With the power of the digital world at our fingertips, it has become relatively easier to reach out to a wider audience through the internet.
No wonder people are gravitating towards online purchasing in overwhelming numbers.
According to Statista, In 2021, e-commerce sales are expected to account for 17.5 percent of retail sales worldwide.
But the question remains, how exactly do we go about building our e-commerce startup? What are the steps and processes that need to be completed? It is enough to confuse anyone, especially someone who is not very well-versed with the intricacies of digitalization.
Here, we have tried to come up with a guide that can help you navigate problems and build your own e-commerce startup.
1. Register a Domain Name
You are about to build your own e-commerce store, which means that you have already selected your niche and have brainstormed for your store’s name.
Now, you need to register a domain name and find a web hosting service.
It is one of the most straightforward steps in this list and doesn’t take much time since the web hosting service providers tend to set up everything right away, on their own.
Spend a considerable amount of time coming up with your domain name. Most of the time you are expected; to purchase one for at least a 1-year term. And even after that, your domain name becomes your identity, which makes it tough to change it to some other name.
You can consider using domain name generators to make your task easier.
Some of the most credible domain name generators include:
• Lean Domain Search
• Name Mesh
• Bust A Name
2. Pick a Shopping Cart
While choosing the perfect shopping cart, always go for the most user-friendly one at the start. This makes you spend less time figuring out how to make it work, and more time focusing on the things that matter in the end, like content that adds value, maximization of customer interaction and ease of marketability.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to build your own store is to go for a subscription-based cart. Another good idea is to avoid self-hosted platforms at the onset and going for fully hosted ones instead. It takes care of all the technical details for you, leaving you with more time to devote to your product.
Some of the best carts are:
• 3D Cart
An advantage of a subscription-based cart is that although you will have to pay a fee every month, you will be free from tackling any technical glitches.
3. Don’t delegate the launch
E-commerce is a domain that traditionally provides the first-mover advantage, so the faster you get your site up and running, the better it is for you. A good strategy is to not overthink before your launch about your target customers and products but to launch as fast as possible. With preferences changing nearly daily and newer things to choose from, it is a better idea to improvise about your business at the start, rather than proceed with a rigid viewpoint. You get to gather valuable intelligence about customer choices and preferences, as well as the traffic online, and can also make some sales on the go.
Once you set up the online store, it takes a lot of effort to get it up and running. Substantial time investment is needed for devotion to proper marketing techniques and strategies. Thus, the faster you set up the platform, the quicker you can move on to the subsequent things and hit the road to profitability.
4. Do it yourself
In this era of uncertainty and rapid change, it is essential to understand your wants and aims at first. So, at the very outset, you should not rely on anyone else but yourself. You should get to know the tricks of the trade firsthand and what you must do to get things right. You need to have a proper strategy in place about what you want and what you do not want.
By doing so, you get to learn experientially, what needs priority, and what does not. You learn to segregate the important stuff from the non-important ones and concentrate on them, leading to better results. You need to get familiar with your own environment before you get others involved, simply because you must.
5. Ensure the best security
When it comes to conducting business online, you should trust nothing but the very best, since the margin for error is very narrow.
For the highest authentication, EV SSL certificate should be your priority especially when you run an eCommerce store. The certification process takes around a week. They provide and ensure the strictest encryptions, combined with the most stringent validation process, by Certificate Authority that takes third party business registration verification and registered business documents.
The EV SSL certificate, once generated, secures and implies dependability through the visualization of the combination of the company name, a green bar, and a green padlock icon.
This is what an EV SSL certificate looks like:
It is especially effective against fatal phishing attacks. In e-commerce sites, which must handle huge traffic all the time and conduct thousands of transactions daily, EV SSL certificate is the best choice for ensuring security, for any owner.
6. Market your E-commerce store
Having a great product or service is extremely important. However, something even more important is to promote it so that you can reach your target audience. It is where marketing comes into the game.
People who under-estimate the game-changing power of effective marketing; are delegated into the background, sometimes despite having excellent products or services. Without a robust marketing activity in place, customers tend to forget your site, and you lose them for good. The lifeline of an e-commerce site is effective marketing. The competition is so intense that the merest complacency can cause a massive dent in your ambitions, from which there may be no coming back.
The marketing process should be relentless and continuous.
Some exemplary ways to market are:
• Define the sales cycle
• Advertise payment methods
• Display shipping costs
• Optimize the checkout process
• Ease navigation through the website
These are some great ways to speak volumes about your e-commerce site without using prolix advertisements. The right amount of investment in marketing is needed; to elicit the right kind of response and ensure the sustainability and survival of the site in the long-term.
Ensuring and pursuing methods like search engine optimization (SEO) are also highly effective ways to provide the necessary advertisements without making a deep hole in your pocket.
These six steps provide an overview of what a person should sequentially ensure to succeed and survive in the online retail business as a newcomer. With the advances in technology, newer sites are being created every day. To stand out amidst the crowd and succeed, you need operational effectiveness as well as the right strategy, to help you do the same things your competitors do, somewhat differently or to do different things.