The online shopping industry is exciting and fast-moving, and ecommerce for beginners can be extremely alluring. There are countless opportunities in ecommerce – and everyone wants to get a piece of the pie. Because of the nearly unlimited opportunities, newcomers are often so excited to get their store up and running that they easily forget some key first steps.
That excitement is completely normal, but with a bit of preparation, you’ll see drastically better long-term results. With the right amount of planning, you and your store can sail to financial freedom in no time
Don’t worry if you’re already operating a store and missed some of these steps. It’s never too late to improve and incorporate them into your business plan moving forward.
Here are 5 things to know before you start an ecommerce business:
1. Ensure that your niche is scalable
Let’s assume that you have a niche, and hopefully you do, as this is pretty fundamental to success in ecommerce.
How can you tell if it’s a good niche? Ask yourself: what is the problem my customers have and what solution does my niche provide?
Remember, the internet is where people go to find the best solutions for their problems. If your product or niche can be the solution to someone’s problem, then you’re on the right path.
Once you’ve confirmed that it’s a good niche, the next thing you should do is to ensure that it’s scalable. By this we mean can the physical products you sell easily grow as orders and new customers grow?
Assuming your products are successful and in demand, consider these three factors that affect scalability:
Having a plan that accounts for these three scalability factors will make your job of running an ecommerce store immeasurably easier as your company grows. It’s not uncommon for a business to go from teetering on the edge to suddenly hitting success. You want to be ready to scale quickly before demand for your products explodes.
2. No Marketing = no success
Sorry to put it so bluntly, but a lot of fledgling stores need to hear this loud and clear.
The truth is, no one is going to know that your store or products exist if you don’t market them. That’s why marketing is king – especially in ecommerce.
Think about it. Let’s say you own a brick-and-mortar storefront on the corner of Main Street in your hometown. You’ll get some level of foot traffic just by virtue of existing. Your physical store is a marketing tool.
Your ecommerce store doesn’t have this advantage. The overhead you’re saving by owning digital real estate, rather than a brick-and-mortar store, means you have to double down on your marketing efforts.
Your job as an ecommerce store owner is to market your digital real estate, i.e. your website, products, and services, to prospective consumers. No one is going to casually walk by, pop in, and buy something - they don’t know where to find you, let alone that you exist.
That’s why marketing is vital for success in ecommerce.
We know it sounds daunting but it can be simple and begins with making a marketing strategy, or partnering with an ecommerce marketing solutions expert like Kliken. Check out our offerings here.
3. Define your ideal buyer
You know you need to market your products. But who are you marketing them to?
Knowing who your ideal customer is sounds simple enough, but is quite often overlooked. Take the time to define your “ideal buyer.” You should understand the profile of the average person you’re marketing to as well as remembering the problem you are solving for (circle back to your niche question) - this will help your marketing efforts to be more targeted and ultimately more successful.
Keeping your ideal customer in mind, rather than selling general products that may or may not appeal to everyone, provides you an increased likelihood of a successful marketing strategy.
4. Build awareness before your products launch
Don’t wait until launch day to make your products known. If you want to hit the ground running in ecommerce, start building an audience as soon as possible. Really. Start now.
What’s the best way to build an audience before launch? Consider implementing any or all of the following before you actually start selling physical products:
All of these ideas have the same goal in mind: building an audience.
These are some of the most effective ways to start getting traffic before day one. Your audience is made up of people who enjoy your content enough that they willingly give you their information.
This places them at the top of your most valuable prospective customers. When you’re ready to start selling products, some of your best high-intent, engaged customers will come from this bunch.
5. Study product reviews
This one is, specifically, for ecommerce store owners who are selling physical products that are not made or manufactured by them.
If you’re dropshipping or if your products come from an overseas manufacturer, consider studying customer product reviews. See what consumers are saying about the types of products you plan to sell.
Remember, people, go to the internet to find products that serve as solutions to their problems. For this reason, you want to ensure your products are doing so for your customers. If you can improve upon the deficiencies of a product, your business will be more successful (again, remember the answer to your niche). This also ensures that you'll get better product reviews where other ecommerce stores are floundering.
Consider it competitive or market research; other companies have done the R&D for you, use that to your advantage.
Unleash the Marketing! Kliken Marketing. Designed for ecommerce for beginners
We’re Kliken. And we’re ready to help you take your brand to the next level.
We’ll do so by getting your products in front of the right shoppers with our simple Google Shopping & Ads integration platform.
With Kliken, marketing your brand has never been easier. Because we do all the heavy lifting for you. That way you can focus on running your business.
As the world’s #1 Shopping and Ads marketing platform, Kliken has helped over 1,000,000 small businesses worldwide grow their sales on Google and get a return of up to 7x their original ad spend. Our proven marketing solutions can help you to unleash the potential of your ecommerce business.
Learn more about how customers use Kliken to grow their businesses online here.
Author: Michael Arnold
Michael is a freelancer from New York City. When he isn’t writing about how Kliken unleashes the marketing, you can find him reading, writing for pleasure, or traveling the globe.