Online shops are increasingly catching the attention of most consumers across the globe. According to research, many people now tend to prefer online stores because of better prices and convenience. The beauty is that this presents vast opportunities for many entrepreneurs looking to enter the market. Are you perhaps thinking of joining the bandwagon and start online store? Let us delve into some essential things that you should know to become successful in this space.
Do market research comes before product launch
Most people going into business make the mistake of looking for products first and a market next. It would help if you were wary of the product that fails as it happens to any business, including the big guns. Well, you do not want that with your new venture with a tight budget. Remember that no matter how exciting a product is, if it does not meet consumer’s needs, it will not go anywhere. You will need to do some research to avoid launching a product and end up making no money. Conduct some surveys, ask around, investigate the loopholes in your competitors, and create something that solves the consumer’s problem.
Learn about domain registration
Registering a domain is one of the initial step processes of getting a website online. Any entrepreneur who cares about building credibility and protecting their business from copyright must register a business domain. On domain registration, ensure to pick a simple brandable name that you can legally own. There are many vendors where you can buy a domain name, including Namecheap, Dreamhost, and Domain.co, etc.
Learn about web security
Have you logged into a website only to get a “This site is not secure prompt“? For most buyers, it would mean the end of the journey on that site. You ought to know that it is estimated that about 85% of online shoppers avoid insecure websites. Quite a huge number, right? As an entrepreneur interested in making sales, these statistics should prompt you to take web security seriously. The best place to start is to install what is known as SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate to help protect your new venture. It will help encrypt the communication between users and the webserver.
This means all credit card transactions, data transfer, and logins are secured with an SSL on your web server. There are many types of vendors and types of certificates in the market. A good example of a great certificate with excellent security features is the Wildcard SSL Certificates. It is one of the most famous names in the eCommerce security business.
- SSL certificates affirm your identity, increases your search rankings & visibility, and enhances customer trust. As you know high SEO ranking is good for your online business
- You should at least do some research before investing in one if you are to get the right fit.
Research on the best eCommerce website builder(s)
Ecommerce platforms are applications that allow online businesses to manage their websites, marketing sales, and operation. Whether you are starting an online business from scratch or looking into expansion, using the right eCommerce platform impacts heavily on the profitability and stability of your business. These platforms make it easy to build a shop online with little effort. Think of them as a template to give you a push to start fast! Some of the great website builders include Wix, Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, etc.
Quick tips to choosing an eCommerce website builder
- Pick one that integrates with your existing systems and marketing channels.
- SEO friendly-Ensure it allows you to use your domain name, add a blog and collect customer reviews
- It should also be Mobile friendly.
- Look at the available customer payment options.
- Tech support. They should have a trustworthy customer support team.
- Price. Does it operate on Standard monthly fees, flat rate? Look into any additional costs.
Register or legalize your business
Most entrepreneurs operating an online store exclusively often ignore this step. Most fail to understand that to start online store and keep it for the long haul; you must be on the right side with the law. Remember, whether online or physical, any business must be legalized to begin operations. Whatever you sell must be authenticated to ensure it does not harm the public. Licensing your business will help you grow. You can access business loans and draw in investors. You will also gain customer trust, which translates to more sales.
Look at payment options for your customers
This is a very crucial step in building a successful online store. Keep in mind that you are dealing with diverse clients who prefer different things or modes of payment. Meeting the diverse needs and ensuring everyone is happy can be tacky. The good news is there are quite a several suitable options in the market. For instance, you can use payment options like PayPal and PayFast. Other top options for eCommerce include SecurePay, Stripe, Amazon payment, etc.
- Before choosing a payment gateway, do some research to understand the features, subscription plans, and fees? This way, you will avoid surprises and offer the best experience to your customers.
Understand how to build the store through digital marketing
It would be unfortunate if you invested lots of effort into creating a website to find that no one visits your site or buys your product. Sad right? This happens because most entrepreneurs get excited about launching a product and forget about the marketing part. It would help if you learned about search engine optimization and what you can do to draw people to your site. Familiarize yourself with keyword research, page optimization, and link building. You will also need to set up social media accounts beforehand and link them to your site.
Other forms of digital marketing include;
- Content marketing includes videos, podcasts, infographics
- Using paid advertisements to speed up sales cycles
- Email marketing. You can try the welcome email series, newsletters, seasonal and standard campaigns
The eCommerce industry continues to grow year after year. As of 2019, the total number of digital buyers reached 1.5 billion. From recent statistics, it is quite clear that people prefer online shopping and will continue to do that. It also shows why investing in an online store is smart for anyone thinking of starting a business. We hope the tips we have covered will get you up to speed!