Nearly everyone can become an entrepreneur by launching an ecommerce website. From baby toys to luxury apparel, you can set up your own online retail business in a matter of days.
Why ecommerce? The online retail industry is booming. The number of online consumers in 2020 is estimated to reach two billion. That’s a lot of potential customers and profits.
Are you ready to be an ecommerce entrepreneur? Here are five easy steps to being your own boss and turning online sales into a steady source of income.
- Define Your Ecommerce Niche
There’s definitely no shortage of products you can list online. However, the most successful ecommerce websites will have a well-defined niche. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an online retail entrepreneur is to try and compete with Amazon.
The reason Amazon can list every product on the planet is because they have the budget to do it. For instance, Amazon had a marketing budget of $10 billion in 2017 alone.
To have ecommerce success, you need to carve out your own little slice of online sales by defining a niche. This could be women’s fitness, alternative health, pet products, etc.
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Your niche should also be something your interested in too, making marketing a whole lot easier down the road.
- Find a Product Manufacturer
Your manufacturer is the lifeblood of your ecommerce site. They need to be able to meet the demand from your customers, make a quality product, and be consistent. If your manufacturer is slipping, your entrepreneur dreams will be dashed quickly.
Most ecommerce website owners enlist a manufacturer from sites like Alibaba.com. You will find every product imaginable on Alibaba, from heavy construction machinery to Hawaiian shirts.
When beginning a relationship with a manufacturer, get the product specs, ask about product inventory, and even get a few samples. Once you are feeling good, lock it in and start brainstorming a brand name.
- Create Your Online Brand
This is one of the most important steps of launching and growing a successful ecommerce store. Your brand name needs to be aligned with your niche and also be clever enough to attract your target audience.
For example, if you are going to dive into the pet products niche, your brand probably should be something that speaks to pets, like “Doghouse” or “Purr-Fect Products.”
Knowing your target audience is also a good idea. Once you have a niche in mind, do some browsing and see what other niche-similar ecommerce sites are doing and take notes.
What is their branding like? How is their site set up? What are their prices? These are all going to help you develop your website, which is next on the list. . Ahrefs and SpyFu are online platforms you can use for detailed competitor research.
- Begin Developing Your Ecommerce Website
You have a niche, a manufacturer, products, a brand name, competitor research, and you are ready to find a website host and start building your ecommerce site. Not so fast!
Before you lock yourself into doghouse.com, you need to check if that domain is available. You’ll also need to check if your brand name is available across all social media channels. You can check domain and social availability using Namechk.
Once everything looks good, lock in a domain name and start signing up to all social media channels, even if you won’t use all. This keeps your brand name safe from other people using it.
How do you get your site up and running? There are a number of site hosting services, but be sure to choose a WordPress and WooCommerce combo. You can learn how to install a WordPress theme pretty quickly and launch your site in days.
- Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
You can have the best products on the planet and most user-friendly website, but if you don’t drive traffic to your site, you won’t make a dime as an entrepreneur. This is when a digital marketing strategy becomes a powerful asset.
First, develop a social media marketing calendar. This calendar will have number of posts per day, hashtags, post content, videos, gifs, and more. Once in place, you can use Buffer or Hootsuite to automate your social media posts for the month.
This frees you up to engage with your social followers, answer questions, and give product support. Remember, the first few months of your ecommerce inception are the most important. You want to build a loyal customer base fast.
Next, craft a content marketing calendar. In your content marketing calendar you will have article ideas for your blog (yes, you need a blog), days of posting, social media posts to promote the blog, keyword research, and more.
Your content marketing strategy will make you an authority in your niche, and help you net more ecommerce traffic and sales. Make sure to always be consistent in your marketing and connect with your audience in a personal way.
Fulfill Your Ecommerce Entrepreneur Dream
Setting up your ecommerce site is only half the journey. You will find yourself attending to shipping and sales support in the coming months and years. This is a great problem to have, because sales trigger these ecommerce demands.
With ecommerce sales continuing to rise year after year, it is time to become the entrepreneur you have always dreamed of becoming. What tips do you have for ecommerce success?