5 Essential Tips For Starting An Ecommerce Business That Thrives

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In our world today, starting an ecommerce business that thrives amidst the competition can be challenging. So, discover the basic tips to help you start one.

The ecommerce industry needs no introduction today. In recent times, shopping online has moved from luxury and convenience to a necessity. So, the e-commerce business is projected to experience significant growth in the next ten years.

As the e-commerce business industry grows, several physical stores that were temporarily closed may never open again. This is because a lot of people are relying on online shopping for their needs. This has made a lot of businesses consider delving into this industry.

So, for a startup or big business, starting an ecommerce business that thrives becomes a necessity. It will allow you to leverage the huge online customer base that will ultimately improve your revenue.

However, the shift from physical stores to online stores means that payments will be made through online systems. The website will also need to be regularly maintained, and this will involve a trusted service provider.

There is nothing as rewarding as beginning a business from scratch and watching it grow. Building a successful online store is beyond picking a business name and selling products online. This is because even the best ideas can fail if there is no traffic on your website.

So, in this article, I will walk you through 5 essential tips for starting major ecommerce businesses that thrive. So, buckle up as we embark on this journey.

5 Essential Tips For Starting an Ecommerce Business

Whether you’re flipping the open sign on your virtual storefront for the first time or looking to revamp an existing shop, the journey ahead is thrilling.

Here are 5 essential tips to navigate this adventure, making sure your ecommerce business isn’t just another booth in the market, but a destination.

Tip 1: Research Ecommerce Business Models

 

start an ecommerce business

 

The first vital step to take is to do research. Don’t work with just instincts. Starting with research helps you to avoid making unnecessary moves. Building an online business takes time, and it is an investment. So, don’t treat it like a thing without value.

It is important to know that starting an e-commerce business is not free. The cost required to start some businesses differs from others. So, this is the reason your business model is vital.

There is no particular model that works for all. Models like software, digital product sales, service-based business, and tangible products are just the start.

There are several available ecommerce business models that you can pick from. But before you choose what to sell online, you must understand the various models available. So, let us look at each of these business models.

1. Dropshipping.

Dropshipping is a kind of retail business where the supplier agrees to receive customer’s orders without having the goods on hand.

It is also like supply chain management, whereby the seller sends the orders and their delivery details to the manufacturer, a wholesaler, or another retailer that sends the orders directly to the customer.

So, partnering with a manufacturer or fulfillment center to begin an online business will help you sell current goods without taking inventories. You are tasked to market and sell the product but have restricted control over the product quality, storage, inventory keeping, or delivery.

This kind of business model helps to remove warehouse maintenance costs or a physical store. You also avoid employing unnecessary staff, buying, and keeping inventory. But if you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to have your own products.

Dropshipping is now a general business model for online store owners because it requires little startup capital and overhead costs. In addition, dropshipping work can be handled from anywhere, provided there is an internet connection.

Dropsghipping also has its setbacks that consist of minimal control over the quality of the product sold, lower profit margins, and increased risk of delay in delivery and supply chain problems.

2. Wholesale and retail.

This business model involves buying products in mass at a discounted price and selling at retail price. This works best for those who want to start a brand and have more control over the product.

However, retail selling demands more time and energy compared to drop shipping. This is because you are responsible for the production, packaging, and delivery of products.

Becoming a wholesaler grants you entry to a vast selection of outlets and lets you reach a wider customer base. Providing your product at wholesale lets your bigger audience gain access to your products. This way, your business can grow rapidly.

So, this can compel interest in your product and draw attention from retail stores who observe you have a strong audience for your product.

3. Private label or white label.

White Label and Private Label are usually used interchangeably. However, many people don’t understand the difference between the two labels.

Many say that Private Label deals with products and White Label deals with services. But this is totally incorrect.

The difference between these two labels is specified by what the product or service contains. So, in a White Label connection, the manufacturer provides a selection of customizations to match unique needs. They also indicate the design, ingredients, offerings, or parts.

