5 Things to Consider When Starting an eCommerce Site
To be effective today, your marketing strategy must be flexible yet consistent. So, how do you ensure that your marketing and sales efforts are consistent while still being able to adapt to your market and audience? The answer lies in focusing on the core components of a successful online marketing strategy.
In recent years, eCommerce has been one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With the advent of the Internet, it's become easier for entrepreneurs to start online businesses. And because of this, more and more people are jumping into the eCommerce industry. But just because you want to create an eCommerce site doesn't mean you should jump into it headfirst. Before you go ahead and launch your site, you need to consider a few things.
If you want to launch an online store, starting with a solid plan is a good idea. Thinking about everything you need to achieve your goals before building a website is essential.
In this article, I'll show five things to consider when starting an eCommerce site.
1 – Make sure you have a good domain name
Choosing the right domain name for your eCommerce site can be confusing. You don't want something too long, short, or generic, as no one will remember it, and it could confuse shoppers when searching. You also want an available .com domain name. If you go with a more common domain name already taken, you might miss out on potential sales or customers.
How do you decide which domain name to use? The following questions can help you narrow down your options and choose the best one:
Does it match your brand name? A domain name should reflect your brand. Do you use words or symbols that stand out?
Can you get a .com domain name? A good domain name is one that you can register for. Many websites are free, but it's best to have your domain if you want to sell products.
Is it memorable? People remember domain names that are simple, easy to pronounce, and short. Can you come up with a catchy phrase or word?
If you have a business in mind, search for domains matching your keywords. This will give you a good idea of whether you've chosen the correct name.
Choosing a domain name that is unique and memorable helps your customers remember your brand. It's also the first step towards building a solid customer base and making your online store successful.
2 – Decide what kind of website you want to create
As eCommerce continues to grow, it's essential to understand the different types of eCommerce websites available. Some are designed to sell products, while others are intended to sell services.
With eCommerce websites, you can sell products or services to customers worldwide. For sellers of products, you need to ensure that you're marketing your items through a website that's easy to use and allows customers to purchase your products online.
On the other hand, selling services can be challenging to set up and operate without a high cost per transaction. Suppose you're looking to sell your services through an eCommerce website. In that case, ensuring a reliable payment processing system and a business model that makes sense for your business is essential.
There are two main types of eCommerce websites:
- Product websites
- Service websites
As a seller of products, you should consider a product website over a service website. This is because the products you're selling should meet your customers' expectations, which means having them in stock.
Websites are designed to sell various products and usually require an order form, a payment processing system, and an inventory system. If you're selling products, it's vital to ensure you're researching and learning about the different eCommerce platforms available.
A product website is not required to have a specific look or design; it can be as simple or complex as you'd like. However, choosing a user-friendly website with fast checkout is essential.
Inventory management systems are also critical to a successful product website, enabling you to track your inventory and update your product listings.
You must decide whether to develop a website focused on a single service or multiple services when selling services. For example, if you're a yoga instructor, it's better to set up a website that focuses on teaching yoga than one that offers various services.
In either case, it's essential to consider whether you can maintain your website. Will you have the technical knowledge to keep it running smoothly? What will you need to spend to maintain it?
The best eCommerce platforms are user-friendly, customisable, and reliable. The platform should keep your website running smoothly and allow you to expand and scale your business whenever needed.
3 – Work on basic SEO optimisation
Once you have secured your domain name, it is time to do basic SEO optimisation. Your first step should be to optimise the meta tags. These are the little bits of text that appear before your website content. They describe your site to search engines like Google and the keywords or phrases used to describe your website.
Meta tags must be unique to your website and cannot be changed once created. The good news is that you can add them to your WordPress theme and use a free plugin to simplify the job.
Keywords are crucial, and while you can use them in any part of your site, you will want to ensure that the keyword appears at least twice on your homepage. Once your pages are set up, you must add relevant images and links. Look at your competitors if you still determine what you can and can't include on your homepage. They may have a page with a lot of content or a picture of their products. These things may work better than your pages, so mimic these ideas.
