People can buy almost everything online these days, which bodes well for you if you’re thinking of getting into the e-commerce industry. Regardless of what you want to sell, if your offer is attractive, people are more likely to be willing to buy online.
However, launching an e-commerce website is not as easy as listing your products and waiting for customers to come, despite what you may believe from web hosting companies and their all-in-one website packages.
Before you start selling products online, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to sell and how many people are likely to buy it. You also need to know what your marketing plan should be – this article will walk you through the process.
Do you want to open an e-commerce site? Here are the five things you should do first.
Define Your Niche Market
Before you start planning your e-commerce business, you need to define the niche market in which you want to do business. What kind of products will you sell and where will you get them? You need to be very aware of how your supply chain works because you need to know your costs and whether you will be able to make a profit.
Passion for an industry can be a good reason to get into it, but being passionate about your industry won’t help you make money if you don’t have a marketable market for your product. You can get an idea of the potential market size by looking at the monthly search volume for keywords related to your industry.
Think about the keywords people might use when searching for the type of product you want to sell. Use our keyword research tool to see how many people are searching for these keywords each month. Imagine that you have already captured most of the traffic and your website has a modest conversion rate of 2-3%. How much money do you expect to make if all goes well? If the keyword you’re searching for isn’t getting enough search volume to support a healthy business, you may want to consider moving to another niche.
Research Your Competitors
If the niche you’ve chosen seems viable, the next thing you need to do is research your potential competitors. During the keyword research phase of business planning, you identified the most important keywords related to your proposed niche market. Do a Google search for these keywords and find out who is currently appearing on the first page of these searches. Do you see a wide variety of companies, or are all search terms monopolized by a few big, well-known brands? If there is a lot of healthy competition in this area, your chances of breaking a steady state and getting noticed can be very high. If the entire market space seems to be controlled by a few very powerful companies, you may find it difficult to acquire any.
Choosing Your Own Domain Name
When you sell products online, your domain name is also your business name, so it should be fine. Ideally, you want a short, memorable, and easy-to-type domain name. Before you begin, you should list as many potential domain names as possible, as many of your ideas may already be registered. Unless you’re willing to pay exorbitant prices for domains on the secondary market, you may have to settle for the third or fourth option.
If the domain name you want is available, you should be ready to register it immediately, due to common domain name conventions. If you search for a domain and don’t claim it right away, the registrar may register the domain and display ads on it or try to sell it on the secondary market.
When registering a domain, remember to register the .com and . net and org at least. You can also register at least some international version of the domain. You don’t want other people doing business in a similar field to yours.
CREATE YOUR MARKETING PLAN AND BUDGET
Before you launch your website, you need to have a clear idea of how you want to market it; your marketing plan may vary depending on the industry you want to enter. If you want to get involved in helping people discover The Vape Life, you’ll be surprised when you can’t promote your website on popular marketing platforms like Facebook and Google Ads. You will need to put an alternative marketing plan in place and you will need to develop a budget for it. In traditional industries, most advertising opportunities will be available to you.
Either way, expect to buy a lot of traffic as you work to increase your organic search engine presence. Make sure you have an adequate budget for your marketing efforts. You also need to make sure that you are still making a profit after bidding on search engine and social media rankings.
Choosing an e-commerce platform
Before starting your website, you need to decide how it will work technically. You cannot sell products online unless your website displays them and accepts payment; that’s why you need an eCommerce platform.