Published on July 25th, 2017 | by James D. Burbank0
Ecommerce Basics for New Entrepreneurs
We have already written about ecommerce here on GadgetMate when we covered when it makes sense to start such a business. Today, we will go a step further and say a thing or two about the basics of ecommerce; basics that will be of interest to new budding entrepreneurs who have finally decided to take matters into their own hands.
Choose Your Platform Wisely
One of the most important things to decide on as a future ecommerce shop owner is which platform will work best for you. Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento are just some of the big names vying for your attention. These platforms are a great place to start because they offer great functionality at affordable prices, doing away with the complex issue of designing and hosting your own ecommerce website.
If you do decide to go at it independently, then make sure you have someone knowledgeable and experienced design your website. Also look for the hosting provided with the best possible hosting features as you will be needing plenty of them to run a successful ecommerce store.
Be Smart About Shipping
Inexperienced ecommerce business owners think that all shipping should be free and to a certain point they are right – customers value free shipping almost over everything else. Unfortunately, free shipping has to be paid by someone and this someone is you.
For ecommerce shops that ship their products mostly locally, this may not be such a big problem. However, if you happen to have customers from around the world, you will soon find out that free shipping is taking a gigantic bite out of your revenue.
Instead of going 100% free, be upfront with your customers and tell them that you cannot afford free shipping. Also, be transparent about how much you are charging by telling them how much you are getting charged.
Perhaps you will be able to cover a portion of shipping.
The important thing is not to go overboard here.
Build a Brand
The world doesn’t really need yet another online shop. It has plenty. The customers are also more or less jaded by now and they really do not have the time to check out the latest in the line of innumerable (literally innumerable) online shops vying for their attention.
This is why your shop needs to be more than just a shop. It has to be a brand.
It has to be a recognizable brand with its own identity, its own agenda and a set of values that everyone will be aware of. This brand of yours needs to be visually coherent and promoted through a variety of channels – from your blog to social media and even paid ads.
Above everything, your brand needs to be about the products you sell and how they fit the big picture. If you are selling your own products, i.e. those that you manufacture yourself, this will be far easier, but you still shouldn’t neglect it.
Build a brand and nurture it.
Do Your Marketing Carefully
You will need to do some marketing for your ecommerce shop and the best way to go is digital. You will have a variety of options at your disposal and you need to be careful when choosing among them.
You will have to do your research as thoroughly as possible and if you are not sure, make sure to talk to an agency or an expert in digital marketing who will tell you what the best course of action would be.
Content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing will be your best allies. Of course, how much emphasis you will put on any of those will depend on your situation and your goals.
The important thing is that you back every marketing decision with data.