The Dos and Don’ts of Starting Your Own E-Commerce Business

You’ve got massive e-commerce dreams, but do your business methods have the potential to live up to your aspirations? Although starting a business can be as simple as signing some paperwork or building a website, sustaining a profitable enterprise is far harder.

Running a company is especially difficult in the digital world. Fortunately, these vital e-commerce tips can help you navigate the tricky path to perfect product pricing, eye-opening outreach and everything else you need to succeed.

Never Dive in Without a Realistic Business Plan

You’ve come up with what you believe is a killer concept. How are you going to actually make that idea profitable? What will you do when people inevitably don’t share your enthusiasm? Instead of simply hoping for the best, base your business strategy on concrete answers.

What Makes a Good Strategy?

Ambition is commendable, but becoming the owner of a lucrative business requires actionable planning. True, you’ll have to overcome most challenges as you encounter them. Nonetheless, you should seriously consider the major milestones you want to reach along the way.

In addition to thinking months ahead and identifying the benchmarks that you should strive for, define standards that keep you honest. Will you track your progress based on weekly profits? Can you associate dollar values and targets with social media engagement statistics and page visits? Solving these problems helps you determine how you’ll operate.

No matter how you quantify your ongoing performance, you need to do so in a numerical fashion that makes sense for your big-picture objectives. Laying the groundwork for results-based accounting early on also makes it easier to tweak product pricing and marketing expenditures efficiently.

Establish a Reputable Digital Foothold

Your great business idea won’t go anywhere without a home. Countless great products and services have been doomed to invisibility because nobody knew about them, and you can’t make ripples without a place to cast your stone from.


The Value of Digital Autonomy

Building a professional website should be one of the first steps you take in creating your e-commerce business. Even if you sell via eBay, Alibaba or Amazon, you may benefit from establishing an independent corporate site.

Although marketing via platforms like social media and business directories is important, having your own site sends a strong message to consumers that you’re worthy of their faith. In a world of barely reputable online enterprises and outright scams, it definitely pays to differentiate yourself.

Having your own website also makes it easier to engage in memorable outreach. For instance, if your firm’s sole point of contact is a Facebook page, then Facebook’s theme is going to outshine your own company’s aesthetic and brand. Creating a place of your own puts your identity at the forefront.

Master Product Pricing

Product pricing is more complicated than most people expect, but the secret lies in leaving your options open. Although you obviously want to price your goods competitively, you need to maintain some markup to cover the costs of acquiring stock, storage, shipping and marketing. You may also lack the time to perform extensive market research to see what your rivals are doing.


Product Pricing Tips

Effective product pricing leaves you with room for flexibility instead of binding you to a specific percentage or dollar amount. For instance, you may find that certain products demand higher markups to compensate for their return rates. Others will sell so well that you can make up for the discounts you offer through sheer volume. Implement a versatile product pricing strategy that reflects your evolving needs.

By not chaining yourself to predefined hard figures, you can adapt to availability fluctuations and new supplier relationships. In addition, you gain the ability to promote via sales and special offerings. Some successful entrepreneurs even suggest gathering pre-sales opinions to find out whether people want to buy your products at all. Pre-sales research may also make it easier to choose product pricing that actually seems reasonable to consumers.

Marketing Is a Must

Finally, remember that people need to know about you if you want to succeed. Building an e-commerce empire is about spreading awareness of your brand so that it reaches wider audiences. Although word of mouth is essential, you must ensure that the message has somewhere to travel.

Marketing is also important because it helps you drive traffic to your site. Even if this doesn’t result in immediate transactions, it establishes your brand more firmly in the consciousnesses of potential consumers. The more outreach you perform, the easier it will be to get others on board with your grandiose ambitions.

Trevor is an entrepreneur and a content writer for business-wise sites: MAP policy monitoring, web services, legal, and finance. When he is not writing, Trevor enjoys golfing, cheering on the Steelers, and spending time with his two dogs. 

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