The global health crisis has sped up the growth of e-commerce stores at an unprecedented rate. In 2020 alone, e-commerce is expected to increase by 20%. The idea of launching an e-commerce business can be exciting, but like brick and mortar stores, there are many factors to consider. E-commerce business requires a whole lot of work, and it’s more than just creating a brand, writing product listings, and establishing a website.

Even large scale companies and big brands can fall flat if their e-commerce sites cannot attract enough traffic to help them pull through. It is wise and best that you equip yourself with all the information you will need to build a professional-looking e-commerce business. To start, here are five things you need to know before launching an e-commerce business:

 

Understanding Your Niche

Most often, businesses in the same niche mimic each other by targeting the same audience and applying similar marketing strategies and content. While that may be the less bumpy route to take, it can also be considered as a lazy approach, and it might reflect on the quality of your business. E-commerce businesses must do the necessary research to understand their target markets’ needs in order to produce genuine and authentic services. There are tons of ideas on the internet; you can begin to recognize your niche by researching your market, competitors, inventory, and shipping management.

1) Market

Now that you have an idea on what you want to sell, you should be asking yourself these questions: to whom do I want to sell my product? Who are my customers? What are their payment preferences? What social media platforms are they usually active on? Once you can supply answers to these vital questions, you can plan how you can effectively strategize your e-commerce business.

2) Competitor

Understanding your competitors is critical and beneficial to learning the realities of your market. Your marketing strategies can be drawn using the data that you collected from your competitor analysis for financial planning, production, and marketing.

3) Inventory

Fortunately, third-party software and e-commerce platforms do inventory management effectively to integrate products directly into your e-commerce portal. Tracking your stock can prevent your shoppers from dropping out in the middle of the checkout process if they realize that the products they are buying are unavailable.

4) Shipping Management

To ensure that the products and goods are shipped safely to their buyers, e-commerce owners have to tie their sites to both local and international shipping services. E-commerce platforms offer shipping developers and calculators so that customers can review the possible total cost first, inclusive of the computed shipping rates, before they pay the final invoice. Order tracking software and applications are available for a purpose.  With the integration of order tracking software, you can track the shipping status and arrival dates.

 

Networking Through Social Media

Indeed, social media is the ultimate outlet to promote your brand. Different social media platforms produce new brands, technology, and creative strategies coming from small and big companies every day. A high number of followers and search engine optimized content can help knock out your brand’s competitors. In delegating tasks to your team, the PR team and marketing team must collaborate to manage your social media accounts and e-commerce customer service outsourcing team. This way, the marketing team can directly solve the customer service team’s questions and concerns.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Pulling organic traffic from sites like Bing, Google, and Yahoo is crucial in generating more attention and sales. Understanding search engine optimization should be done properly to tailor your site and pages fittingly for Google and other search engines.

 

E-commerce Business & Brand Name

Every successful business needs a brand that connects to the founder’s personal identity. Knowing your identity can help you build your brand easier. You can get inspiration from established brands. Research and learn from their concepts and ideas if you are starting from scratch.

 

Business Licenses

E-commerce businesses, like physical stores, need business licenses and permits. Reach out to your city or local government to obtain sales tax licenses or home business licenses. You will need to make sure that you get those approved before you start your operation.

 

E-commerce Customer Service Team

For a seamless customer experience in your website and social media platforms, you should organize an e-commerce customer service outsourcing team to assist your customers with everything from online purchases to resolving issues.

 

E-commerce Website

Now that you have legally registered your business and have finally come up with a brand, it is about time to write your domain name and URLs that best describe your business and brand. When you finally build your e-commerce store, you will have the design information for the last step.

E-commerce businesses are more than just buying and selling. There are so many things to consider, such as studying your niche, learning from your competitors and search engine optimization, getting licenses, setting payment gateways, e-commerce customer service outsourcing, and many more. Indeed, it takes a village to put up your brand.

Once you have finally done all those things, it is essential to have realistic expectations and patience, knowing that success happens gradually. It is unlikely for your e-commerce store to become an overnight sensation; it will take dedication, hard work, and adjustments. With these considerations, indeed, you’ll have a solid foundation to build from overtime.