All great endeavors and ventures begin as an idea in someone’s head. Building something great takes thought, vision, hard work, diligence and effort. Think you have what it takes to start an ecommerce empire? If so, be sure to build a strong foundation and do some research first.
Be the Solution: Find a Niche or Need
Before production or even outlining a business plan, step back and think of a need, a niche where you can create the solution. Even if it is something that already exists, how can you make it better? Whichever you decide, own it!
Graphic Design Matters
This is where functionality and ease of use come in to play. Having a top notch graphic design does a couple things: makes the site easy to use and visually appealing.
The visual appeal is what will draw in the customer, and the usability will keep them there. Make it an exciting experience for the user to shop on your site!
Getting Down to Business
Keep in mind, ecommerce, as with any other business— is business as usual. Just because it is online doesn’t mean it should be treated any differently than a regular business. When establishing the outline of your business, keep this checklist at the forefront of your mind:
A solid business plan– set SMART goals and a reasonable plan to achieve them.
Easy to use website– if you’re website isn’t easy to use then your customers won’t stick around on your site. Keep it simple and organized. Most people have short attention spans and patience.
Content creates opportunities– Content is king and likewise great content will bring greater visibility (as well as boost your SEO)
Understand SEO– knowledge is power, become or find an SEO expert who can set you apart from the rest in your niche. Don’t assume people will be able to find your site, no matter how beautiful and functional it may be.
Budgeting– the right marketing techniques and channels will change your world, don’t overlook them in your budget! Test out several strategies and find what works for you within your means.
Testing, Testing, 123
Test the product. Product testing is a lot like the first draft of writing, it may sound good at first, but when read aloud may not make sense. Editing will take place to make it more coherent.
Product testing is much the same. It may look great at first or seem to work but when tested, something goes wrong. Do as many tests as necessary and conduct survey’s testing samples of the product. See what works and what doesn’t in your product. This can potentially save a lot of grief down the road.
Refine and Excel
Don’t try to be or do everything at once, find the sweet spot and excel at it.
Listen to customers, often the critics are your best avenues for knowing what to improve upon.
This is a fantastic way to see what customers love and what they don’t. Armed with this new data and information, widens the gateway to refining and perfecting your products and processes.
Hang in There, Don’t Give Up!
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are 99.9% of businesses. Don’t give up too easily or quickly. Be patient, it takes most companies several years to really become a success. Long days, sleepless nights, lots of elbow grease, and hard work it’s all part of the ride!
Stephanie Gifford is a Multi-Media Specialist for Gwazoo