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Starting Your Own E-Commerce Business from Scratch: A Guide

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Laxman Prajapati
June 05, 2019
Ecommerce Store Development

Does the idea of running your own business sound appealing and being your own boss? An ever-increasing number of people are choosing to work for themselves, and many of them are opting for an e-commerce store. It’s something you can do from nothing, and you’ll get a huge amount of pleasure watching it grow. Online retail is a booming business, but it’s all too easy to fall at the first hurdle if you don’t do it right. To ensure this doesn’t happen for you, this guide is for you.

Choose Your Product

Unless your budget is massive, you have to focus on a niche product, and this is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. Choose a niche that’s not overly crowded. Avoid one that’s dominated by major brands, but make sure the area you choose is competitive.

Before you start thinking about actual products, spend some time thinking about the type of person you expect to buy your product. The persona of your store is something else you need to consider, so start with your brand name; the aim is to project a consistent brand image. It also has to be one that matches the expectations of your customers and the products you sell.

When all these details are clear, you can think about specific products you want to sell. It’s often best to start with one product at a time as this requires less investment and allows you to test the waters.

Check Out Other Small Online Businesses

Before your entrepreneurial journey is over, you’re going to become an expert researcher. Once you’ve chosen a product, you’ve got to look at your competition. Look at any barriers and the cost of starting up.

  • Are your competitors investing in a social media campaign or have they failed to become digital?
  • How many products are they offering their customers?
  • What business model have they chosen?
  • Is there a particular target model they’re aiming at? Is their audience engaged and loyal?

If you know how much work and money is involved in a startup e-commerce business, it might help you decide on the focus of your store. It can also help you identify other products to sell and understand what it takes to start a successful small online business.

Building Your Online Store

Setting up your online store can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it. There are a number of e-commerce CMS tools you can use that will make setting up your store a piece of cake. You get a variety of templates to choose from and an easy to integrate e-commerce platform that doesn’t need additional support. When deciding on a theme pick one that’s going to appeal to your target audience and is a price that suits your budget.

Starting a small business doesn’t have to cost lots of money, but there are options if you need additional finance. Before you approach any lenders, make sure to check your credit history. Credit collection agencies such as MRS Associates collections can hurt your credit score, but it is possible to minimize the risk.

When your website is ready for the go-ahead, remember to try it out before making it live, to ensure the experience is a smooth one for your customers. Making the purchasing process as simple as possible will reduce the risk of potential customers abandoning their carts.

Great Customer Service is the Key Differentiating Factor

Good customer service is important for all businesses, but especially for an e-commerce store. The consumer might be more used to buying products online, but there’s always the nagging worry of being scammed. To reduce these worries, you should aim to give helpful and prompt assistance to all your customers. Remember, ultimately your customers are the ones who are going to drive your business to the pinnacle of success. They are the people trusting you with their money, and the better you treat them, the more likely they are to return to your store.

As soon as you launch your store, problems will crop up, so you have to be proactive and have processes and procedures in place to deal with them with they arise. Waiting will lead to failure, and your reputation will suffer. Ensure that your sales do not go down due to bad customer service. Implement stellar customer service that includes prompt, professional email support, social media lines of communication, and all the little touches that make your customers feel respected and cared for.