In a Private Label connection, the buyer indicates the design, ingredients, offerings, or parts.

using this model demands a bigger investment. This is because you will have to buy bulk inventory together with warehouse space to store the products.

4. Selling on Amazon.

Amazon is an American multinational company with a focus on ecommerce and other sectors like digital streaming, online advertising, and many others. So, If you are considering using Amazon, it means that you are selling products together with numerous other third-party sellers.

So, to sell on this platform, you have to create an account. Then, pay a commission for every sale made. Venturing into this, you won’t have to sell on your ecommerce website except if you want to.

My advice is that you should not ignore selling on your website just because you are selling on Amazon. It seems more challenging to build your brand on an established marketplace like Amazon or eBay. This is because of the countless competitors there.

So, in your quest to choose a preferred business model, you must take into consideration the following:

  • Industry,

  • Goals, and

  • Target audience.

Every business model has its own perks. So, pairing your choice with your specific business vision is vital.

In your research, you may consider where you want to sell as well. Decide if you want to build your own online store or sell on Amazon. You can still do both but with a different marketing approach. You may even decide to become an affiliate marketer entirely and not sell products yourself.

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Lastly, ensure that before you dive into any ecommerce businesses, you have researched and studied them well.

Tip 2: Research The Market

 

marketing strategy

 

It is wrong to load your ecommerce site with tons of products, numerous categories, and no substantial focus.

Except you have a huge budget to use to run your ecommerce store, you can’t be on the same level with an established marketplace like eBay or Best Buy. So, it is essential to focus on a specific niche if you want to manage a successful ecommerce business.

Deciding on your focus niche is a vital step in starting your own business online. So, what you need to do next is to discover successful businesses already operating in the niche. But ensure the niche you choose is a competitive one. This is because where there is no competition, there is no market.

But don’t choose a niche that is too populated, and avoid the ones that are dominated by bigger brands. With all these, if you still find yourself confused about what to sell online, narrow down what you want to do. If you are specific about this, you’re likely to encounter fewer coemption.

Narrowing down your niche comes with the advantage of having related niches. You can partner with business owners in those related niches to become an affiliate, cross-promote, and grow your customer base.

Make sure that your product tackles a point of need in the market. The more solutions your niche provides, the better for you. Never neglect your values and beliefs. So, the product you sell should reflect your passion.

Leverage search engine optimization and keyword research tools to identify regularly searched products and examine your competitors.

Let’s look at the following ways you can use to determine what goes in your niche.

Using Google data

  1. Keyword Planner: This tool is very effective as it helps you determine the ranking capabilities of different keywords in your niche. It is also useful to help get a perspective of the number of people looking for things similar to what you sell.

  2. Google Trends: This is a free Google tool you can use to check the state of interest in your niche. Is it growing, reducing, or remaining the same? If the interest drops rapidly, you have to reconsider.

  3. Exploding Topics: If you think you are on the right path to achieving something big, take a moment to search for exploding topics. This way, you will discover if you’re still on the right path, you’ve missed the path, or you still have time to dive in.

Moving forward, select a product category of 1000 keywords and concentrate on a blog niche that is doing well in social media. Ensure the publishers of the blog are in the same niche and are affiliate marketers on Amazon.

So, if you are able to get a few affiliate marketing opportunities, you won’t have to bother about delivering many products and still make a profit.

Using Amazon data

Using Amazon research can also assist you in getting an idea of what is common and what your competitors will be if you adopt that sales network. Here are some of the commonly used options:

  1. Helium 10: This tool is powerful as it leads you to the best products you can sell. It studies what people search for most on Amazon and recommends those products for you to sell. It also helps you know the competition level of each product.

  2. Jungle Scout: It helps you to discover successful ideas that have low competition but are high in demand. It doesn’t just stop there. It also provides you with the estimated sales and income for every product. This way, you can get a good grasp of what you are likely to make on each product.

  3. SEMRush: If you use the Semrush tool, you will have access to several tools that make it simple to carry out research on products. This tool also allows you to easily list alerts, PPC optimizations, Listing quality checks, Amazon SEO, and many more. This tool is particularly important for you if you want to sell on Amazon.

