2020 has arguably been the most daunting year for the past couple of decades and starting up a business needs to be thoroughly researched and planned to perfection. With everything happening, there are plenty of do’s and don’t to consider when you start up an eCommerce business from planning and production to the website and its optimisation. Here’s a look at all things you need to do before you get started.
Whether you’re offering clothing, jewellery, or an innovative new gadget, having a patent early doors is vital for keeping your unique design your own. It’s not something worth avoiding as if someone sees the idea’s success, they can essentially start copying your design and put a patent on it themselves. Find a stable, reliable manufacturer to bring your concept to life that can offer you reasonable prices (a lot of research and quotes should be reviewed before you make a commitment).
Having a fresh idea is one thing, but the planning before is essential for it to thrive. Researching the market is key to seeing the success of your product. You’ll also need to plan out your finances with precision, looking at cost, overall revenue and profits aren’t enough for a business to thrive, you’ll need to consider a marketing budget and also work out when you’ll be able to expand or reduce the size of the business depending on past success and seasonality.
If you’re looking for a loan too, this also needs to be thoroughly planned out for the future. Businesses tend to go under due to poor financial management, simply buying or producing more stock isn’t always the best way to increase profits. More stock means bigger storage is required and increasing prices is another way to improve profits without the need to increase production.
Your website is one of the most important parts of your business and needs to have a good investment put into it. Your advertising and marketing strategies will be wasted if a potential customer comes to your website and doesn’t have a positive experience. It might be surprising but online shoppers can be very impatient and a slow loading website can be the make or break of an online business.
Hire a professional website developer to create a domain that you think truly represents the brand, with a big focus on the user experience. Making sure it’s also mobile-friendly, fast, and simple to use will ensure you get the maximum number of sales. If you already have a website and still struggle with orders, you can also pay to have either professionals or general users to review your website and get feedback on what might be missing.
Marketing comes in many forms and while using influencers and social media have become the go-to, there’s only so much publicity you can source from this. Influencers tend to offer similar circles when it comes to their followers, plus with the number of products they are trying to flog, your idea might be drowned out.
Social media advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO) are also great ways to improve awareness of your brand and product. SEO is one of the most essential areas to focus on as it targets people specifically wanting your product. While SEO is the most lucrative, it also requires the most maintenance, so you’ll need to either do plenty of research, or if it’s viable from the beginning, you can hire a media agency to help get your website ranking for qualified keywords that suit your product. It’s an area that needs looking into as you begin your business because it can be fairly affordable depending on the agency or freelancer you work with.
Naturally, a new business doesn’t usually have the money to spend on different marketing channels, unless you start off with a big investment. But even if you don’t have the financial backing to have a website created, you can start by selling on alternative platforms. Amazon, eBay, and Depop are all popular platforms to get started on, and while they do take a hefty percentage, it’s a place to begin with little start-up costs. With app developers offering the best user experience now, users will be able to buy your product with ease while you save for your own website.