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Has constantly working 9:00-5:00 sucked the happiness out of your soul? And are you looking forward to building your online business?

If you answered yes to both, then cheers because today you’ll learn the fundamentals of what you need to launch your e-commerce business.

So, if you are ready, let’s dive in.

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step

Inertia is a powerful force.

It’s the same force that stops you from getting started. So, don’t let self-doubt stop you from embarking on the road to greatness.

Most Powerful Ways to Remove Self-Doubt - CisTheta Global

Taking the first step is important

Pointer one: Directions Of Your Steps

Taking the first step is important. But it’s useless if you don’t know your direction.

So, here’s the thing. If you want to run an ecommerce store, you need to select a product you want to sell. 

And it’s not necessary to limit yourself to only one product either. You can sell multiple products.

Now, you might think at this point about how you will select your product.

Selecting your product

Basic framework for every business

Before we discuss things further, I would like to divert your attention for a moment. 

Let’s brush up on the basics of business first. 

In the real world, people have problems. 

And people buy things because it solves a problem for them. 

Your job as an entrepreneur is to devise a solution that solves that problem for people.

Sometimes, your solution can be a product, other times; it can be a service. 

Having established the simple framework on which every business operates, I’ll now tell you how to select your product. 

You can select your product in two main ways:

Option A

As I have mentioned before, people have problems, and it’s your job as an entrepreneur to solve problems. 

So, if you’re serious about wanting to sell stuff, find an area in your life that you’re troubled with. Can you come up with a product that solves that problem?

Does your solution hold the potential to help other people with their problems? 

If you answered yes to both, then congrats you have got a product for yourself. 

Option-B

The other option you might want to consider is to choose something that already works and turn it into something better. 

The beauty of choosing this option is:

You are choosing something that already works. In other words, people already buy that kind of stuff. 

Going with Option-B is an excellent choice for beginners. That’s because when you select a product that people are already buying, you know that there’s a market for the product. But here’s the catch- We are going to market our product better.

In this post on how to run an ecommerce business, we’ll primarily focus on Option-B. 

Now that you’ve chosen your product, the next step is to select your niche.

Some things you want to keep in mind when choosing a niche:

Choose a niche that you have some thorough knowledge about.

Why is this important, you ask?

Well, you’re going to write persuasive sales copy for your product, and if you don’t know your niche well, chances are your copy won’t generate the most effective results.

Now, we don’t want that happening, do we?

I will now walk you through the steps you need to take to find your ideal product.

Suppose you are an ex ice-hockey player and you know a lot about ice-hockey.

And you want to leverage on your existing knowledge on ice-hockey and start an e-commerce site which provides the best quality ice-hockey materials. 

Since we’ll be selling other people’s products, we need to conduct a quick search. 

We’re going to be visiting Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, and other ecommerce sites and figure out which particular line of ice-hockey products are performing well. 

Type in the keyword “ice-hockey” in Amazon.

You will find a list of results. 

Study the results and choose those products which have a rating of 4 stars or higher. You also want to select those products that have are properly priced. 

As you can see, I have typed in the keyword for ice hockey, and then I sorted my list based on average customer reviews. 

You can also sort your list of products based on price (low to high or high to low)

Once you’re done selecting your product, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Finding a supplier

We’re going to carry on with our ice-hockey example. 

So, on Amazon, I found this product. It’s a great buy for people who are keen on ice-hockey. Golden Sport sells this product.  

But, how do you source this product? 

No need to worry. Alibaba.com has you covered. And if you haven’t heard of Alibaba before, you should know that this site has a track record of handling well over 12 billion orders. 

So, without further ado, let’s head over to Alibaba.com.

Like before we type in the keywords, “Ice hockey”.

And from the drop-down menu, we select suppliers.

This will give us our list of suppliers. 

Here’s a screenshot of my findings. 

So, now that we have our list of suppliers, we want to ping them and ask whether they are capable of acting as our supplier. 

Good ability to negotiate will go a long way in determining what kind of deal you can make with them.

While selecting your supplier, you want to review their transaction level. Transaction levels on Alibaba are indicators of past transactions other people have made with that supplier. 

The higher the transaction level, the better suited the supplier is in handling your supplying needs.

Before reaching out to your prospective buyers, you want to be sure about kind of products you want to sell from your store. 

You may have to contact multiple suppliers to sell your products. 

While negotiating with your supplier, you should ask for at least two things. 