Tip 3: Confirm Target Market and Product Ideas

 

target audience

 

At this point, you would have identified a business model and niche. This is where it gets tempting to begin hunting for products to sell. After all, we can’t wait to start making some money.

But hold on, don’t rush it. Before you consider products, think about competitor research. Research your competitors and find out how they are getting traffic, how they are making sales, and who their customers are.

I mean, you don’t expect people to buy from you when you don’t know who to sell your products to. You can use the following means I will list below to know who to sell to.

1. Use Facebook for market research.

Thankfully, Facebook is more than a social-interacting platform. You can use this social media platform to carry out market research. Facebook makes it seamless to identify your target customers.

So, know the number of people you can get, then narrow it down to get a focused number and detailed demographic.

You would be surprised to realize that many ecommerce business owners don’t know the number of their online targets. So, it is critical to know how many people will be your target online.

Immediately, you have been able to determine the picture you want to showcase and the customer you want to serve, and then you can come up with a product idea. You can try this out with affiliate marketing. Remember that product research is vital, and it must be done before selecting which to sell.

Product Sourcing

In case you choose to sell tangible products, you must research manufacturers and find a trusted supplier. You can use a platform like Alibaba to do this. This is because it is the biggest global online market for sourcing products.

You will get almost anything on this market. The interesting thing is that if you have a product idea but don’t know how to make it on your own, there is a big chance that someone on Alibaba knows how.

In checking manufacturers or suppliers, read about their customer reviews and delivery times. So, access any product carefully before you invest in it. If you choose to use the dropshipping business model, ensure that you test the product, get a feel of it, detect likely issues, and provide answers ahead of time to common questions.

In addition, to validate your product idea, establish the profitability. Carry out a complete financial analysis to establish that your business idea can make money. Some ideas can be good in the head but unprofitable when carried out.

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Also, ask questions like can you get suppliers that fit your pricing? What happens if the supplier disappoints? Do I have a backup business plan? These questions will help you conduct a proper analysis.

Tip 4: Create Your Brand

 

business plan

 

One way to begin a successful business is to have a brand that resonates with your personality. Knowing your personality makes creating an ecommerce brand easier.

But some essential steps need to be taken before you build your store online and do the other little details connected with building a brand. These steps include getting a business license and others, which we will look into now.

1. Business registration.

Select a name for your brand and register it. There are different elements to remember when choosing the legal business structure. These elements are tax status, liabilities, and others.

So, it is advisable to talk with experts like CPAs or business lawyers who can give useful guidance that fits your specific needs.

2. Choose a name for your store.

Your website name and the legal business name do not have to be the same. But having both of them consistent has its perks. Ensure that whatever name you pick matches your niche.

3. Obtain your business license.

Getting a business license is very important. It helps you to operate hitch-free, and customers can trust your brand. Your business license carries your business name. So, this makes the name exclusive to you, and no one else can use that name for theirs.

But if you don’t know how to go about the process of obtaining one, the Small Business Association has a lot of resources to help you begin. Also, look for mentors that can help you walk the path easily.

From their experience, you can gain a wealth of knowledge, even for the smallest things like getting a business license. Finding someone who can show you how it is done is one of the best decisions you can make.

4. Obtain your employer identification number.

You will need anEmployer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account and file your business tax. Even if you don’t plan to have employees, you still need the EIN.

The Employer Identification Number is similar to your business social security number. It has a specific number that represents your business and helps you file valuable documents.

5. Apply for business permits and licenses.

Owning an online business does not exempt you from needing some business licenses. Physical businesses are not the only ones who need this permit.

So, check with the city where you operate to know what kind of business license or permit is needed. Ensure to get them verified before you begin operations.

6. Locate the right vendors

A lot of competition is online, and selling products online is not excluded from the fierce competition. So, it’s best to find top-quality products and best prices for the products you want to sell.