You can add a link to your website on other sites, too. This is known as guest blogging, and it is a great way to build links to your website. By using this approach, you can focus on the most popular sites. For example, if you want to grow your blog, you can guest blog on a site getting decent traffic.
Once you have optimised your website, it is time to start promoting it. You can promote your website through social media, forums, blogs, websites, or email.
Social media can be a potent tool for generating sales and new customers. Take advantage of the various social media platforms to increase your visibility and reach out to potential customers. Ensure you post consistently and not just make a quick mention once or twice a week.
Another way to grow your audience is to get listed on various forums and groups. Posting information about your business is a good idea, but don't be spammy. Find a balance that makes sense for you.
Finally, email marketing is another excellent way to promote your business. Depending on your sales, start slowly by only sending a few weekly emails. Over time, you can build up your list and send more frequent emails.
4 – Determine your product selection
The first step in selecting your eCommerce platform is determining the product type you want to sell. If you focus on selling apparel or shoes, consider an eCommerce website with inventory management tools and options.
Your focus on a product category doesn't necessarily have to dictate your decision. If you have products to sell that vary in style and size, consider an eCommerce platform that accommodates multiple types of inventory.
Whether selling a wide range of products or focusing on a specific product type, the right eCommerce platform can save you money on marketing costs and enable you to deliver products faster.
With a flexible inventory system, you can customise pricing based on different types of products, such as men's and women's clothing. This makes it easy to offer discounts for certain products and products sold by a particular store.
Ease of use, online customer support, and payment options are other vital considerations. Some platforms provide additional functionality beyond inventory management.
5 – Design a sales funnel
When designing a sales funnel, you first want to create a goal to achieve. Then, you want to think about the steps to get there, and finally, you want to plan how to measure success along the way.
This is an example of an ideal sales funnel for a site selling home goods like picture frames, lamps, artwork, and so on.
1. Create a Goal: A site selling home goods aims to sell products to make money. The goal is to generate leads or interested parties to drive traffic to your site. In this case, the goal is to sell three picture frames daily.
2. Think About the Steps: There are two significant steps to getting from point A to point B: the signup or registration and purchase steps.
3. Plan the Measurements: This step is where you define precisely what will be measured along the way, called the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). In this example, we'll look at how many people sign up to buy a picture frame, purchase a product and how many times they buy a frame.
4. Plan the Structure: How will you do this? In this case, the structure would include a welcome page, a signup or registration page, and a payment page. In addition, we'd add a thank-you or confirmation page after the purchase.
5. Estimate the Costs: You estimate the costs of implementing each page. For example, creating the welcome page may cost $100.
6. Finalise the Plan: Once you have the structure and the estimated costs figured out, you can submit everything in a proposal.
7. Launch the Site: Finally, launch the site, and collect the data!
8. Adjust the Sales Process: Adjust the sales process to maximise performance and profits once you see what's working.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Creating a Sales Funnel?
One of the most significant drawbacks of building a sales funnel is that you must commit resources to set it up and then measure it along the way. If you're thinking of adding a sales funnel to your eCommerce site, consider that it may be a significant investment and that the return may be visible later.
However, if your goal is to maximise profits and increase sales, it may be worth the investment.
If you're already running an eCommerce site, the next thing to consider is what funnels you already have. Some people run sales funnels whenever they post a new product or service. Others do the same for seasonal items. Are there other funnels that may work well for your site?
Create an inbound sales funnel if your site generates many leads but has few deals. The key is ensuring you're providing value to your visitors and giving them more information to help them move forward.
Starting an eCommerce site is easier than ever, thanks to platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. But, like any other business venture, it requires planning, persistence, and capital.
You must work to understand your customer base and determine the best way to market your product or service. There are also plenty of other considerations you'll have to consider, like taxes, shipping costs, and payment processors.
Before selling, you must also ensure you have the right tools. This includes a shopping cart, web hosting, and an SSL certificate.
The bottom line is, starting an eCommerce business can be a daunting prospect. But once you're up and running, you'll have a solid foundation to build your business.