HOW TO START SELLING ONLINE

Thinking of starting an online store?

E-commerce is developing at a cosmic pace, and getting set up with an online store today is something we make simple and quick for you.

While the technical launch of an online store has become somewhat more simplified in recent times, the big challenge can be making the store a success.

A good idea is not enough, as like any business an online store requires a lot of work, determination and a well thought out strategy. So, before you start counting profits you have to go through some important steps.

WHAT YOU ARE SELLING

Normally you will already be trading from a local store, or by other means therefore understand the product you wish to sell. However, if you are unsure what you want to sell, first look the latest trends for what is selling well, why it is selling and how you can be different.

You can find these sorts of trends via social media, other digital platforms and even word of mouth.

PERSONA

Once you know what you are trading with, the key is then to think about who you want to target.

Creating a persona will help you in this. A persona is the most accurate outline of the target group to which we want to direct our offering.

The more accurate picture you create, the better you’ll get to know your client and the easier it will be for you to get to them to engage with your online stores offering.

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

You must, just as accurately as when creating your consumer profile, perform a competitor analysis.

If you target market is becoming more saturated, then you need to ensure your store stands out and to do this you need to know who you compete with in your industry.

Perform analysis from many angles: price, presentation, website appearance, marketing activities and any other methods of acquiring customers. This knowledge will give you an accurate picture of the industry, you will know who the best players are and whether there is something you can be doing better than them.

Remember that price competition is not the best idea and often leads to major loss in earnings. That’s why it is key to identify other gaps to explore.

STRATEGY

Creating a business model can be helpful in identify your chances of success.

Think through a strategy of action taking into account all factors that may affect your business. For example, you can run a SWOT analysis to find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the market.

Think about whether the product you want to sell is good enough to stand out from the competition.

It’s at this stage all aspects should be considered, such as do you need a store-front to back up the online sales, a warehouse to store goods for shipping and so on.

NAME AND DOMAIN

Choosing a name may seem trivial – but it is not. Everyone who has tried to come up with a name whose domain isn’t already taken on the market will know this.

Remember the name and domain you have chosen is likely to remain for years and will become an online brand. The name should ideally be relatively short and easy to say and importantly remember.

Avoid names that are difficult to write and those that have bad associations. It is very much worth considering whether the store name contains keywords for your industry as this will give a boost to your e-commerce websites online search rankings, you can learn more on optimisation here.

Here you will find more information about internet domains and here about domain registration and what extension to choose.

KEEP IN MIND

When running an online store, remember that creating any stable business requires a lot of work and time. Therefore, you need to be patient and look long-term.

Once you decide to set up your e-commerce website, you will face new challenges such as creating unique descriptions for your categories and products.

Product photos is another vitally important aspect of any online shopping experience. As your customers don’t have access to the product physically, it is key that every product is professionally photographed and gives the user the best possible representation of the final product. Online customers buy with their eyes.

Also, it is important to remember that just because you sell your product online it doesn’t mean you have to be anonymous. You should work on building relationships with your target audience, something which is very achievable through social media.

The success of your online store and the amount of sales generated will largely depend on relationship building activities and engagement with your audience through social media and other marketing channels.

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