Do your homework well until you find a reliable vendor you can do long-term business with.

Designing a logo that associates with your brand niche is important. This is what will help most customers to identify you amongst the vast majority of sellers online. It helps you build an audience.

But don’t stress about it too much. Just make sure that the logo you choose is not in use by someone else in your niche.

So, from the way you communicate to potential customers to the design of your website, your brand identity should be visible in everything.

8. Get visual.

Think about the image and color your brand will use. Also, include the fonts you will adopt carefully. Keep these factors consistent and study marketing tips that can help build your brand.

If you have the budget, hire a marketing firm to build a design brief for you. Otherwise, you can just make it yourself.

9. Consider your exclusive selling scheme.

Having an exclusive selling scheme for factors like quality, price, style, and so on helps to differentiate your business from other competitors.

Are you creating sustainable services? Do you operate with environmentally friendly practices? Are you a marginally-owned company? You have to determine what will make you unique in the market, even In terms of value offered.

Tip 5: Create Your Online Store

 

online storefront

 

The fun really begins when you officially become a business owner. Although it is stressful to create. Several factors are connected to having an ecommerce website, and I will be talking about them here.

1. Choose your ecommerce platform.

Once you have agreed on a design that resonates with your vision, making sure it is compatible with your ecommerce software is necessary. The decision might look challenging with numerous ecommerce platforms available.

So, whatever design you pick must be compatible with your ecommerce software. With this, you have to take time to assess vital factors to help you decide on the right software to use. They are:

  • The skills of your web developer and comfort of use. In truth, you don’t have to be a professional to create an e-commerce site, but having technical skills will help.

  • Templates and themes

  • SEO-friendly attributes, especially with Shopify. This is because Shopify SEO is a little unique.

  • Compatibility with payment gateway.

  • Support for a personalizable domain.

These points will help you pick the right online store builder that caters to your unique needs and preferences.

Apart from hiring an expensive development expert, you can take advantage of a more affordable alternative, like using a theme that is compatible with your chosen platform.

A lot of themes can be gotten for a small cost of about $100, but it is based on the particular platform’s offering.

These affordable themes help to achieve a visually engaging and professional-looking shopfront.

2. Ecommerce website design.

To effectively display your products, you must work on other vital aspects apart from design. You must vividly know what you sell. So, work on user experience, use simple CTAs, and ensure your store is well structured.

Ensure you have considered the various pages that need to be designed and how they look on a phone. Using a high-quality image and displaying content generated by users can boost your website branding.

Putting together the effectiveness of a top-quality theme with these productive design methods lets you build an online store that is visually appealing, leads conversions, and increases sales.

Another factor that should drive the design is your product description and content. If you have complex products, they may need more details. This will effectively influence the page design.

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3. Additional services and software.

You have to consider logistics when creating your site. It could be as little as knowing if you are delivering some goods from home.

If you are buying in bulk or custom manufacturing, you can use the best shipping software, the best fulfillment services, and inventory management.

Any services or software you use must be compatible with your website builder. If you work with a bigger firm, you will need a complete incorporation with your IT system.

For instance, a warehouse management system will be needed for customer manufacturers to monitor products from the factory to the customers.

Bonus Tip: Attract Shoppers To Your Store

 

potential customers

 

Investing in online marketing is great, and the best ecommerce sites do this. If you have the budget for something like this, go for it, it’s great. But if you don’t, don’t worry about it. You can still make a good impact by using old practices.

You can listen to podcasts, read materials on marketing to help you stay updated with the current industry trends, subscribe to marketing newsletters, and gain helpful marketing knowledge.

Multi-channel selling.

This kind of marketing is also known as the omnichannel approach. It increases the possibility of attracting new buyers. Using multiple sales channels for your own ecommerce business increases your reach and ultimately increases sales.

Using several channels like your website, online marketplaces, and social commerce can help you drive more sales. Customers can relate to your brand via any of the preferred channels. This will enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

This also means employing marketing strategies like ecommerce SEO and advertising to push traffic to the various channels to reach a broader audience.

