Statista, in their latest report, gave some pretty astounding numbers about the state of the e-Commerce market. According to their study, the revenue within the e-Commerce market is expected to reach as much as $4.23 tn in 2022.
With an annual growth rate of 11.58%, they are projecting a market volume of $5.88 tn by the year 2025. The number of users in the e-Commerce market is expected to reach 4.887.9 million users by 2025.
Based on these statistics alone, there is a massive opportunity via digital retail. Despite any type of economic adversity, there is still plenty of room for business owners to launch their online stores.
You are interested in creating your own online store, but where do you start? Here are some surefire ways to ensure your online business gets the best start. Let’s begin.
10 Critical Steps To Creating Your Online Store
1. Select Your Niche
A niche is a product or service that is of interest to a small, very specific portion of the population. When you choose a niche, you are essentially tapping into a segment that is overlooked by other businesses.
When you can find and select these niches, you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding. You won’t need to worry about competing with corporate giants, and you can generate a profit from specific areas that others have neglected.
2. Check Your Market And Competition
Once you have decided on your product, it is time to determine whether or not there is a demand for your product. Is there a similar product being offered by someone else? How is that business doing? What are they charging?
3. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain is your “unique identifier” when it comes to customers. Having the right domain name means that you can boost your brand awareness. It is important to keep your domain name under 12 characters so that it would be easier to both remember and type.
4. Select Your E-Commerce Website Builder
Depending on the provider, most e-Commerce platforms come with extensions and “native features.” Look into different SaaS solutions as well as open source solutions.
Also, your platform should have the capacity to grow with your business. Will it still perform at an optimum level, regardless of whether or not you cross a certain sales threshold?
Security is also a huge issue. Does your provider come equipped with SSL security at checkout?
Also, your platform should have mobile optimization so that it can offer the best mobile shopping experience. If your website is not mobile-friendly, your SEO page rankings can suffer tremendously, which means lower traffic.
5. Design Your Online Store
Most e-Commerce website builders come with a variety of website themes. Ensure that all aspects of design are in line with your branding. This can include your color scheme, fonts and text sizes, page layouts, and product listing types.
6. Start Adding Products To Your Store
To make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for, consider setting up product category pages. You can also write persuasive product descriptions as well as add crisp and beautiful product images.
7. Establish Your Refund Policy
To mitigate chargebacks, it is critical to clearly communicate your refund policy where it is clearly visible on your website. Aside from chargebacks, it makes financial sense to have a clearly laid-out return policy so that your customers can trust you and remain loyal customers. If you don’t have an easy way to return purchases, they simply will choose another retailer who does.
8. Set Up Your Shipping Policy
This is a critical component of your business. If customers experience any trouble or have a “bad delivery experience”, it was found that 56% of these consumers will not buy from that retailer again.
Clearly communicate the costs, terms, and any limitations tied to your deliveries.
9. Market Your Online Store
One thing you don’t want to see in your Google Analytics shortly after launching is zero visitors. Avoid this by looking into different e-Commerce marketing channels. Also, consider creating a pre-launch promotion strategy.
Other methodologies can include social media. The best time to build up your audience is before the store opens. Create a buzz by featuring product reviews, “behind-the-scenes previews”, and teasers to help build the anticipation.
You might also look into influencer marketing. By partnering up with an influencer, especially in the early stages, you can attract initial sales and increase your website visibility.
Finally, you should consider paid advertising, such as more targeted Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram campaigns. The advantage is that you only need to pay for “meaningful action” such as inquiries, sales, visits, and clicks.
10. Launch Your Online Store
Before you launch your website, make sure you test it to ensure that everything is in order: performance, design, and navigation. Here’s another checklist you can follow:
- Assess all call-to-actions and “form titles” found on the homepage and landing pages.
- Ensure the checkout process works.
- Make sure all payment processing integrations (credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, etc) are functioning.
- Images should be high-definition but optimized.
- Correct any missing product descriptions, characteristics, or categories.
- Review your website navigation.
- Install helpdesk email and/or helpdesk software.
- Do all your links and forms work?
- Are all taxes set correctly?
- Ensure everything is functioning with your email marketing service provider.
- Is all the inventory properly listed?
- Do your coupon/promo codes work?
The Time To Launch Your Online Store Is Now
Digital commerce continues to break records unlike the world has ever seen. The barriers to entry are significantly lower and the newest technology is making it even easier to launch your online store, even in one day.
By following the aforementioned steps, you will have everything you need to set your e-Commerce store for success.