For the aspiring entrepreneur, it can be difficult to decide what exactly your first business will be. While some people want to be the brains behind tech’s next unicorn, others feel like they want to create the perfect pizza shop. Regardless of where you fall in that scale, launching an eCommerce store is a great first business to start, especially if you’re looking to get your feet wet. Here’s why:
If there’s one business that cost virtually nothing to start up, it has to be an eCommerce store. After all, the most that’s required is simply setting up the website, listing out your inventory, and having the systems in place to start taking and managing orders. The best part? Most of the hard work is done for you, with numerous sites establishing themes and templates you can implement easily.
In looking to establish your first site, take a look at some popular Shopify stores, which will help you get a sense of the different components you might want to include, such as a blog or embedded social feed. Furthermore, it’s also smart to try and decipher which elements are going to help generate revenue later on as cornerstones of your foundation. While they might seem standard, these items are also going to help contribute to helping you get ahead, which you’ll need to compete; because as noted by RJ Metrics, there are approximately 100,000 eCommerce stores generating revenue right now out of the millions that exist. However, that’s it’s crucial to come up with a cohesive marketing plan.
The Marketing Is Intuitive
Depending on the type of eCommerce store you’re after, marketing can be relatively intuitive. As you most likely are already a fan of the inventory you’re selling, the first step in knowing where to search for your audience is most likely the mediums you’re already using. For example, as noted by Pew Research, 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are on Instagram, which goes to show that if you’re selling a youth-centric product, then that’s the perfect medium. The hard part here isn’t necessarily knowing where to look, but what to say and how often.
With items like social media, your blog, or even email blasts, the main goal you’re after is to create a dialogue with your audience. This comes with knowing both the current happenings of your industry, as well as how to consistently engage about your brand, which is part science as much as it is part storytelling. A helpful tip here is to create a calendar of when and what you’re trying to post, honing in on how you can A/B test and improve upon each campaign schedule. Although it might feel weird planning out and drawing up plans for things you already use on a regular basis, the practice will become much more comfortable the more you do it.
Finally, a commonly overlooked aspect of marketing, excellent customer service is an absolute must to run a great shop. A good rule of thumb here is to bring about responses that you, yourself, would want to receive. Especially with social media, customer service is very much a publically facing entity, because as noted by Convince and Convert, 79 percent of consumers want to see a company respond to negative reviews. Remember, your mission here is to convert your audience into life-long evangelists for your brand, giving you the best shot of developing efficient word of mouth long-term.
The Numbers Aren’t Bad
Finally, although it might sound obvious, the numbers for eCommerce can be pretty lucrative (if you know how to play your cards right). According to Selz, 80 percent of the online population has purchased something on the internet, which is a pretty massive population. With the variety of experiences many of them have, being the one to do it right is a must.
At first, it won’t be perfect, but growing your eCommerce site will largely come with keeping your efforts consistent. From marketing to inventory to anything else in between, you need to be on these items daily, which creating a roadmap of not only your schedule but what to do in the event of a setback (for example, a photographer can’t show up, or inventory ended up being torn). Although owning an eCommerce store will take a lot of legwork in the beginning, with consistency, it can grow tenfold.
With a solid foundation in place, your eCommerce store will eventually develop legs on its own, generating passive income without much effort. However, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out, which with the right amount of passion, you’ll be seeing success in no time.
What are you most excited about in launching your first eCommerce store? Comment with your answers below!