The combined method also lets you collate data from different sources to gain knowledge for better data-driven decisions. For instance, if you notice SEO is working to push traffic to your site, you can decide where to invest more time and effort in your general marketing to gain a huge return on investment.

Creating a combined multi-channel approach is essential for success. The best part of this approach is that it gives customers a stress-free experience regardless of where they engage with your brand.

Invest time in learning and comparing the different business models available. Then, choose which business model best fits your marketing power and resources. Also, consider where you want to sell.

Build awareness with social media marketing.

You can reach more audiences on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. So, think about using paid content, PPC advertising, or a combined approach to reach these audiences.

Track your marketing program to know which particular one is pushing more traffic to your store. Plan to hire someone who can handle website marketing for effective performance if it seems like a challenging task for you.

To step it up, you can add a YouTube channel for your brand and create quality, engaging videos. This will build the substantial brand awareness needed. Don’t underestimate the value of video content, as some brands do. Good quality video content can boost your brand awareness and drive increased sales.

Search engines are gradually losing their relevance to YouTube and TikTok through engaging video content. This is because more users are spending much more time online consuming video content.

Drive sales growth via email marketing.

The first step is setting up your email marketing automation, regardless of what and how you choose to sell. You can achieve sales growth through email marketing by putting up a freebie ad on your website where users can join.

You can also begin a social campaign to gain subscribers or host a giveaway with a condition for customers to drop their email addresses.

To gain quick subscribers and traffic, you need strong ecommerce marketing techniques. Having an email list offers you a good lead to work with. This makes the sales process much easier.

To keep your brand in the minds of customers, give them coupons and email content. This also increases sales and establishes your credibility. Ensure your emails are interesting. You can also regularly ask for customer input, like reviews.

It is necessary to mix your emails with valuable content instead of filling them with your sales offerings. Try to build a system that will help you respond quickly to customer’s issues. Also, work on any product issues and focus on developing connections with your customers rather than just selling to them.

Affiliate marketing.

Increase your brand online presence by offering affiliate marketing alternatives and partnering with resellers. You can also partner with bloggers in your industry by giving them free product samples in exchange for reviews.

If you sell your products on Amazon, feel free to ask for customer feedback. This helps you gain confidence, respect, and helpful reviews.

FAQs

 

ecommerce businesses

 

Is it difficult to begin an ecommerce business?

Starting an ecommerce business can be tasking and rewarding. The difficulty of this type of business is determined by several factors, like the complexity of the business model, the kind of products you want to sell, and your target audience.

Is it possible to start an ecommerce business without cash?

Yes. It is possible to begin an ecommerce business without cash. However, there are costs associated with building and running a successful online store.

You will have to spend some money to create a secure online presence. Payment expenses on the business ad domain registration, web hosting, and payment processing fees.

Is ecommerce profitable?

Yes, with the right strategy and properly executed plan, it is a profitable business. It can make you a lot of money when you leverage on the growth of the industry.

Conclusion

 

starting an ecommerce business that thrives

 

Did this post answer the question of starting an ecommerce business that thrives? If yes, then get ready to start your successful online business with the tips shared here.

Managing a successful online store doesn’t have to be like solving a puzzle. As you know, an ecommerce business sells products or services online to customers. Now, it is time to expand your thinking and begin. You can sell anything online and be successful if you remain unique. The old popular saying “Be unique to be successful” is still effective today.

But the way your business delivers its specific sales scheme has experienced a significant change in the last years. These days, the focus is more on customer experience. It is basically about how your brand sticks in the minds of customers and how their experience leads to sales conversion.

In summary, to start an ecommerce business, you should keep in mind that ecommerce is now more about the customer experience than the product.

 

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Oladejo Elisha

I'm a Digital Marketer, Blogger, Content marketer, and SEO expert with proven results. I’m detail-oriented, results-driven, and dedicated to helping my clients achieve their goals.

Whether you're looking to increase your website traffic or boost your online revenue, I can help you achieve your goals. Let’s work together.

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