Ecommerce is the process of buying and selling goods or services over an electronic network, typically the Internet.
The abbreviation E-Commerce may refer to either online shopping (a subset of e-business) or business-to-consumer transactions.
The term can also be used in retailing to refer to any sale other than a wholesale one.
And so if you are planning on starting your own eCommerce site, this article will help you get started by providing some basic information about what it takes to start your own eCommerce business!
Figure out your niche.
What kind of products do you want to sell?
Different niches have different goals. Try to think about where your customers are coming from and what they are shopping for. Try to stay in one niche with the same sort of product when you start.
For example, if I sell children's clothes, I may not want to also sell dog food because that has nothing to do with my business focus.
You can also use frameworks like GAP Analysis or SWOT Analysis to help you identify your niche and any potential challenges that might come up along the way!
Next, you'll need to choose a domain name and web host that are appropriate for your niche. For example, if you're selling children's clothes, I would not recommend using "shoesandshirts.com" as the URL for your eCommerce site! Go with something like "kidsclothesstore.com" instead.
You'll also want to make sure that the domain name is available before you purchase it - many companies will make this process easier by offering pre-selected options for domain names.
Finding suppliers will depend on what you are planning to sell.
I'll give you a few examples of how I found suppliers for products:
If I wanted to sell children's clothes, I would go to Google and search "wholesale children's clothing". Then, I would call up local businesses from the list that came up and ask if they're selling online. If not, then they don't have a website that I can order off of their site!
This can be a difficult step if you're unfamiliar with US dollars or conversion rates, but it may be worth getting help from someone more familiar with currencies.
If I wanted to sell children's clothes but didn't care about selling locally, I would go to Alibaba.com and search for "wholesale children's clothing". Some of the companies that come up will be scams - do your research before you give them any money! For example, check out this article.
Sometimes it may take a few months before they ship the product because they need to confirm payment first!
Social media is a great way to get the word out about your company.
Keep in mind, before you dive in head first, that not all social media sites are created equal!
Here's the gist: Each social media site is unique and has different advantages and disadvantages. For example, Facebook is a powerful platform for business-to-client interactions because it has over 1 billion users every day. It also helps personalize your website since customers can "like" your page on Facebook.
On the other hand, LinkedIn provides a professional space for business-to-business connections and opportunities like job postings.
If you're serious about using social media to promote your company, you're going to want to monitor these platforms and engage with your community as much as possible.
Which social media sites you choose to use are completely up to you and the type of business that you want to run!
Step #1: Build relationships with your customers, influencers, and bloggers.
One way to do this is by being active on social media. If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, you can even consider inviting your favorite customers in for a free haircut or manicure! In addition to that, there are tons of other events that take place every day that might be worth your time to attend - from competitions to festivals.
Another great way to build relationships with influencers and bloggers is to rank your site for specific keywords. What are the most common questions that people ask in Google?
If you have a dog food website, try using Yahoo Site Explorer to find out what keywords are being searched the most every month!
Step #2: Make it easy for influencers and bloggers to share your content.
A great way to do this is by writing articles that focus on topics related to your business niche. For example, if I have a children's clothing store, I might write an article about "how I became successful with my eCommerce business" or "the 5 biggest mistakes new e-commerce entrepreneurs make".
When you're promoting your paid ads on social media, it's best to pair them with relevant blog posts.
Step #3: Pay for ads!
Ok, so you have the perfect blog post that your customers are going to love. Great job! Now, you should be thinking about how to spend your marketing budget. You should try using Google Adwords first - it's the easiest place to start if you're new to paid advertising campaigns.
When creating an ad, make sure you target people who are searching for keywords related to what your business offers! For example, I might choose "children's clothing" or "kids clothes" as my keywords.
Also, don't forget to track conversions! That means that every time someone clicks on your ad and buys something from your site after visiting, you want to note that conversion rate in your statistics.
Step #4: Keep your customers coming back for more!
You might be feeling nervous about getting overwhelmed with all of this eCommerce business talk... But don't worry, you're in good hands!
The number one thing you can do to succeed is to treat each customer accurately and fairly. The great news is that if you follow the tips listed here, there's no doubt that your eCommerce business will be a smashing success - just like many other entrepreneurs! Good luck!
You must be passionate about what you do if you want a successful online store!
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