A Different Kind of Business Beast: Insider’s Tips for Launching Your E-Commerce Start-Up
When you decide to launch a business there is a fair chance that you will consider an e-commerce startup rather than a traditional bricks and mortar version.
Businesses like Slater Hogg & Howison enjoy a strong online presence, as many of their customers will be searching via the internet before setting foot outside their front door. This highlights the need to get every aspect of your online business just right in order to attract customers and open up a dialogue with them or obtain a sale.
Plenty of competition
Just as plenty of prime retail locations are a hotspot for busy footfall numbers and there is healthy competition amongst the retailers who have take space there, you can expect stiff competition online and you will need to find a niche or a way to stand out from the crowd.
There are at least 650,000 online stores and about 150 million shoppers making online purchases on a regular basis, so despite the fact that you are going to have to contend with rival e-tailer’s when you launch your new business venture, there are also plenty of opportunities to attract customers and make some decent sales figures.
Find a niche
Plenty of us have an idea for a specific product or range that we think we can attract customers with, but to improve your odds of being successful, you will need to try to define an edge or a niche, that helps you stand out from the crowd.
If you are selling a range of products that are readily available elsewhere, your niche will have to be something like offering the lowest prices available, free delivery, or maybe great customer service levels that everybody talks about.
What will help you to make your e-commerce startup a success almost from day one, is to find an edge such as offering hard-to-find products, so that customers start to consider you as the go-to option when they are looking for something a bit different or exclusive.
Offering a solution
Starting an e-commerce business doesn’t have to involve re-inventing the wheel and coming up with a product that has never been seen before, although that would be great if you can create something unique to launch with, but it can work if you find a way to offer a solution.
Creating a successful business is a perfectly feasible proposition if you can find a way to solve a common problem or are able to just make things easier than they currently are for customer looking for a certain range of products.
A classic example of how an e-commerce solution can be found to a high street problem, would be men’s shoes.
Walk into many bricks and mortar retail outlets who are selling men’s shoes and if you are a man with a larger shoe size than normal, you will often struggle to find anything to fit or a limited range at best.
This dilemma prompted some specialist e-tailer’s to offer a specific solution and sell a range of shoes online which meet these size needs and offer a far greater choice than they could hope to find in a shop.
Find a solution to a common problem like this and you have a solid foundation for launching an e-commerce startup that could get itself noticed.
Online marketing strategies can be much more targeted these days, thanks to the growth of big data and all of the information about consumers and their search habits and preferences that is now more available than ever before.
Half of the adult population of the world who have access to the internet, are regular users of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, so your marketing strategy should include plenty of ways of trying to engage with potential as well as existing customers so that you can get feedback and recommendations for your business.
Email marketing is still very much a player when it comes to generating sales and responses to your marketing campaigns and if you do it right, there is every chance that your e-commerce venture can gain a healthy payback on every amount invested in email marketing initiatives.
If you don’t understand SEO, get someone on board who does, as search engine optimization is important when it comes to running an e-commerce business.
If potential customers can’t find you easily when they are searching for the sort of products you sell, they are probably going to go and shop elsewhere, so make sure you concentrate on SEO.
E-commerce is a different kind of business beast, but it can be a great way to trade, provided you get all of the required components for success, to align.
Max Buckley has been a business consultant to start-up companies for several years now. He specialized in E-commerce business and often writes on the topic for various business sites.