  1. You want to make inquiries about whether your supplier is willing to send over samples for inspection.
  2. You also want to go over the payment terms.

After you have successfully negotiated with your buyer, you have finally found a supplier, and you’re almost ready to start your ecommerce business.

How to start an ecommerce store

Now that you have selected your product, your supplier, it’s time to set up your store.

You can set up your store in two main ways. 

  1. Setup your store within Amazon
  2. Use Shopify

Let’s explore the first option first.

Amazing Amazon

Here’s what you need to do. 

Visit Amazon.com and scroll down to the bottom.

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find the option that says, “Sell on Amazon.”

Click on that hyperlink, and you will be transported to the page where you sign up.

Once you’ve set up an account and verified your account, it’s time for you to list your product. 

The following image is taken from Neil Patel’s blog where he provides details on the selling process at Amazon. 

image02

   Image source: Neil Patel’s blog

Setting up your store on Shopify

Shopify has revolutionized the way we conduct business online. 

Using Shopify, you can set up your online store.

And the beautiful thing about Shopify is they have an affordable pricing structure which makes it ideal for people who are just taking their baby steps in the world of ecommerce. 

Furthermore, Shopify also allows you to avail a free 14 day sign-up which you can use to test things out.

The Third Door 

Shopify and Amazon aren’t your only option either. You can also set up your own site and using WooCommerce, you can start selling your own products.

Marketing Your Products

This is the final step that you need to take to keep the cogs of your business up and running. Marketing your product is important. 

You might have something that can solve a lot of problems for many people. But unless you market your product properly, people won’t know about your product. 

And if people don’t know about your offering, then you’re missing out on business.

You don’t want that happening, do you?

Good. So, let’s teach you about marketing.

And if people don’t know about your offering, then you’re missing out on business.

You don’t want that happening, do you?

Good. So, let’s teach you about marketing.

Since you’re offering your product online, you want to brush up on your SEO fundamentals. Neil Patel’s blog, the Moz blog, and backlinko.com are good places to brush up on your core SEO knowledge. 

You don’t want to limit the growth of your eCommerce site on the organic route alone.  

PPC adverts are a great way of boosting traffic to your site.

Getting more traffic means more sales. And more sales means more profits. 

So, understanding the nitty-gritty of paid traffic is essential. 

Targeted social media ad campaigns are a great way of directing traffic to your site. 

And don’t forget the importance of your product copy. You want to write in a way that lets the visitor know that your product is what they’re looking for.

And when I speak about using social media adverts to increase traffic, I refer to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ads. 

So, you need to brush up on your advertising strategy. 

The other factor that you cannot ignore is your product images. 

Humans are visual creatures. A beautiful product image can help you improve your conversion rates. 

macro photography of human eye

Finally, despite all your efforts, you might see that your product isn’t selling as well as you had hoped it would. And that experience can be heartbreaking. But, there’s a solution. 

When in a situation like that, use retargeting. 

Retargeting refers to offering a discount to the site visitor on your site and trying to convince the visitor to buy your product. 

And here’s the thing. Retargeting improves your chances substantially when it comes to selling products online. Make use of that.

Other strategies you want to try out include:

  1. Learn to use upsells and cross-sells to increase the revenue you generate from your ecommerce site.
  2. The other thing you want to be mindful of is your geographic audience.

You want to take note of where your customers are coming from.

Last but not least, shipping prices can act as a deterrent for buying products. In general, people will be keener on buying your products when free shipping is available.   

Conclusion

In this post, I’ve tried my best to fill you in on the details of what it takes to build your own ecommerce site. 

At first, we taught you about how you should select your product, the importance of having a niche.

Then we examined how you should source your product followed by the steps that you need to undertake to setup your store. Last but not the least, we discussed about your marketing strategy and how it can help you keep your business afloat in the long run. 

And if you have read all of this you should have a rough idea of what you need to do to get started. If your serious about setting up your business, then ecommerce sites can be a great option. Try it out.

P.S.: What are your favorite tips and tricks to build your ecommerce site? Be sure to comment down below. 

Charles

-Signing out

References:

https://www.shopify.com/blog/ecommerce-business-blueprint

https://www.fundera.com/blog/how-to-start-an-ecommerce-business

https://neilpatel.com/blog/from-start-to-profit-how-to-setup-an-ecommerce-store-and-generating-sales/

 

Charles

Author Charles

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