Starting an ecommerce store can be one of the most fun and rewarding journeys into entrepreneurship. Not only do you get to engage in a community you’re passionate about, but you can also potentially help make an impact in that industry. While many assume this is an expensive venture, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with the right strategy, launching an ecommerce store can be a cinch.
Figure Out What Type Of Brand You’re Going To Have
Ecommerce can be an incredibly competitive industry, so having a solid, identifiable brand is a must. Not only will this determine the type of inventory you have, but the awareness your brand could build. Make no mistake; your brand will be everywhere your shop is and needs to be something worth sharing if your company is going to gain any traction. That’s why investing in branding is such an important first step.
When it comes to branding for ecommerce, the biggest factor will be your inventory. What type of shop are you? Why do you feel it’s necessary to sell the goods you sell? These will be big in defining your brand, as it’s going to be your mission to address these concerns.
Once you’ve determined the overall image of your company, it’s time to start digging through branding elements. These include your name, typeface, and color palettes, as well as more intangible elements, like your brand’s voice and tone in marketing materials. All of these factors combine to determine how your audience will feel about doing business with you. For example, color recognition increases brand awareness by 80 percent according to LucidPress, which goes to show how even the smallest details contribute to your brand’s appeal. Keep this in mind when forming your brand; each detail will comprise the big picture that attracts consumers.
Come Up With Your Structure
After you’ve determined what you’re going to sell and how you’re going to look, now you really need to map out your business structure. Depending on the amount of capital you have, there are a few different options. Buying for inventory can be somewhat risky if you don’t have much experience in ecommerce, so one excellent suggestion is adopting a dropshipping model.
If you’re not familiar, dropshipping is essentially where your store acts as the intermediary between a customer and the supplier. This is an incredibly popular model, with nearly 22-33 percent of all ecommerce stores using dropshipping (according to AmeriCommerce). While the wholesale dropshipping model can be a great method, be mindful of finding suppliers with a price point that allows you to stay competitive. Additionally, make sure you have strong customer support channels in place if you choose this route. The best part about a dropshipping model is its potential to become more or less completely autonomous over time.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Responsive
Although it might sound obvious, ensuring everything runs smoothly with your store on mobile is a must. As noted by HackerNoon, the average person spends approximately 4 hours per day on their phone, making this is just too vast an audience to ignore. From entry to checkout, the user experience and purchasing process should be seamless.
No matter if you’re using a theme or custom web design for your site, go through each step of your shop on mobile to see if there are any glaring errors. This includes broken links, anything that might be sized incorrectly, or not being able to see products. Improvements like these are going to be a gradual process; however, in the meantime, it might not be a bad idea to study some other ecommerce mobile pages to gauge what works well for them and apply those principles to your site.
Start On SEO Early
Finally, as SEO can be one of the best practices for bringing on new customers, it’s never too early to get started on planning how you’re going to come out the gate with a strong SEO strategy. According to Search Engine Journal, approximately 93 percent of online experiences start with search, so take the time to compile relevant keywords and search terms for your brand and start working them into your content early and often. Look at your current inventory and see if there are any words or phrases that might make sense to begin loading into your content. As SEO is something that’s built with repetition over time, the more familiar you get with search terms, the higher you’ll be ranking on Google.
What are some strategies you’ve been using to get your ecommerce store in tip-top shape? Comment with your insights below.