TMCnet Feature
March 27, 2020

4 Steps to Launch an Ecommerce Store

By the end of this year, ecommerce sales worldwide are estimated to reach the $4 trillion mark. Each year more and more people join the ranks of online shoppers, making ecommerce a highly fertile space for businesses. In this article, we break down the steps you need to take to launch a successful ecommerce store.

1. Create a Business Plan

One of the first steps to starting an ecommerce store is to develop a business plan that summarizes your vision for the store. A well written and researched business plan becomes a road map for successful business decisions.

Outline the structure of your store: Will it be a single or multi supplier store? How many products will you carry? Your ecommerce business plan must also lay out clearly who your target audience is and the marketing strategy you will use to attract that audience. Equally essential is undertaking a competitive analysis to figure out how your online business can do things differently or better than your competitors. Be sure your business plan also includes a budget analysis and your future growth strategy.

2. Build a Website

Once your business plan fundamentals are in place, you can start building your website. This website is going to be the face of your business, so its aesthetics and content need to match your business vision. Come up with a catchy and relevant name for the website along with a logo. These will be your brand identifiers, so choose carefully. And once you’ve settled on a name, go ahead and register a domain name for your site.

Ensure that your ecommerce website contains high quality product pictures and descriptions. This will make it easier for your customers to interact with your website, which will lead to more traffic, which in turn leads to more sales.

3. Payments and Logistics

Your ecommerce store must incorporate a secure payment gateway for your customers. Business will suffer if your customers are unsure about the security of their online transactions. With so much competition in the marketplace, people seldom give second chances to businesses that fail to satisfy them the first time around.

Also, work out the logistics of your store. You can either pack and mail orders yourself or outsource it to a third party delivery firm, depending on the size of your operation, budget constraints and type of inventory you hold. In either case, your logistics management must be a priority because your customer is expecting their package to arrive in a timely fashion. Disappointing them with shoddy logistics will hurt your reputation and business.

4. Advertising

Make use of social media to advertise your store. People are increasingly spending larger chunks of their time on different social media platforms, which makes this a cheap and easy medium. Incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into your advertising strategy. This means including keywords that show greater traction on search engines. Many people get their ecommerce store suggestions from search engines. SEO keywords will ensure you land in the first few pages of search engine results, which increases your chances of being seen by potential customers.

In this internet age, an ecommerce store has the potential to open up your business to a wider audience. Capitalize on this and set up an online store to see your business prosper like never before. The future is online.

Hannah Joy, Growthink

Hannah Joy is an author at Growthink. Since 1999, Growthink has helped thousands of privately held companies raise capital for growth and shareholder liquidity.

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