Ecommerceis booming. In the United States, it’s growing at a rate of about 10 percent per year, which is more than twice therate of the retail industry as a whole. Due to this, there are myriadopportunities for people to capitalize on this trend. But don’t think you canjust waltz into ecommerce success without doing some groundwork. Here are sometips for getting your start in ecommerce.
Formulate Your Niche
Some people think it’s wise to appeal to as wide an audience as possible when building an ecommerce store. After all, you’ll make more money if you can draw in more customers, right? While there’s some truth to that sentiment, it’s generally not the correct approach—especially for people just starting their e-store.
You’ll have more success if you narrow your focus to a specific niche. While this will limit the total size of your customer base, it can give you a sizable share of a certain position. For example, instead of trying to sell all kinds of cosmetics products, home in on one type—such as premium skin lotions for more youthful skin or pastel hair dyes for hipster women. With so much competition out there, you need to set yourself apart from other e-stores. Plus, people will be more likely to find your site if you’re selling to their precise search.
Remember the Power of SEO
A lot of people don’t even know about SEO (search engine optimization) before building an ecommerce store. In fact, many who currently operate an e-store don’t know about it. Don’t be one of these people. SEO is hugely beneficial when used correctly. It revolves around finding ways to boost your visibility in organic search results—primarily through creating content and using keywords.
People are more likely to think something is easy to use if it looks good visually. Ecommerce sites with clean lines and clear organization are going to benefit more than cluttered and visually busy sites.
However, you must be careful to avoid sacrificing usability to boost visual appeal. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Search bars and drop-down menus should be in obvious places. Not doing this can result in lost sales when it’s frustrating to consumers.
Get Things Right Before You Launch Your Site
Some people like to get things going as soon as possible and figure out issues as they arise. This can be an effective methodology in many areas—but not necessarily when you’re trying to do ecommerce. You need to start by choosing the right ecommerce platform.
What is an ecommerce platform? According to Shopify, It’s the service that will host your online store. Rushing through this part of the process can be a massive mistake and cost you down the line. Beyond just choosing the right platform, you need to ensure everything’s working correctly before opening your store to the public. Check all links and pages for bugs. You should also get some outside opinions. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s not right on your own. Launching too early can end up hurting you in the ecommerce ramp-up—as you don’t want to miss out on potential loyal customers due to potential oversights.
Make Sure Mobile Is On-Point
People new to the ecommerce world might not appreciate the importance of mobile ecommerce. But this is a big mistake. Currently, about 60 percent of searches happen on mobile devices. Most of the big ecommerce platform providers have mobile compatibility or responsiveness built into their themes. However, not all of them will be of the same quality. Be sure to thoroughly test your site on various smartphones and tablets. A poor mobile site can be detrimental to your online store.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re putting together an ecommerce store. Individuals new to the space will want to do some research before jumping in headfirst. Consider all these aspects when you’re building your online business.