business, then they cannot make a purchase. And it forfeits the aim of running a business.
For example, in a place like Nigeria, some of the best platforms for anyone who wishes to run an e-commerce business are Kusnap, Jumia, and Konga. With these platforms, you get to showcase your products, increase your visibility, and regularly get customers.
Asides from the platforms you can use to showcase your products, the platform can also be in the case of social media. For example, if your target audience is young adults, choosing a trendy social media application like Instagram would be best. But, if you choose a social media platform like Facebook, which is predominantly for older people, your products will not be getting to their right audience.
Also, when you are choosing a hosting platform for your website, it is best to ensure that you pick one that will not stress you. And, the idea is to ensure your website runs well while you have the time to focus on other aspects of running your business.
SEO is important
Now, let us talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is a concept that many people struggle to understand, but it is important for anyone who runs a business, especially an e-commerce business.
So, suppose you sell shoes, and you need a sales copy for your advertising message. Understandably, the sales copy has to have that compelling power that makes people take action to buy the shoes you are selling. But, asides from the compelling power, your copies also need to have an infusion of keywords so that they can come up when people search for anything relating to shoes.
The idea of SEO entails strategically using keywords in your concepts and ideas to ensure that it ranks high on search engines like Bing and Google. Many studies have shown that most people hardly go past the first page on search engines. Therefore, businesses always strive to ensure that they are search engine optimized to get the best results.
For example, if your website or business does not come up on the first page when people search for anything relating to shoes, you will struggle to make sales. In addition, it means that you have low visibility on search engines, which will negatively impact your businesses.
Competitor is stiff
Often we hear people say that they want to have businesses in different niches, and we encourage them to go for it. But, it would not be smart of anyone to think that they are the only ones in that industry.
In Chuks’ case, he is aware that the fashion industry is heavily saturated, so he needs to do things differently if he wants to stand out. As a newbie in the industry, he is not even amongst the top 200 fashion brands.
As an e-commerce business owner, it is best to understand that competitor is still. Also, it is easy for your business to get swallowed by competitors if you are not doing things strategically. Therefore, you need to study your competitors and take note of what they do. From there, you can infuse their ideas with yours and come up with unique ways to sell your products.
The goal of any business is to supersede its competitors, ensuring that the brand becomes the audiences’ favorite. And, it is best to keep in mind that everyone is usually on the move, and time waits for no man. So, it would be best if you made creative decisions to sell your business better than that of competitors.
Networking comes in handy.
You must be a typically friendly person if you want to succeed in the business industry. The idea here is that no man is an island, so you will need to network and work with others at a point. Surprisingly, you may even need to work with your competitors. What matters is that you are smart and only indulge in profitable actions.
Networking comes to play in the business industry when you mix and mingle with people to sell your products and services. For example, if you are in the fashion industry as Chuks plans, you must attend many events. Sometimes, it could be to showcase your wear, support models, and much more. But while at these events, you must ensure to network and sell your business in one way or the other. In this case, selling your business can be as easy as distributing your business card.
If you do not network and mingle, your competitors will do it. Thus, they get to attract more customers, while it seems like your business is stagnant. To avoid such from happening, you need to harness your networking skills and be friendlier always.
Visuals go a long way.
Imagine wanting to buy an item, but you cannot view the item. Of course, there would be doubts, and you will end up not purchasing it. It is like wanting to buy a Toyota car when you have not seen its pictures, but you go ahead and make payment. When they send it to you, you realize that they sent a Volvo car with some dents. Anyone who goes through such an experience will be pissed and demand a refund and will possibly never patronize such a vendor again.
As an e-commerce business owner, you need to know that visuals play a huge role. Now, it goes beyond just putting pictures out. In addition, these pictures must be aesthetically pleasing. So, when you are snapping the pictures to upload on any platform, you need to take note of your background.
Your visuals have the power to convince a buyer to make a purchase. However, it is also best to remember that you will not be the only one selling on that platform. So, strive to ensure that your pictures are better than that of your competitors. Otherwise, the buyer might think the product is not appealing enough and shift their base to your competitor.
Have a business plan
It is one thing to have a business idea, but it is another thing to have a goal and plan that guides the thoughts of the idea. Have you ever wondered why many businesses fail and fall apart? It is because they do not plan. After all, there is a saying that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Unfortunately, people jump into businesses without having a business plan. In your business plan, you have systems and structures that guide the smooth running of the business. In it, you also have the vision and mission statement of the business. So, if you are ever unsure about anything, you can always refer to your business plan.
