Starting an e-commerce business is more complicated than you think. It involves more than building a website with a shopping cart. It requires carefully calculated strategies involving marketing and customer follow through. Like any other business, you need a lot of research, which might be difficult to do let alone get useful information. That is why we came up with a ten-point checklist to help you make a perfect e-commerce business.
This is where you should begin. A business will not survive without a carefully formulated plan that encompasses all the factors and worse case scenarios. It is critical in such a way that it helps you develop a clear roadmap and business framework required to build a thriving e-commerce business. The plan has to include the marketing, financing and advertising approach to be used.
After you come up with the plans for the business, you need to select a structure that is appropriate for the business. When selecting the structure, consider the tax benefits for the business. This way, you will find it easy to legally acquire necessary documents and bring your business name under copyright protection.
The two steps are entirely related to offline processes. Now let’s begin with the offline details. First, you need to choose the products you desire to sell. This step majorly entails much more on a comprehensive consideration and thought on a list of what you have on the table. Include a variety of products based on color, shape, size and other features you think are significant.
Once you settle on a product, you need to make sure that your business and domain name are in check. If you consider using WordPress, contact a WordPress hosting provider to update you on everything that will make you get a good and secure domain. There are many options to choose from when it comes to WordPress hosting and other site hosting. You can consider a hosting provider or platforms that allow you to build online stores such as Shopify and Squarespace Commerce.
Building the website is among the most expensive steps when establishing an e-commerce store. Once you complete the technical phase of the design, select the overall interface of the site. Come up with a design for your website and ensure it’s both visually appealing and functional. Put the products into categories and determine whether you can include sections such as the company’s blog.
In order to sell your products legally to people in an online platform, you need to get a UPC barcode for every product you are selling. Even if the products come in same sizes and colors, each one of them must have a unique barcode that identifies it. Getting a barcode is not a problem because they are available in many online stores at affordable prices. You can even buy them at large discounts in several stores.
To establish yourself online in a strong way, you need to have a decent collection of inventory products. You don’t want to find yourself in a surplus full of backed up orders because this will kill your business in no time. Also, you will have to consider the location and the size of your storage facilities. Luckily, many companies now offer secure storage for online businesses that cannot afford to buy a warehouse.
Setting up a shopping cart is not difficult in most cases. Use hosted cart software to help you make the process quick and efficient. Don’t adopt a software that uses a self-hosted platform. Most customers are likely to run away from the e-commerce business because most of them are not confident about the security and privacy of your site. Also, the software you use must have features with high-end capabilities to attract more customers and retain them.
Once you have stabilized the website and you are sure the business has fulfilled all the requirements such as licensing and permit, you are almost ready for the official launch. However, you must have strong marketing and advertising strategies in place. Even during launch, ensure you carry out heavy advertising using every tool and means that is within your capability. After that, you will have to put more effort on marketing your business to grow the client base.
This is the final yet crucial step. Taking care of the business includes monitoring the technical aspects of the business such as the bugs that can cause downtimes on the site. Maintaining will also include seamless management of the inventories, decision making on new products and providing excellent customer service. Don’t forget about continued marketing through promotions, emails and sales to ensure the business continues to enjoy success throughout.
We understand how challenging and confusing forming an e-commerce business can be. Though difficult, you don’t need to scratch your head off or spend a lot of money trying to seek the help of an expert. As long as you have the passion for what you do and the willpower to get you moving, you can comfortably form an e-commerce business in ten steps discussed above.