With around 110,000 e-commerce stores out there that are generating a meaningful income, there is a lot of competition. However, opening your own e-commerce store enables you to reach a much larger audience, meaning that your physical location isn’t that influential on what you’re selling. The aim for most stores is to have both an online store as well as multiple physical stores. But to start things off, in our technology-filled world, the best way to go about it is to be online and to focus on online advertising and marketing for a while. Eventually, you will get to a point where you will be advertising offline too, and this will most likely happen before you open a physical store. And then you might decide that a physical store isn’t for you; look at boohoo.com, an extremely successful e-commerce clothing store that could very easily succeed on Main Street, but chooses not to.
No matter what your industry is or what products that you are going to be selling, every online store needs to follow some of the same rules as a brick and mortar startup. Not only do you need to think about your website, online advertising and marketing, but you also need to think about your production, your storage and shipping, and also your employees. Here are 4 Tips For Creating An E-Commerce Store.
Your website has to be perfect. In a physical store, the customer can see and handle the product, online they have to trust that the quality of the materials are top notch. You need them to trust you, and if you have a half-functioning website that looks like it was built in the 2000s, you’re not going to earn their trust. You can easily build a website yourself with platforms like GoDaddy.com and WordPress.com, but to have it functioning the way you need it to be, you might want to consider hiring a web designer put it together for you. These people make their living through creating e-commerce sites and you can trust that the finished product will be exactly what you want it to be. When designing your website, you need to think about the aesthetic of your company. You will find that your color scheme, logo choice, and even your company name will have an impact on your audience. Stay true to your product – if you sell urban clothing, then keep to an urban theme, if you are a custom skateboard company, then think about incorporating skating images and graffiti art into your site.
The arrival of the product to your customer is incredibly important, which is why you should always look to use a third party company like RedStagFullfillment.com. If you use a smaller delivery or courier service, you might find that your product isn’t being delivered on time or might even arrive damaged. That can be harmful to your business. So choose a trusted company.
No matter what your product is, you are going to need space to store it. It might even be a space in your home. Or you may need to think about renting a space. You can rent a storage unit for excess stock, or maybe you even need a large warehouse. Whatever your storage needs, make sure that you get insurance for your product and use extra security measures. As a minimum, have CCTV installed throughout your storage space.
For a startup business, you probably won’t need many, if any employees. However, the workload can get a bit much if you’re on your own, so look into outsourcing work where you can. Like your web design and upkeep, your product descriptions can go to a freelance copywriter, and your photos can also be done by a freelance photographer. Although outsourcing is different from having traditional ‘employees’, you are still paying people to do work for you, which means that they are in your employ. Having unique content and photographs marks your store as professional and, therefore, trustworthy.
(This is a collaborative post)