Also, if you need to outsource any function or duty to an outsider, they will need to work with your business plan. Having a business plan should be one of the best things you get before starting the business.
When you have a business plan, it helps you to stay focused. Therefore, you will not be swayed by any distractions. But, if you do not plan on staying long-term in your industry, you can consider not having a business plan.
Engage in aggressive marketing
Yes, you now own an e-commerce business, and you are pumped to make sales. After all, your products and services will satisfy the needs of its target audience. But are you the only business offering that service? Recall that we earlier mentioned how the competition is stiff and tough in all industries. So, you need to engage in aggressive marketing to sell your products.
If you sit without doing anything and wait on luck, you will start running at a loss. Unfortunately, we have seen many people that stay for months without making sales. It is because their competitors are more outspoken than they are with the business. So again, you will engage in aggressive marketing if you wish to own an e-commerce store.
This aggressive marketing can be by paying for social media advert, creating funny video content with your products, engaging in word-of-mouth advertising, and much more. In addition, you can even go further and place radio and TV jingles.
What matters is that you are putting out your product, ensuring that the target audience gets to know about your brand. The goal is to ensure that your brand becomes the first in mind whenever people think of getting a product in your niche area.
Do not play with your content.
Over time, we have spoken about content, and we know that you might be wondering what we mean by content when engaging in an e-commerce business. Also, we see that many people mistake their products and services for their content.
Of course, your product and services can serve as the basis for your content, but the content is that message you push out to the target audience, ensuring that they buy what you are selling. Your content can be the articles you put up on your website, and you must ensure to take it seriously.
So, if you sell shoes and have a website, you can also put out shoe content on tips, how-tos, and much more. Such content must be catchy and interesting to hold the interest of the buyer. Once the buyer becomes hooked on your website, they are sure of patronizing you.
Also, your content can be in the form of what you post on your social media pages, and they could either be videos or audio. Again, we appeal that the content is interesting as you have to captivate the audience to take action. If your content is bland, they will exit your page and go and patronize your competitor.
Do not be in a rush
Sadly, some people go into businesses with the get rich quick mentality. They think they will become rich overnight, and they become disappointed when the business reality hits them. Now, when this happens, they refuse to push further and give up.
However, you shouldn’t be in a rush when you are starting an e-commerce business. First, you need to put everything in place to ensure that you deliver only quality once you launch your business. After that, you must also realize that life is a gradual process.
Yes, the goal of any business is to make profits, but it will not happen overnight. So instead, it would be best to take things slowly as little drops of water make a mighty ocean. The process of becoming the best in any industry isn’t always easy, but you are focused and determined, you will reap the benefits over time.
If you are always in a rush, you are sure to overlook some key essentials, which can lead to your business’s downfall. Sometimes, you may even need guidance to handle the business, and you should never be shy to reach out for help.
The goal is to get to the finish line and not to injure yourself on the way because you were in a rush.
No idea is new
For Christians, even the bible says that there is nothing new under the sun, which Chuks had to understand. So when he decided to launch his business, he had many ideas that got him excited. But, unfortunately, he had the idea that his ideas were new, and that is where his sister had to intervene.
His sister made him understand that no idea is new, but ideas can be unique. The idea here is that there is nothing you think of that someone has not done before. So, instead of wasting time always thinking of new ideas, you should focus on refining these ideas.
For example, if you stumble across a catchy creative idea for a car brand, you should think of how to uniquely present it and tweak it to a suitable way for your shoe business.
The goal is to be creative so that you can develop strategies that present these ideas uniquely. But, if you have the mindset that you can create something that no other brand has ever done, you are mistaken.
There will always be ideas out there, but nothing is new, and we all have to live with that.
Some additional questions that come with the top of running an e-commerce business are:
What are the essential things required for e-commerce?
Besides other factors we have highlighted, your brand identity is one of the important things required for e-commerce. Some things that make up brand identity are your brand name, logo, and color. All these should be unique and distinct from that of your competitor. It is how consumers can differentiate various brands.
What tools do you need for e-commerce?
Of course, there are certain tools you will need for the successful execution of an e-commerce business.
Some of these tools are:
- A payment platform
- Social media pages
- Contact details, etc.
What are the three types of e-commerce?
There are three types of e-commerce businesses, and you can decide to engage in any of them. Typically, people pick a category depending on the product and services they wish to deliver and their target audience.
The three types of e-commerce are:
The secret to running a successful business is to be strategically minded ad get it right. So, keep the above factor in mind, and you will surpass your competitors. Also, register on the Kusnap platform now, and enjoy the best e-commerce platform for businesses!