5 Tips for Getting Started with E-commerce
Wednesday, 12 February 2020

 Entrepreneurs that are looking to start an online business often consider e-commerce as a viable option. Selling e-commerce involves using an online platform or website to sell physical or digital products. 

 If someone has an idea of a physical or digital product and is prepared to market it, an e-commerce store can serve as a sustainable source of income. Starting an e-commerce store isn’t for everyone, however. There are many different factors to consider and sometimes people find themselves in over their heads. 

If you’re considering an e-commerce store but aren’t sure where to get started, read over the following five tips. 

Check out the competition

Anybody considering e-commerce should start by checking out the direct competition. Checking out the competition can help you figure out if there is a market demand for what you want to sell. If there are already a plethora of similar e-commerce sites, you should start thinking about how you can make your products more unique. 

It is also a good way to see what is (or isn’t) working for similar e-commerce sites. Check to see how they’re marketing their products and if they have any customer reviews. Once you have an idea of how they’re doing, think about how you can do it better. 

Think about shipping

If you’re planning on selling physical products, start thinking about where you’re going to store inventory. If you live in a small apartment but want to sell exercise equipment, you might need to rent out a storage unit for inventory storage. Think about wherever you have the space for inventory. If you don’t, look into storage options. 

You also need to consider what your shipping policy is going to be. Sometimes high shipping rates cause customers to stop making purchases. Offering free shipping has benefits, but you need to make sure you can afford the shipping costs. You’ll also need to think about what shipping supplies, such as mailing envelopes, that you’re going to need.

Find the right platform

Once you decide to move forward with your store, consider what platform you want to use. Sometimes there are benefits to choosing an existing platform. For example, if you’re selling craft items that you’ve made, a site like Etsy allows you to gain access to an existing pool of customers. 

Other times, it makes sense to design your own site. If you do this, you’re going to need e-commerce software to build product pages, have access to a shopping cart feature, and to create secure checkout pages. To get an idea of what e-commerce software costs, check out Kartra’s pricing software. Another benefit of e-commerce software is it often contains templates to make website building easier. 

Strategically list products

Where many e-commerce sellers go wrong is listing products without giving much thought to descriptions. Descriptions not only provide a further explanation of a product and help sell products, but they can also improve your SEO. A good product description will contain keywords. The right keywords will lead potential customers right to your site.

If you’ve never used keywords before and don’t know where to begin, start by looking at what words competitors are using in their descriptions. While there is such a thing as overusing keywords, you should still plan to incorporate keywords several times throughout every description. Incorporate keywords naturally into descriptions. Randomly inserting them in places they don’t belong can lower SEO. 

Start building hype

There is no reason to wait until after your store launches to start marketing your products. Giving a sneak peek of what consumers can expect to find in your store can help build hype. Many new businesses choose to start sharing updates on social media several months before the website launches. 

There is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to building hype. Sharing photos of products as they come in or offering free samples of products is a good starting point. If possible, try to find a handful of people that are willing to test products and provide an honest review of them on social media. The more excited you can get people about buying your items, the more success you’ll have when your store launches. 

Final thoughts 

You don’t have to have sales experience to get started with e-commerce, but you do need to be prepared for all the work associated with it! 

If you’re hoping to create a sustainable e-commerce store, you’ll need to carefully plan out the logistics in advance to help prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.
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