The world has moved to digital means of buying. In-store purchases are being replaced by online sales. Moreover, online marketplaces also have made it very exciting and easy for a user to buy a product by introducing features like try and buy, and easy exchange/ return policies. The extravaganza of online shopping doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
And in this scenario, if you want your business to make it big in the market, you need to take it online. An online store can be just an addition to your current offline business. But do remember that it has the potential to be your go-to source of bread and butter too when done right.
An online store is the first step to a larger online money-making strategy. With a functioning e-commerce website, you could proceed into being listed in coupon websites like GrabOn, or mega marketplaces like Amazon. The opportunities to grow increases exponentially. And this boosts up the chances of you having a bigger online business where your sales grow and your revenue multiplies.
So, how do you make an e-commerce business that yields the returns you wanted? We will discuss in this blog. Here, we are highlighting 5 steps that you need to take in order to start a smashing e-commerce store in 2020.
So where do you start from?
1. Do a market research
Before you begin you need to do plenty of research on the existing websites in your niche. If you are a grocery provider, check out Big Basket, Dunzo and more. If you are into fashion and apparels, you could check out other brands like Koovs, Biba etc. You would find a bunch of websites in a business stream that’s similar to yours with a simple Google search. Simply type ‘keyword online store’ in the search bar. For example, if you want to sell toys online, your keyword will be ‘toys’.
This research will give you insights not only about the latest trends in the e-commerce websites, but you also will help you ideate and improvise along the way. Once you are done, and are ready with a plan for your own website, it’s time to take the next major step – that is design.
2. Get a stunning design
There are a lot of ways to get your website designed. This will depend on your budget. You can:
a. Hire an in house team of designers and developers
b. Approach a digital agency to get your e-commerce website made
c. Work with freelancers and get the job done
Working with freelancers would cost you less than the first two options, but it may come with its own hassles of coordination. However, 1 and 2 may work for you if you are slightly high on your budget. In the whole process, a major factor is to pay exclusive attention to the creative elements of website design. You want to make sure that you get the best UX (user experience) from the platform. And working closely with the designers, (in house or outsourced) will get you the output you want.
3. Host on a trustworthy platform
You need a reliable hosting provider to host your e-commerce website. Services provided by GoDaddy are pretty great and you can get those in cheap as well. You will have to spend on the domain cost and the hosting charges which are usually charged annually. If you get the services within an offer, you can save a lot like getting the first year’s domain registration for free and so on. Check out Hostgator, Bigrock and other hosting providers as well before you finalize.
If you are working with an agency to build the website, you can just share your hosting credentials with the tech experts to upload the files to the server. If this sounds too complicated, do not worry, the agency will take care of it. Alternatively, you can simply read about it online or get help from a tech expert to do it yourself.
4. Get your site up and running
Now that you have a working e-commerce site based on research and targeted towards your direct audience, you need to get the ball rolling in real-time. A few things you need to do at this point are:
* Upload all your product images
* Write competing descriptions for the same
* Invest in a payment gateway (your website developer can help you with it)
* Devise your return and refund policies
* Take feedback from a test group
* Be confident about it.
5. Launch the site with a smashing Social Media Campaign
You need to announce to the world that you have come up with an excellent e-commerce website that will make lives easy for them. So, say it. Use the power of social media and strategize a campaign that lets people know that you have put in some cool stuff into the platform which will benefit them. You could brainstorm campaign ideas yourself, or hire a digital agency who can do the Social media work for you. In either ways, a social media campaign will make some noise about your new website and can get you your first order in no time.
A great website is successful only when it’s marketed properly. You phase 2 of work (that matters the most) starts from here. You need to invest in the right platforms to advertise your e-commerce to the right people, organize products shoots that look stunning, and keep on improving on your website from time to time. Pay special attention to the website’s SEO as that is a crucial factor in the success of an e-commerce. Do not hesitate to invest in good SEO professionals if you need to.
Starting an e-commerce website is an ambitious gig. Many might get stunning ideas that might actually work in the market, but not all make it to the seashore. However, if you follow the points mentioned above you are already on the right track. A little bit of patience and dedication on the top of it can get you the results that you need.
If you need any more information or have specific doubts about creating an online e-commerce platform, comment below and we will reply to your comment with the answers. Also, feel free to share this article with a friend who might need it. They may thank you later.
About the Author:
Aamer Hussain works in the digital space towards creating content for e-commerce, affiliates and other business models. Alongside, he has worked in building websites for online stores and continues to share his knowledge online. Although a very cliche term, he likes to be referred to as the ‘creative guy’ around.