With online sales increasing year after year, it’s the best time to launch your own online shopping website. It seems hard to create an online shopping website, but it’s not, all credits to the technology. Today you can successfully launch an online shopping website within minutes and you need not to be a technology geek.
Technology has made it easier than ever before and e-commerce store can be an excellent business to get into, however, your success depends on how well you strategies your launch. Your online shopping website can bring you all the charm, if you do it right way & take time to learn how to do it properly.
With the easily available Technology, anyone can throw an e-commerce site, but the fact is many Online Shopping Websites are shutting down day by day because they lacked in planning & hurried in taking their websites live.
I have seen many young entrepreneurs fascinated about setting up their online shopping store, but literally, have no idea from where to start. It’s the hardest part of setting an online shopping website.
I have an interesting story to share about a guy I meet on Quora. He was young and about to finish his college. He was passionate about Body Building and use to buy Protein Powders and other Health & Fitness products from retailers. The major challenge he faced was an availability of quality product & pricing. As he has good physic, lot more people come to him to take his recommendation about health supplements. He was quick enough to seize the opportunity. He already had a network of retailers from where he can source Quality products and audience to whom he can sell it. Within a span, he was ready to take his Health and Supplement website online. But shit happened, he was totally unaware of the legal perspective of selling Health and Wellness Products online. His launch plane crashed miserably. He was lucky enough to survive and all credits to his go-getter attitude, he has fixed the issues and all set to launch again.
It’s not a story limited to my Quora friend, it’s the most common story of a start-up world. Due to a lot of commitments or due to lack of information we miss out crucial things willing preparing our launch pad.
Here I am putting down a roadmap to take your shopping website online, it will help you plan your key actionable, identify interrelated tasks & help you set your commitments for the launch.
Pick your Product: Selling online is simple, but what you will sell & to whom you will sell, is a million dollar question. You need to understand your Industry & Product before you get into this exciting Industry.
You need to ask below questions to yourself before you decide on Product & Industry:
The industry you want to target.
Products you wish to sell.
How profitable the Industry or Product is.
What about the margins & operating cost.
What about the availability & shipping of products.
Other Challenges involved.
If still confused, you need to research your interests first, if you are passionate about Industry and product, it will help you develop a bonding with industry and product. Most of the time Entrepreneurs ignore this and pick Industry or Product on the basis of profitability. Profitability is a significant indicator to consider while planning an industry or a product, but what if it won’t attract you?
In tough time your passion for Industry and product can only keep you driving. Think seriously about this before getting into E-commerce.
Setting up Legal right: Legal is the most crucial aspect of any business. It’s really hard for a layman to understand the technicalities involved in setting up the legal process of your business. As a Startup, it’s advisable to hire an expert Legal Advisory service to set your legal things in place. Starting from identifying the legal aspect of your business, what kind of Firm you need to register, setting Policies for your Online Shopping Website, drafting an MOU, calming Trademark Certificate and lot more things related to the industry. Setting up all the legal documents in place is time-consuming, it’s good to start as early as possible.
Get your identity: Once you settled with the Industry and product and streamlined legal requirements, the next most important thing you need to do is picking up a domain name. To set up a strong Brand Identity your Domain Name need to be really unique and relevant to products you sell. Before buying a domain do have a check for the availability of the Social Pages with the same name. Most of the time, entrepreneurs set their social identity after buying a domain name and then they realize that Social Page Name is already claimed by some other businesses.
Once you are done with buying Domain name & setting up your Social Media pages you need a Logo to represent your services.
Finalizing a Domain & Logo can be a time taking action, you will get enough time, till to brainstorm on those if you start early and finish them before the launch of your online store.
Set your Playground: With all the above things in place, you are all set to go online. As you understand your product, you need to pick an online platform which suits your budget as well as provides all the features you want to have in your online shopping site.
There are many ready to use platforms available if your products are simple and are limited in numbers, it advisable to go with readymade platforms as it saves time as well as cost effective. They provide the required tech support to cut down your operation cost furthermore.
If you want to have a full control of your store & customize it with the features you wish to offer to your users you have options like Magento, PrestaShop etc.
Best way to research a suitable Technology Platform is to research your competition.
It will help you with the insights on functionality & limitations. Prepare a list of features which you wish to offer on your online shopping website and follow up with the service providers. It will be beneficial for you to set your requirements & expectations.
Make a Voice: Once your Online Shopping Website is live, all you need is Sales. Set your Marketing budget upfront & strategy in place. There are many ways to drive traffic to your website all you need to identify the channels your audience hang around. As you will be more occupied with the Operational tasks & if you are not a marketing guy, don’t try your hands in marketing initiatives. I personally recommend hiring a Marketing Agency, who understand your needs and want. Initially its crucial to build a Brand and develop a user base, it will definitely result in sales if your voice reaches to your audience in the right tone.
If you are confident you can manage marketing on your own, let me tell you, it’s the most interesting thing an Entrepreneur should do. Instead of trying hard stick to basics to reach out your audience regularly. We innovative & creative while planning your marketing campaigns, have a touch of personalization and surprise in your campaigns to overwhelm your audience.
Still lot more people prefer searching for products on Google and undoubtedly SEO is the most effective tool to promote your Online Shopping Website, followed by Emails & Social Media campaigns.
Summing up, creating an easy-to-use online shopping website is not an easy task. However, there is no secret to build a successful Online Shopping website, most of the Entrepreneurs end up with a mess as they don’t plan their things well. Either they are not aware of the facts or they have totally ignored basics while developing a business.
If you follow the basics steps mentioned above it will help you lot in minimizing timelines and cost.
Do leave your feedback and suggestions if I have missed out any important point which needs to be considered while preparing your launching pad.