Perhaps you're creative and thinking about sharing your work with the world, or maybe you've got a great opportunity to re-sell some goods; while online stores and eCommerce might seem quite straightforward, here are a few key steps you'll need to consider to help you on your way to online store success:
As well as this I would also suggest you have a business and marketing plan, and possibly a 12 month marketing strategy to compliment your marketing efforts.
1) Make sure there's a need. Before you go ordering products from all over the world, do some market research! Who are your competitors? What are they doing that you could do better? What will make an internet user choose you? Remember that your market can't see what you're selling so you need a product that there's a vital need for.
2) Create wicked copy! Your website copy, brochures, e-marketing and social media all need to be carefully crafted and specifically directed at your target market. If it's too wishy-washy or hard to read, you're going to miss out on your main audience. It's vital that you choose a professional copywriter who has industry experience. Good copy makes you look professional and will leave your product standing head and shoulders above the competition.
3) Create your website. This is it; your website is your ace card. You need to make it user-friendly, easy to ready, informative, engaging, accurate, descriptive and make your products look amazing. In addition to this, it needs to have a great shopping cart facility and be informative and straightforward. As an online seller, you don't have a store for people to come in and browse, you have a website. This is the foundation for your successful business so create it carefully so you don't have to go back over old ground as your online business grows.
4) Drive traffic to your website. Now you've got the awesome product, and the kick-butt website, all you need to do is lead those horses to the water! SEO targeted marketing by way of blogs, newsletters and backlinks are all great ways to increase your search ranking. Advertising on relevant websites and PPC advertising through Google are methods that have been proven successful time and time again.
5) Set up your social media: It's crucial that, as an online store, you have covered all bases of advertising your product and directing traffic to your website. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube spring to mind but they're not the only ones! Whichever mediums you can use to get your online store onto screens across the world will help you out in the long run. If you don't have the time to spend on social media, instead of letting it fall by the wayside, pay a social media manager to do it all for you. It's crucial that you're out there with the rest of the world to make your store a success!
These steps assume that you've taken care of the logistics of storing and delivering your product as well as registering your business name and all the legal stuff that goes with it!
You shouldn't assume that if you build your site you will have thousands of sales flock your way based purely on how amazing your product is.
It's not as easy as building it and hoping they will come, you need to ensure a few steps are set up first to give yourself the best opportunity for success.