This could be the year you finally build your eCommerce company.
The global market for eCommerce is astronomical, valued at around $9.09 trillion in 2019 and currently growing at a rate of 14.7%. Since the pandemic of 2020, the demand for ecommerce has risen even higher, driven by the need for safer, more socially distanced transactions.
Now could be the perfect time for anyone with an interest in online sales to start building their own eCommerce brand. There are even plenty of website building solutions to get you started – many with their own free tiers.
But before you jump into launching your business, you’ll need to take a few practical steps.
Decide on Your Type of Business
There are many different kinds of eCommerce business, and they all have their pros and cons. You might decide to build your business around selling customized clothing or build an ecommerce company that’s all about virtual downloads.
With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so let’s start with the basics. Products ecommerce companies can sell include:
- Physical goods
- Digital goods
- Courses or subscriptions
You can even sell multiple types of products at the same time. A company might sell marketing services and also offer courses and webinars for people who want to learn about marketing.
Depending on the type of business you choose, you may have additional decisions to make.
For instance, if you’re selling physical products, are you going to hold your own inventory or work with a dropshipper?Are you making your items or buying them from a supplier?
Make sure you understand the nuances of your chosen eCommerce business model beforeyou begin building your website.
Choose Your Niche and Audience
Trying to sell products that appeal to everyone usually means you end up reaching no one. There are very few companies with the capacity to become the next Amazon. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a niche.
To find your niche, think about the kind of products or services you’re most interested in. If you love dogs, you could start a store selling dog accessories and food. If you’re an expert in all things social media, you could create a social media consulting business.
Once you know your niche, you can decide what kind of customer you want to appeal to.
For instance, if you’re going the “pet accessories” route, you’ll need to ask yourself what kind of person you want to reach. Are you looking for people in search of luxury, high-quality accessories for their purebred dogs? Are you planning on offering a subscription service full of affordable treats for people who want to spoil their dogs?
Do your research to make sure that the niche you choose has value and isn’t too over-saturated. If there are already a ton of competitors in your space, you’ll struggle to stand out.
Find Your USP
Finally, you need to decide what’s going to make you special. No matter how careful you were in choosing a niche and a specific audience, you’re unlikely to be the only person in your space. There are going to be other companies selling similar products and solutions.
So, why should your customers choose your brand?
Your understanding of your niche and your audience should help you choose a unique service proposition (USP).
For instance, if you’re selling dog toys to people who care about the environment, your USP could be your commitment to using fully sustainable ingredients for all of your products, along with an eco-friendly shipping strategy.
Your USP is the initial thing that’s going to set you apart from all the other companies that offer similar services and solutions.
Pro tip: It’s never a good ideato choose low price as the thing that differentiates you. It’s too easy for other people who have been in the market longer to drop their prices and take away your competitive advantage.
Get Ready to Launch
Once you’ve taken these three steps, you can begin searching for the products you’re going to sell and start building your website. Remember, don’t just build a store, develop a brand your customer can remember.
Take your USP, your knowledge of your audience, and your understanding of your market, and build an identity your clients won’t forget. This brand will include everything from a memorable logo to a unique customer service strategy.