Pankaj Shah

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How To Start An E-commerce Business This Year



The e-commerce market is huge right now, and it is expected to keep growing at an impressive rate. In fact, it is estimated that the global e-commerce market will be worth $5.55 trillion by the end of 2022.

But it’s not just opportunities and room for growth that make an e-commerce business a great venture right now. It can also be a lucrative way to sell your goods or services, you can reach a wider audience, and it’s relatively cheap and easy to get started.

That said, if you’ve never started an online business before, you’d be forgiven for not knowing where to start.

That is exactly why we’ve created this guide. Below, we’ll take you through each step required to get your e-commerce business off the ground and start making money this year.

Read on to find out how.

How To Start An E-commerce Business This Year

1. Decide what and how you want to sell

First and foremost, you need to decide on what you want to sell. If you don’t already have a product or service in mind, that is. You may already have a brick-and-mortar store that you want to move online, or you might already be selling goods or services in person. If this is the case, you’re slightly further along in the process. If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have products in mind, you need to decide as soon as possible.

Research new products

To help you decide what to sell, you need to conduct some thorough research and find out which niches are most profitable and which products consumers are buying right now. You might also wish to make the products yourself, for example, selling homemade jewellery, furniture, ceramics, etc. In this case, you’ll need to think about the types of materials you’ll need.

Once you’ve got a few ideas in your head, it’s a good idea to conduct some deeper market research. This will help you to understand how well these goods are currently selling, and you can start to look at who will be your main competitors.

Choosing how to sell

At this stage, you can also begin to get a feel for the initial cost of buying your products or materials. This will also help to determine how you sell your goods. You could start up your own e-commerce website and store your goods at home or in a storage facility. This might be the best option if you intend to make the products yourself, or you can buy in bulk from manufacturers if not. As with anything, there will be a lot of factors to consider such as rent, employees and insurance.

Alternatively, you could use a dropshipping method in which a third-party stocks all your goods for you, so you don’t have to deal with inventory or shipping. Just be sure to weigh up the pros and cons of dropshipping before you settle on this type of e-commerce business model.

2. Write a business plan

Once you have settled on an idea and you know what products or services you want to offer, it’s a good idea to put together a detailed business plan. This will involve some more in-depth competitor research. That way, you know what you’re going to be up against, and you can prepare yourself accordingly.

Armed with this knowledge you can then create a business plan. This is essentially a roadmap that will help you to bring all your ideas and information together. You can begin to put together ideas for your marketing strategy, as well as set yourself targets that you’d like to reach within the year. This document doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will certainly help to steer you in the right direction.

3. Start building your brand

Next, you need to start building your brand. This will help when creating your e-commerce website and marketing your business. You must choose a catchy name that is related to your products or services. You might also wish to come up with a logo and settle on the colour palette you want for your branding.

This is also the ideal time to set up social media accounts for your upcoming business. This way, you can start building a following and prepare for the big launch.

Again, this doesn’t all have to be perfect right away and it might change slightly over time as you refine the business. However, it’s best to have a strong starting point to jump off from.

4. Create your website

Now you’re ready to create your website. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you could hire a web design company to do this for you. However, this can be costly and could leave you at their mercy further down the line.

Instead, there are plenty of user-friendly e-commerce platforms out there you can choose from. For example, Shopify and Wix are some of the most popular sites for building e-commerce stores. These offer easy-to-use tools and functionality, such as drag and drop. These can also be easily integrated with other platforms, like dropshipping sites and payment gateways, to make setting up your store even easier.

As you build your website, there are several important aspects you must include, and these are:

  • Your logo, branding and chosen colour scheme
  • Detailed product or service descriptions optimised for SEO
  • Pictures of your products
  • The best possible shipping options, taking into account shipping costs and customer demands
  •  Payment options, for example, integrating with PayPal or Klarna to offer multiple ways to pay
  • Contact information or chat widgets to allow customers to reach out to you with queries

By choosing a popular e-commerce platform, adding all of these elements will be much easier. Many of these platforms also offer 24-hour support and tutorials to help you get your store up and running and looking exactly how you want it to.

5. Launch and market your e-commerce business

Finally, it’s time to launch your website and start getting your name out there. Once you’ve made your website live, be sure to shout about this across all your social media channels and start trying to ramp up your following.

There are lots of other important marketing techniques you could use in the early stages, such as:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
  • Attending industry events
  • Using relevant hashtags on social media
  • Building an email list
  • Working with micro-influencers
  • Offering sales or discounts to new customers

And these are just a few fun ideas. In the early stages, you need to be dedicated to your marketing strategy, and you need to monitor the results carefully using tools like Google Analytics.

That way, you can see what is working and what is not. This will help you to tailor your marketing techniques for the best results and the most sales.

Good luck with your new business venture!

Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Web Design Barking

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