Lots of people who aren’t too experienced in the e-commerce industry can easily romanticize the idea, thinking that all you have to do is put some products online and wait for the money to flow in. The reality, unfortunately, involves a lot more dedication, time and effort. There are so many different things that need to be considered that it can be difficult to really understand which are most important. This list below will show you some of the most valuable things to do before setting up your e-commerce business.
Choose the Right E-Commerce Platform
An e-commerce platform is going to provide the foundation of your business; however, it can offer much more than simply being a platform to display product listings. The right e-commerce platform will be able to offer you flexibility, allowing you to scale up as your business grows. It will also offer you versatility in design, so you are able to create a site that most accurately represents your brand’s image and core values.
Choosing the right platform should allow you the option to easily engage and interact with your customers. Many people use WooCommerce, as it’s one of the most scalable and flexible options on the market — built for WordPress — making it the perfect choice for your e-commerce business. Just remember that WooCommerce allows you to put in many features that might slow down your site in exchange for functionality. Either approach your website with a lean philosophy or get some help making WooCommerce websites faster so your technical SEO doesn’t suffer.
Who is Your Target Market?
Having a deep and clear understanding of your target market should inform all your business practices, from product development to digital marketing. Your knowledge of your target market should be based on more than basic market segmentation, such as age, gender, or education levels. Having some awareness of what it is that your customers value, what they enjoy and how they spend some of their time can be vital, allowing you to make deeper, more meaningful and long lasting connections.
Know Your Competition
Taking the time to conduct market research before you set off on creating your e-commerce business can often provide valuable information. Analysis of your competitors will help you understand what works in the industry and what doesn’t. This information can give you a bit of a head start. Instead of trying new techniques and learning from failures as your competition had to, you can go straight into using practices that have proven reward.
Choose Your Product Carefully
It is likely that the idea for your e-commerce business was first inspired by a product or range of products. However, when it comes to actually choosing the items you are to sell, it is important that this is an informed decision. Before you order your stock, you need to check your product against your analysis of your target market and competition. You need to be sure that what you are selling is something that your target market will want to buy.
It is also important to make sure that your product is unique, unlike anything that your competition is selling. Once you are secure in the concept of your product, you can then move onto the practicalities of where you will source it, where it will be stocked, and how it will be shipped to your customers.