E-commerce business has never been easy, as it offers up to a 50% success rate (compared to just 10% in physical business). But building a successful e-Commerce business is even tougher. You need a (perfect) pre and post-launching strategy and also an engagement strategy to make this work.
According to a report by eMarketer, the online retail sales market is expected to touch $6.51 trillion in operating revenue by the end of this year. And e-commerce businesses hold a whopping 22.3% market share in retail. So, be prepared to jump into a huge market (with big fish competitors).
It is true that e-Commerce doesn’t need extra expenses and headrooms like a brick-and-mortar one. But on the downside, it needs niche expertise, persistence, online skillsets, and certain additional liabilities.
And you cannot be successful and start making money even from the very first week unless you have the right roadmap.
Step 1: Find A Profitable Niche
To start a successful e-commerce business, you need to come up with the right idea first. But wait, don’t blindly fall for any six-figure business plan unless you have some expertise in that particular sector.
There are people who scaled their online businesses with some niche-specific home business ideas because they have an interest in and passion for that niche.
On the other side, there are people who fail miserably, as they just followed an idea that yielded results for someone else in the past.
Your idea doesn’t need to be always unique, but what it always need is the legroom on your targeted market and your strategy to back it up.
There are four rules you need to follow while brainstorming for the ideal niche and the right strategy for future scaling.
- Rule 1: The niche you are passionate about and have expertise in must also solve the need of consumers.
- Rule 2: You must clearly identify, track, and engage your target group. Besides, you must keep on satisfying the needs of your TG in the long run.
- Rule 3: Check if the market you are jumping into has space for new competitors. If it is already crowded with big fish, it is better to avoid it.
- Rule 4: Conduct a point-to-point financial analysis in detail. Figure out your breakeven point and the timeframe you need to make your e-commerce profitable.
Always invest time to chalk out a business plan that satisfies the needs of both you and your target group.
Besides, you need to be aware of the downsides and losses that you might encounter to be prepared beforehand.
Step 2: Create A Professional Website
The next step for building a successful e-Commerce business is to secure its online presence. And it starts with launching a website first, followed by an app!
On a very personal note, I came up with this blog niche idea in 2018, and since then, there has been no going back.
I’ve even discussed in detail the right steps (both technical and non-technical) to launch a website in just 15 minutes.
The days are gone when we need to code it with HTML or CSS! Today is the era of CMS, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magneto. These CMS allow us to build an e-commerce website, even without having any coding or web designing knowledge.
There are seven steps to creating a professional website for your e-commerce business from scratch.
- Select a domain name that is short, easy to remember, catchy, and brandable. Let AI become your friend here! Use sites like Namelix or Logopony to get an idea of your domain name that rightly combines the essence of your business and its brand value.
- Buy the domain name. You can get it cheap from registrars like Bluehost, GoDaddy, Hostinger, and Namecheap.
- Get a server from hosting companies and link your domain. Web hosting companies like Bluehost even offer a free domain name if you buy a server.
- Set up WordPress CMS on your website. We prefer WordPress as it is versatile and extremely customizable. You can even go with Drupal or Joomla.
- Choose a WordPress theme and set it up on your e-commerce site. But always choose a theme that is lightweight, easy to navigate, and, most importantly, looks classy. You can get optimized e-commerce themes from Themeisle and Themeforest.
- Install necessary plugins for optimization, designing, SEO, and store-building. Besides popular plugins like Yoast and WP Rocket, you also need e-commerce-specific plugins like WooCommerce to set up shopping carts and payment gateways.
- Launch your products and GO LIVE! It is better if you launch with a handful of products rather than just one or two.
WordPress is not the only option here, although it offers many customizations. You can use other e-commerce website builders like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace.
Note: Google and Bing prefer mobile-first sites. Besides, e-commerce is very much personal, and people tend to use it on their handheld devices rather than on their computers. So, you MUST optimize your website for mobile devices.
Step 3: Develop A Marketing Strategy
Building a successful e-Commerce business without having a perfect marketing strategy is impossible!
But before you develop one, you need to know what marketing channels you can use to make your e-commerce business profitable.
There are five marketing strategies behind any successful e-commerce business model.
