Must-Do Things before Launching an E-Commerce Business
Having an e-commerce business is becoming a popular choice among small business owners. An online store can give entrepreneurs access to a global market where there are no opening and closing hours and relatively minimal operational costs.
Launching an e-commerce store has become a lot easier these days with e-commerce platforms. However, there are still many things to consider and to prepare prior to starting the business. Entrepreneurs need a step-by-step guide on how to launch their business wisely.
In order to help you do that, here are 5 must-do things before launching an e-commerce business:
- Analyze the market opportunity.
The most fundamental thing to do for entrepreneurs is to conduct market research. Analyzing the market includes identifying the niche and products that are in good demand and will continue to be in demand in the long term. During the planning stage to identify high-potential products,entrepreneurs can use various tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, Facebook ads manager, and industry reports. It’s also essential to check out the competition, to understand how saturated the potential niche is, and how many businesses and brands promote the same kind of products that you’d like to sell.
- Properly position the brand.
In order to make your products and services stand out from the crowd, your e-commerce business should be positioned in a niche that is not too crowded or in a new niche category (with too low demand) altogether. To properly position your business or brand, first identify which part of the customers’ needs is extremely valuable and important to them.
- Choose the best e-commerce platform.
An e-commerce platform is one of the most economical and most practical ways to launch an online marketplace. There are many e-commerce platforms out there, and it is just a matter of choosing which one will serve your online store the best. The most suitable platform for a certain brand will depend on its products and target customers. Many entrepreneurs usually check online demos of various e-commerce platforms before choosing the ideal one for them. They typically look at the dashboard, merchant view, front end, admin, shopping cart options, etc.
- Set up dedicated customer service.
The online store may have the best products in a given niche, but if the customer service is not a top priority, then the store will probably still get negative feedback. Most online shoppers look for immediate answers to their queries, so a live chat feature will provide customers the satisfying human interaction that they are looking for. The data collected from live chats with customers can also give insights on customers’ purchase decisions and shopping behavior.
- Ensure that you have a dependable shipping and fulfillment solution.
Shipping and fulfillment solutions can make or break an e-commerce business. It is essential to have a dependable shipping carrier and a seamless fulfillment solution, because it is the point where the customer is anticipating to experience the product finally, and late delivery is not an option the customer can take lightly. It is important to map out a shipping and fulfillment strategy starting with determining shipping rates and methods, measuring and updating the weight of each product, and choosing the preferred packaging. There are also other things to consider, such as insurance and tracking, labeling, and international shipping requirements.
The ultimate goal of building and launching an e-commerce business is to make it profitable. Following these things will set you off to a great start and with a lot of hard work and dedication, will ultimately propel your business to success.
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