Do your research – work out what you’re going to sell, who you’re going to sell it to and why they would buy it from you. I’m constantly surprised by the different types of business that do well online. There are so many niche markets out there and if you have an interest in something you are more likely to sell it well and have the know how to reach the type of people who will also be interested in that product.
Design and Performance – Choose an eCommerce platform carefully and invest upfront in a good website it needs to look good but also perform well. It should be user friendly and have a minimum number of clicks to sale. It is really important that it is compatible with mobile devices as so many people are shopping online these days or checking out products on their mobile devices. Make sure your can make changes to your website as you don’t want to be paying a developer every time you need to make stock changes or if you want to have a sale. I’ve seen many companies especially in the fashion industry who create a beautifully designed online store with all the bells and whistles but find that they don’t get converted clicks because it’s not user friendly and is slow to load. The states say that you lose 8% of people for every second it takes to load a page so it’s important that while it looks good it needs to load quickly and be user friendly. You don’t want to be spending more money in 6-12 months creating a new website.
Drive traffic to your site – Easier said than done! Find out where your target market is and spend the time upfront to put a marketing plan in place for both offline and online channels. Some online channels include:
SEO you don’t need to pay someone to do this in the first instance there are lots of useful tips on the internet to increase SEO if you are a new business.
Paid Advertising such as AdWords, Facebook are great ways to target customers
Social media marketing such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, writing a weekly blog are all good easy ways to generate traffic to your site. I really recommend writing a weekly blog that’s not self-serving that provides relevant and interesting information to your readers. It’s a proven way to get people to your site.
Get your Shipping Sorted – ensure that you have a good scalable process for fulfillment. Think about both domestic and international shipping. A large number of small business can’t grow past the 5-10 packages a day mark because the costs and overhead of fulfillment. They get put off international shipping because it’s so time consuming. ShipIt is a great solution that lets you ship orders from every market place with every carrier, enables you to look after your customers , automates your manual shipping tasks, it’s easy to use and will grow with your business (of course I’m not biased!)
The StarShipIT team are a pretty great bunch dedicated to creating the simplest yet smartest solution for eStores. They also understand that each one faces unique challenges and would love to chat to you about your particular business model.