- Search Engine Optimization: If your business is online, you need to ensure its online presence and visibility. And here, SEO comes into play. Develop a niche-specific SEO strategy (both organic and paid) that can ensure your visibility in SERP.
- Social Media Marketing: Having a good presence in social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, will create brand awareness. Besides, it gives you scope to engage directly with your customers and understand their exact needs.
- Influencer Marketing: If you still don’t see the magic of influencer marketing, you need to check out the IG handles of Sephora or Huda Beauty. Many companies are now even adopting micro-influencer marketing, where they target small-to-mid influencers in large quantities to make an overall buzz!
- Email & WhatsApp Marketing: You can also create brand awareness by incorporating an email newsletter. Besides, you can directly engage and cater to your consumers through WhatsApp marketing. You can now automate these two by using AI.
- Additional Strategies: Retargeting, cold calls, and follow-ups are some additional marketing strategies you can incorporate into your plan. These specialized strategies not only engage your customers but also ensure a better CTR and conversion.
The Need For Pre-Launch Buzz
Get your drum rolling before you launch your product. You need to create a buzz first before you actually enter the market. And social media can give you just that. Start your social media marketing first, followed by the other four.
Identify your target group on different social media channels, capture them through targeted ads, engage them with user-oriented content, make them a part of your brand, create excitement for the upcoming product, and start selling to the targeted people from the very first day!
Step 4: Establish A Streamlined Order Fulfillment Process
Once you start receiving orders from your e-commerce store, you’ll need to have a reliable order fulfillment process in place. This involves everything from picking and packing products to labeling and shipping orders.
One tool that can help streamline this process is the Munbyn thermal label printer. With its ability to print high-quality shipping labels quickly and easily, you can label and ship your orders with greater efficiency, saving you both time and effort.
First and foremost, the Munbyn thermal label printer is known for its best-quality printing effect. It comes equipped with a Japan ROHM print head that delivers high-quality labels without harming the print head.
In addition, you have the option to select a 300dpi high resolution for even sharper and clearer label printing.
The Munbyn thermal label printer also supports both USB and Bluetooth connection, making it easy to use with a variety of devices and systems. This flexibility allows you to print labels from a wide range of sources and streamline your workflow.
One of the biggest advantages of the Munbyn thermal label printer is that it can help you save time and money.
With the ability to print up to 72 labels per minute, it can quickly and efficiently print shipping labels, allowing you to fulfill orders more quickly and accurately.
Additionally, because the printer doesn’t require ink or toner, you won’t have to worry about constantly buying and replacing these consumables, making it more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run.
Overall, the Munbyn thermal label printer is a powerful tool that can help you establish a more efficient and effective order fulfillment process.
Its high-quality printing effect, support for USB and Bluetooth connection, fast printing speed, and sustainability make it an excellent investment for any e-commerce business.
Step 5: Provide Excellent Customer Service
You need to ensure an apt customer experience for building a successful e-commerce business in the long run.
One thing you need to understand first is that it is necessary to build a loyal customer base that will become your recurring buyers. And without having the right customer support plan, it is impossible to do so!
A recent statistical analysis by Invespcro also suggests that repeat customers are five times cheaper to acquire than new customers.
Another report by Ameyo shows that 45% of consumers in the USA stop their online transactions if their queries are not addressed the right way.
Create an FAQ page to address all the possible questions of your consumers. You should also offer live chat support and a channel to communicate with you directly (possibly through a contact number).
Take the example of Munbyn, which offers 24X7 customer support along with an 18-month warranty to ensure trust and a direct relationship with customers.
So, you need to ensure an excellent post-sale service to maintain your scaling and also to acquire new customers while constantly catering to your existing customer base.
Final Note – The Success Mantra
By this time, you must have already understood that it is not easy building a successful e-Commerce business. But with the right strategies that create real-world impact, you can surely scale it and make it profitable in the shortest possible time.
A 2022 report by Statista shows that the US e-commerce market alone is worth $904.9 billion. So, there is surely room for you in this vast market if you take the right steps.
But yes, conduct thorough research, brainstorm ideas, and know your target groups well before you start a business online. Consistency and persistence are the keys to any successful business model, and it is no different in e-commerce, either!
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.