How to Launch an E-commerce Business
Selling products, digital downloads, or even promoting services has never been easier than with an eCommerce shop. Launching and owning your very own eCommerce business is no longer reserved for those who are wealthy and well-connected. Building your own eCommerce store and launching it online is possible with hard work, a commitment to better understanding your customers, and a passion for delivering customer satisfaction.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you begin promoting your inventory online or off, it is important to first identify the audience you want to reach. Consider the age range, gender, income level, and even the location of the customers you want to appeal to most. Is there a reason you are targeting a specific audience? How do you intend to reach those who have a need or a want for your product(s)? Is your target audience familiar with online shopping, or will they require a walkthrough once they arrive on your website?
The better you understand your target audience, the easier it is to build an attractive and appealing eCommerce layout that truly resonates with your prospective shoppers.
Domain Name and eCommerce Web Hosting
Choose your domain name and the eCommerce web hosting solution that is right for you. Research your preferred domain name to ensure it is not already registered and actively in use. Be sure to research the domain name of your choice on social media to ensure it is also not registered or established on social media. Search for a web hosting provider that specializes in eCommerce hosting, as eCommerce hosting is often faster and designed with hosting inventory in mind.
Choose Your CMS Solution
Choosing a CMS, or content management system for your eCommerce business is one of the most important decisions you will make as the owner of an eCommerce shop. One of the most popular CMS solutions for an eCommerce storefront includes Magento. Using Magento is highly recommended if you have an interest in hosting your own eCommerce store as opposed to using a paid eCommerce hosting solution.
Install Plugins and Extensions
Install plugins and extensions for your Magento installation that are suitable for your business. For instance, if you want to create a highly personalized and customizable checkout or registration process for your users, consider the Custom Options in Magento 2 extension. The Custom Options in Magento 2 extension provides you with the ability to add new custom text fields and dropdown menus to any registration or checkout page on your website.
With a Magento extension, boost your website’s search engine optimization, offer additional shipping options, or implement an entirely new system for tracking orders and shipments. Using a Magento extension or plugin is a way to add new features and functionality to your eCommerce store, helping you to stand out among your competition while leaving a lasting impression on your visitors.
Create a Blog and Social Media Presence
Once you have your official eCommerce storefront, launch an official blog to cover relevant, important, and unique topics for your audience. Create and develop your social media presence using the same username as your domain name. Upload the same high-quality logo and implement the same color scheme used in your official logo on your website to spread the word of your brand while establishing yourself.
Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, to maximize your online reach with consistent posts and updates. Connect and communicate with your audience on social media to drive traffic to your website while generating buzz surrounding your brand. Promote products and upcoming sales, discounts, or exclusive offers using social media daily.
Launch a Working Online Marketing Strategy
Launching and developing a working online marketing strategy is imperative as the owner of an eCommerce store. Without the ability to market, attempting to sell products online can quickly become futile due to the rife competition. Get to know the basics of the most popular online marketing formats before launching your own campaigns, such as:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing
- PPC Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
Use A/B testing when launching new marketing campaigns to keep track of the success of each individual campaign you share. Use various tools such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Adwords, and even Google Analytics to closely monitor the progress and success of your digital marketing strategy.
While launching an eCommerce business requires more than showcasing the products and services you sell, it is possible to get your storefront up and running in less time with a plan of action. With an eCommerce solution such as Magento and an understanding of your customer’s needs, maximize your online reach and your ability to generate sales by offering a pleasant and memorable shopping experience.