An eCommerce store is a fantastic online business to start because it requires very little initial investment, and the upsides are sky-high. If you have the right skills in place, a range of popular products, and sufficient patience as you gradually garner a customer base, there is no reason why you can’t make your eCommerce store a huge success.
There are several challenges you will face along the way – each with the potential to trip you up if you’re not ready for them.
For instance, trying to build a customer base online is not the work of a moment and can be disheartening if you don’t have a clear plan in place. This is why a solid understanding of digital marketing techniques and skills like copywriting is so useful.
What’s more, you will need to find the right niche for your eCommerce store. Trying to compete in too broad an industry can sink your business – because there will be a huge number of competitors, all vying for the same few customers. Keeping your market concentrated is the only way you are going to stand out.
You will also need to start actively building an audience – whether on social media or a website blog – and then set up an effective sales funnel to channel them toward the checkout page.
This is how to start an eCommerce store in 2022:
Work with marketing specialists who know your industry
One of the most challenging aspects of starting an eCommerce store is knowing how to market it. Unless you have previous experience in digital marketing, you may struggle to know where to begin.
In truth, you should forget about specific techniques at first and instead draw up a detailed plan. In this plan, you should set out specific targets you want to reach and the timescales in which they should be achieved.
An example of this would be to scale to $100,000 in revenue within two years or to sell a certain number of products. By doing this, you can start to work out how you are going to hit the target rather than aim at some vague success further along the line.
To help set you on the right path with digital marketing, it may be worth teaming up with a specialist eCommerce digital marketing agency like NuancedMedia.com. They can build a plan unique to your requirements and help advise you on the best path forward.
Find a niche that is underpopulated
A common mistake eCommerce store owners make is to launch into overpopulated markets. This is understandable because logic says that the more available customers there are, the higher the chance you have of attracting them.
However, it doesn’t work like this. The more sprawling the market, the more competitors you will have to go up against, and the harder it will be to stand out above the noise.
Instead, it would help if you aimed to find a niche that is smaller and has fewer competitors. This will give you the room to grow faster and work less hard to develop your reputation.
Of course, there is a middle ground here.
You shouldn’t niche down so much that customer demand is limited and you struggle to attract a consistent flow of sales. Your niche should be popular enough to have a large customer base but not so large that there are countless competitors to worry about.
Build a strong brand identity
One of the most underrated qualities that many successful online businesses have is a strong brand identity.
Personality has always been at the forefront of marketing, but in the internet age, this has been exaggerated. Your customers want to buy from someone they know, understand, and even like rather than a faceless store to which they have no emotional attachment to.
This is particularly vital in the eCommerce world, where many people hastily create stores, but fail to inject them with any uniqueness or personality. As a result, customers are subjected to an endless sea of bland digital shopfronts.
As a result, it is relatively simple to stand out by having a strong brand image.
You can develop a brand identity by posting on social media – both as a store owner and as the ‘brand’ itself, creating content that resonates with your audience and shows a human side to your business.
Develop an audience
Following on from the previous tip, it is vital that you actively cultivate an audience. This might sound obvious, but few online businesses actually put a strategy in place to nurture and grow their followings, instead leaving it to chance.
The best way to grow a community is through social media. Start on one platform and gradually build a responsive following who gain value from your content. You can then guide them towards an email list, which will advertise products to them every week.
When you create a customer base by putting your personality first – then directing them through an effective sales funnel – you are far more likely to create brand advocates who buy from you again and again.