2020 has been challenging so far, to say the least, with lockdowns and social isolation all around the world. Numerous businesses have fallen victim to the current crisis, but there’s one industry that benefits from it – e-commerce.
Amazon stock has increased by 30% during the pandemics, and that’s nothing strange. In a situation where it’s dangerous to go outside, online shopping saves the day. Consumers can order everything, including groceries, books, clothes, you name it, and have it delivered to their front door.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that starting an e-commerce store in 2020 is a great idea, but don’t forget that the competition is fierce and that you’ll need to play your cards right if you want to succeed.
Pick Your Niche
If you’re new to this industry, it’s only logical to ask yourself what you should be selling and whether there’s an audience for these products. Offering generic stuff that other big vendors carry is something you should avoid because the market is already saturated with similar stores that meet the existing demand.
That’s why research is the first step of this process, and you can start by narrowing down your options and thinking products or services that appeal to a highly specific audience. Don’t be afraid that this way, the number of your potential customers and business opportunities will be limited because you can create demand and specialize in something that other stores don’t have.
Build Your Online Store
There are different e-commerce platforms that you can use to set up your online store, including Shopify, eBay, and WooCommerce.
These platforms can be easily customized as they feature a number of various themes that you can apply.
However, it’s not enough to set up a store and add products. The devil is in the detail, which means that it’s crucial to optimize your product pages and make sure that your potential customers can find your store in Google search results as well as that they decide to explore further and make a purchase.
Here’s what you should pay attention to:
Your page design. Every product page and the entire website should be visually appealing. Surveys say that 94% of first impressions are design-related. Well-designed websites are perceived as credible and trustworthy, meaning that potential customers are more likely to share their sensitive information with them. And that’s of crucial importance for e-commerce websites.
Website usability. Your e-commerce store should be easy to use and navigate. This will significantly improve its user experience and boost conversions.
Simple and intuitive checkout process. Given that a complex and lengthy checkout process can be blamed for shopping cart abandonment, make sure that your customers can complete their purchase smoothly.
Optimized and unique product descriptions. When you’re describing your products, don’t opt for the generic copy. Add relevant keywords and try to give all the necessary information about every product, and highlight their benefits.
Photo: Concise Studio
Create a Marketing Plan
As we’ve mentioned, e-commerce is a very popular industry, so you’ll have to promote your online store if you want your audience to learn about it.
You can use a variety of marketing methods, including paid ads, SEO, email marketing, or social media.
While you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin, it’s still important to grow your online presence through different methods. By keeping track of your results, you’ll be able to determine what works and what doesn’t and plan your future campaigns accordingly.
For example, email marketing is a cost-effective strategy, and it can help you reach your target audience. However, it does require a serious approach in the sense that you need to segment your list, personalize your outreach, send relevant content, and offers to your recipients, and finally, automate your efforts.
Search engine optimization is another strategy that will bring you a lot of high-quality traffic. By implementing SEO, you can improve your search engine rankings and help your potential customers find your store in an avalanche of results. Bear in mind that this is a long-term strategy that takes about six months to start giving results.
As for social media, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook can do wonders for your visibility and promotion. What’s great about Facebook and Instagram is that you can implement chatbots that will act as customer support and assist your followers in picking the product they need easily and make a payment without leaving the chat.
Set the Right Prices
Pricing is an important factor as most customers take it into consideration when they’re making a purchasing decision.
Big companies such as Amazon use so-called dynamic pricing, that is, an algorithm for adjusting the price based on various factors such as the current demand, competitors’ pricing, and a number of other parameters.
Before you decide on your pricing, analyze other brands from your niche, and check the prices they set for the products similar to the ones you sell. This is so-called competition-based pricing, and as a beginner, you can use it as a reference.
However, you can’t rely solely on your competitors’ estimates, so it’s a good idea to leverage other strategies such as cost-based pricing, or value-based pricing.
The e-commerce industry will only grow further, and if you want to tap into a huge potential that it offers, follow these tips when you’re starting your online store.