Online sales are going from strength-to-strength in the current environment, as more people look for strategies to diversify their income. An approach that many people are turning to is to start an e-commerce store, but what is the best way to start an online business and develop your digital brand presence from scratch?

Choose a Product

The Basics of Starting Your E-Commerce Store and Online Business from Zero - 123RF Blog
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It’s tricky coming up with a product you know will sell well when starting an e-commerce business, but there are strategies you can use that will make it a little easier, including:

  • Find products that solve a customer’s pain points
  • Start with a personal passion
  • Base your choice on your professional experience
  • Check out what’s trending on other popular online stores
  • Check out products with high-profit margins

Develop a Passionate Audience

No doubt you already know that when you start an online business, you will be going up against giants like Walmart, Amazon, and eBay, regardless of what you are selling. If you can’t connect with your audience at an emotional level, you won’t stand much of a chance against the more prominent marketplaces likely selling the same thing for a lower price. Use social media to connect with your audience because when you build a passionate community, your brand will benefit and grow from social sharing and viral buzz. Many fledgling companies have been developed from small home-based businesses into globe-spanning enterprises worth millions of dollars. 

Build Your Store

The number of tools available to start an online store has grown in recent years. Many of the systems are available out of the box and can be learned by anybody with just a modicum of technical know-how. Some of the e-commerce solutions available include:

  • Shopify
  • WordPress + WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Volusion
  • 3DCart

Each of the above solutions has pros and cons, and some are easier to set up than others. Explore your options to find one that is in line with your technical proficiency. Or, you could outsource the setting up of e-commerce stores if you have no experience with web technology. Click the following link if you need some creative content to begin promoting your online business.

Find Your Supplier

The Basics of Starting Your E-Commerce Store and Online Business from Zero - 123RF Blog
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When you start an e-commerce store, you will need a supplier that can deliver a product at a lower price than for what you can sell it for. A few ways you can source products include:

  • Using a manufacturer to create the product from scratch
  • Find a wholesale distributor
  • Using a drop shipping service

Each of the above methods have various pros and cons and may not suit everyone’s business model. Explore each solution and decide which one will work best for you.

Develop a Relationship with Influencers

More than 65% of brands have built their businesses from using influencers as brand ambassadors. Over ninety percent of consumers trust the recommendations of influencers they follow on social networks, even if they have never met them personally.

Go Niche During Your Growth Phase

It’s tempting to develop a broad product line in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience. However, this is often a mistake. Once you introduce a new product, it usually harms your other product lines. Start your online empire by niching down to a single product and give yourself the best chance for success. When you’re developing marketing for a range of products, you risk spreading yourself too thin, especially if you are working alone in the beginning. 

Start Building Your Email List

When done right, email marketing provides the biggest returns on your marketing dollar out of any other form of digital marketing. Start building your list early on, but be sure to focus on developing a relationship, rather than bombard your list with marketing messages. Click here to discover about personalization in email marketing and how it can benefit you when starting an online business.

The Basics of Starting Your E-Commerce Store and Online Business from Zero - 123RF Blog
Photo shot by gstockstudio, 123RF.

Explore what you can use to structure the digital content of your online business. Anyone interested in learning how to start an e-commerce business can do so for a minimal investment compared to opening a brick-and-mortar store. Start small and build your brand by connecting and consistently engaging with your audience, and you will be able to develop a sustainable business.