These days it’s so much easier than it used to be to start up an e-commerce shop. In the past, if you wanted to sell your own products, you had to open a brick and mortar store, start selling on sites like eBay or Etsy or spend valuable time and money creating a website, which many new traders simply couldn’t afford afford or did not have the skill to do. I’ve set up so many e-commerce websites and for one reason or another, not all of them are successful.
The main reasons I see for not succeeding are:
- Not putting in the immense time and effort required for marketing an e-commerce site
- Ignoring social media as a tool to sell your wares
- Being too spammy on social media
- Not adding value to you site so people come back for information as well as product
- Setting up a store and expecting people to suddenly find it. That’s like building a house without adding a road to get to it
- Not selling a unique or niche product.
Setting Up An E-Commerce Site is Much Easier
Now, setting up a website is easier than ever. You can starting out by selling on other high ranking sites, which will give you an excellent platform to launch from. This will allow you to gauge how successful your product could become and get feedback you need from real customers. Then, when you are ready to launch your own online shop; you could set up a blog and add an e-commerce platform in less time than it use to take.
Be Aware that the easier E-Commerce is, the greater your comeptition will be
In many ways making set up cheaper and easier, this is fantastic. It gives you an excellent opportunity to not only start your own business but to make it successful quickly. But it does mean that there is more competition than ever. Now anyone can start selling their own products or services online it can be easy to get lost in amongst the millions of websites offering similar things. This means it’s critical that you find ways to make your ecommerce store stand out. Remember, you’ll not only be competing with other new start-ups but with mega companies such as Amazon who seem to sell everything.
As a designer of website I love using these platforms with templates because the heavy lifting of coding it already done. I can build a site on the back of a template, editing colours, fonts and images, and I can skip the development costs I used to have to bill my clients. That means I get to keep the design fees, and it’s cheaper for my clients. Even with existing sites and templates it still does make a huge difference if you employ the help of a designer like me.
Design Your Own App
Creating a mobile app platform can bring a whole new dimension to the customer’s shopping experience. It can offer customers a new way to access and view products, offer them further information, allow them to shop easily and on the go and you could even utilise augmented reality to offer consumers a way to see how your products would fit into their lives. Apps are innovative, fun and can really enhance the user experience of your store. But even some of the larger high street stores have yet to fully embrace them. Having a unique, high-quality app could be what sets your ecommerce store apart and keeps your customers coming back time and time again.
Keep your website simple
It’s also important to keep things simple with your website. A cluttered storefront that confuses users and overwhelms their senses can be very off-putting. Instead, keep your site simple and clutter free. Use plenty of white space to give the products all of the attention they deserve and be straightforward with both your images and words. The most successful sites I have built are the simple ones.
Utilise Social Media and Social Influencers
I cannot stress this point enough for a modern business. Social media however is not a fix-all to replace traditional sales people. You still need to get in front of people, face to face. The main problem with online shopping is that the expereinces can be impersonal. It’s difficult to build up relationships with your customers when you are both sat on the end of computers and have no face to face contact. Social media gives you the chance to both get to know your customers and offer them another opportunity to see and learn more about your products and services. You can now even sell directly from social media platforms.
Running your own e-commerce store can be exciting, challenging and a wonderful chance to create a business from the start. Remember though, the hard work isn’t over once you launch, it’s all about growing your business after. The website is just the beginning of the fun.