The e-commerce business industry has grown dramatically over the last year! Due to COVID-19, many Brick-and-Mortar stores have closed, meanwhile, there are many e-commerce businesses that have done quite the opposite!
Shopping online was once a convenience and a luxury, but now it has easily become a necessity. Think of how many times you’ve shopped online in the last year… several times, right?
At Bold x Collective, the e-commerce businesses that we work with have seen a drastic increase in sales and have been growing tremendously digitally over the last year. Starting an e-commerce business can be easy, however, the map to success is still not in plain sight for most. And that’s why our team at Bold x Collective is here to help guide you through the whole process of launching your very own e-commerce business.
Step 1: Market Research
Market research is the first step to starting an e-commerce business or any business for that matter. You don’t want to go into a specific industry if it isn’t performing well long-term. You also want to make sure you pick the right location and target the right group of individuals.
You also must familiarize yourself with what is trending. Learn the demographics of online shopping. Who are the people shopping online the most? What age groups are they? Are they mostly male or female? Which industries are performing the best?
Step 2: Pick a Niche
Once you have amassed all the relevant information, found out what is trending, and know what industries will be likely to succeed with the demographics, your next step is to pick your niche.
It is important that the niche you choose is likely to succeed, but it should also be something you’re passionate about and can stick to. When you’re passionate about something, it’s easier to communicate its value to others, because you know exactly what you like about it and what might deter others from it.
For example, if you choose to go into the health industry and you consider yourself a very healthy person, always checking new health trends and being consistent in your practices, then it would be a great fit for you because you could talk about it at length. People love transparency and when you’re passionate about something it’s very apparent to them. Your viewers can even see it online.
Step 3: Branding
Branding is the process of researching, developing, and applying original elements to your company so that consumers can begin to associate your brand with your products or services. Branding is what gives your company its own identity. It makes your brand unforgettable and encourages consumers to purchase from you. As consumers, we all know that our peers tend to purchase from brands they know or like, and branding can be the deciding factor for many when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
Creating a strong brand in today’s competitive landscape is more than just throwing together a bunch of shapes and colors. There are many factors associated with creating a strong brand, including brand positioning, a style guide which you use for color palette and typography, your logo design, packaging design, brand narrative development, and so much more which you can learn about by reading our branding guide.
When picking your brand name specifically, you want to make sure it sounds memorable to others, represents your industry well, and is optimized for SEO. And of course, you want to be sure it’s a name you love.
Your brand needs to be memorable and stand out above your competitors while evoking the feeling of trust and emotions. You want your target audience to truly enjoy the experience of your brand, beginning to end.
Step 4: Build an Online Presence
Two of the biggest ways to build an online presence in today’s world are using your website and social media.
When building your online presence, you want to make sure you secure your brand name on social media. If you see your idea of a brand name online everywhere, it’s probably best to find a different one that stands out from others. The best way to do your research is to search your desired brand name on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and more.
Making a website is also a key factor for any online business. It’s crucial for SEO, it increases your online credibility and helps to create a good impression on your consumers. Just as a bathroom reflects a restaurant’s level of cleanliness, a website reflects a brand’s standard of quality whether that be in their service or their products.
Once you have your brand name on social media and your website up, the next step is to create content to promote the launch of your business. Choose a date for the official launch and utilize social media and your website to create anticipation in your consumers. That way once you launch, you already have people that are interested in your products or services.
Step 5: Choosing an E-commerce Platform
This usually goes hand in hand with your website development process. There are many different e-commerce platforms, and some may fit your needs more than others. However, we’ll be highlighting Shopify as it is taking over and is a major giant in 2021 and most likely to only grow in popularity in 2022.
Shopify has one of the most visually appealing and clean user interface models. It’s quick and easy to set up and use, it’s mobile-ready, which is extremely important because nowadays since 2021, about 73% of all e-commerce purchases are done through mobile.
Using mobile devices for online shopping is only going uphill from here, as mobile devices are becoming a universal tool, it has 24/7 customer support, it’s extremely customizable, has built-in SEO and marketing tools, and has its own payment gateway with a ton of benefits. Do you really need more convincing?
There are also other options like WordPress, Wix, Magento, Squarespace, and many more that may fit your needs depending on your requirements.
Step 6: Deciding If You Need a Dropshipping Solution
If your product is too big and is inconvenient to constantly ship on your own or even if your sales are too large and hard to manage on your own, your best bet is to invest in a dropshipping solution.
This means that you enter a contract with the supplier where you handle the orders, and they handle the fulfillment. This is a highly effective method of business that also reduces your stress because you do not have to manage inventory or shipping. There are many platforms like Oberlo, Spocket, Printful, and much more that make it easy to access. It’s best to do your own research on prices and services they offer, to find the right fit for you.
Step 7: Follow Through
After the launch of your e-commerce business, it’s important to continue following more steps to ensure your business continues to grow. Some of these key components include:
Good customer service is the bread and butter of any brand’s recurring business and referrals. Many consumers will abandon online transactions if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. Having a chatbot designed to send consumers to a detailed FAQ page, incentivizing product reviews, and engaging with consumers often and frequently creates a strong image of your brand and will keep customers coming back. Customer service is everything.
On average 69% of consumers will leave your webpage without purchasing anything. Imagine if even a percentage of those people are making purchases. Try to make the process of purchasing as fluid as possible. Increase your website speed. Try to give consumers as much encouragement as possible by creating campaigns whether that means creating limited-time offers, retargeting campaigns, etc.
New Product Ideas
Update your products frequently. No consumer likes a static shop. Trends are continually in play, and you always need to keep up with them. Always have scheduled market research periods and keep yourself updated. Constantly brainstorm and apply new concepts to your products.
There it is! You have a full guide on how to start your e-commerce business. We hope this helps you take the first steps on your journey to success! Our team at Bold x Collective is experienced with helping several stores launch their very own e-commerce business.
From brand development to website development, SEO, ad campaign development, product photoshoots, and more, we are an experienced agency and are here to help you every step of the way! To launch your e-commerce brand, contact the Bold x Collective team for a complimentary consultation.