Starting any business can be challenging, given all of the decisions you have to make. In addition to writing a formal business plan, an e-commerce business requires you to create an online presence that makes it easy for customers to navigate your website and buy your products. Use these tips to design your e-commerce business, and to find the right tools to get your company off the ground.
Effective payment process
As you consider the types of services you need for your business, start with the end in mind.One critical service that is often taken for granted is an effective payment gateway service, which allows the customer to easily pay for a purchase online. E-commerce companies strive to avoid checkout abandonment, due to an unclear or overly complicated payment system.
Find a payment gateway system that accepts major credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, and eWallet options, such as Apple Pay. If you provide an effective payment method to customers, you reduce the risk of losing a sale at the end of the selling process.
Solve a problem: Your e-commerce business must solve a problem for the customer. If the customer has an urgent need, he or she is more likely to search for a solution and buy a product or service.
Create your solution: Once you identify a problem to solve, design your solution to the problem, which may be a physical product or a service. Offer your solution to a small group of customers, and ask them if they are satisfied with the results. This market research can help you validate your idea.
Price your product: When you perform market research, ask customers what they would be willing to pay for your product or service. Based on the feedback and your analysis of the industry, select a price for your product.
Analyze the size of the market: If the market for your product is not large enough, you won’t be able to generate enough sales to justify entering the business. In some instances, you can find customers who are willing to pay a reasonable price for your product, but the number of customers is not enough to support your business idea. Perform market research to estimate the size of your market.
Addressing these factors is the first step to determine if your business idea is viable. Once you confirm the viability of your new venture, you can evaluate the services you need to get your business up and running.
Creating a website
Assume, for example, that you manufacture a unique line of durable clothing for serious hikers and mountain climbers, and that you sell your clothing exclusively online. To attract customers, you’ll need a website publishing tool to create your site. You may create the website yourself by selecting a template or pay a designer to set up the site for you. Your goal is to attract visitors to your site and encourage them to browse your line of clothing.
To keep your website visitors engaged, you can offer them content, such as blog posts and articles on hiking and climbing topics. If your content helps to educate the reader and solve a problem, visitors are more likely to stay on your site and consider buying your products.
Select a website publishing tool that makes it easy to incorporate blog posts. You can use opt-in incentives to offer readers more detailed content, such as an ebook, in exchange for providing their email address. Find software tools that can help you send periodic emails to readers who opt-in to content on your site.
Offering content can help you build a relationship with your audience, and convert prospects into customers.
Plan for success
With proper planning and the right tools, you can gradually build a base of customers for your e-commerce business. Invest the time to write a formal business plan, and do research to find the right tools you need to launch your venture.