Thinking About Starting An Ecommerce Store?


There are around 110,000 e-commerce stores out there that are generating a meaningful income. That is a lot of competition, but it’s no worse than opening a physical store. An e-commerce store enables you to reach a much larger audience, meaning that you physical location isn’t that influential on what you’re selling. A lot of physical stores fail due to their location; if you want to open a custom skateboard store, but are open in a town predominantly occupied by elderly citizens - you wouldn’t make the same amount of profit as if you were open in the heart of London or California. With an e-commerce site, you can reach both cities easily, as well as the sole customer you would have in that little town. 

The ultimate aim for most stores, is to eventually have both an online store as well as multiple physical premises. But to start things off, the best way to go about it in the technology-fueled world we live in, is to be online, and to focus on online advertising and marketing for a while. Apparently, you will get to a point where you will advertise offline too, and this will probably happen before you open a physical store. You might decide not to open a physical store - look at boohoo.com, an extremely successful e-commerce clothing store that could very easily succeed on the high street, but chooses not too. 

No matter what industry your store will fall under, what products that you are thinking of selling, every online store needs to follow some of the same start-up rules. Not only do you need to think about your website, online advertising and marketing, but you also need to think about your production, your storage and shipping, and about employees. 

Website 

So the big thing that you need to make sure is completely perfect is your website. You can choose to build one for yourself. However, an e-commerce website is very different than a site geared towards blogs which tends to be what most DIY platforms lean towards. So it might be worth looking into having the site built for you by people like the ones at WooCommerce Experts. These guys make their living through creating e-commerce sites and so you can trust that the finished product would be exactly what you want it to be. When building your website, you need to think about the aesthetic of your company. You will find that your color scheme, logo choice, and even your company name will have an impact on your audience. Stay true to your product - if you sell urban clothing, then keep to an urban theme, if you are a custom skateboard company, then think about incorporating skating images and graffiti art into your site. 

Storage 

No matter what your product is, you are going to need a physical place to store it. It might initially be a space in your home. But, equally, it might be that you need to think about renting a space. If you don't have enough space at home, you can rent a storage unit for excess stock, or maybe you need a larger area and need a warehouse. Whatever your storage needs, make sure that you get insurance for your product and use extra security measures. God forbid your stock is damaged due to a leak, a fire, or even theft. As a minimum have CCTV installed throughout your storage space, and if you are renting then have the building checked for safety features. If your stock is quite large or expensive, then you might think about employing a security company. 

Employees 

You might not think that you need any employees straight away, that you are fine doing everything yourself. But you will probably find that you are better off outsourcing some of the work. If your store is small enough that you can manage the orders on your own, as well as manage your own social media, then great. But unless you are also proficient in writing, photography, marketing strategies, bookkeeping and web maintenance - you might need to hire. Where outsourcing is different from having traditional ‘employees’ you are still paying people to do work for you, which means that they are in your employ. Your website will need some sort of ‘about’ page, your content will need to be structured to include SEO marketing, and your products will all need descriptions, which is where hiring a writer comes into play. All of your products will need professionally photographing, and your accounts will need balancing. As a business owner you will have to file your own taxes, and having an accountant makes that process so much easier. You can find freelancers of every sort through sites like freelancer - and you don’t need to hire people for everyday you are working, you just hire them for the job at hand. Having unique content and photographs marks your store as professional and, therefore, trustworthy. 

Shipping 

Posting an order might seem pretty straightforward, but you will probably need to consider a few things - like are you going to deliver internationally? Are you going to need to always used tracked delivery, or even a courier system? You should also think about your packaging. Having branded packaging can be a great way of spreading awareness for your product, you can even use packaging as a means for making more money; look at small e-commerce sites like BruteBox, who offer the option of a BruteBox Case as packaging which also teams up as storage for the product. This joint use appeals to the audience, as it adds an element of safety for when they are moving the product around; as the product is often created with unique artwork, of course they would want to protect it. If you offer a similar product - you might want to think along the same lines.

Also, follow these guidelines for ecommerce store success:




I hope you enjoyed this article about what to consider when thinking about starting an ecommerce store.

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