How to Start an E-Commerce for Small Business (2020)
Many Businesses have temporarily closed down their stores or may never open again because of the crisis that we are facing today. These businesses can either start again from scratch or innovate their business by turning into digital.
Online Shopping has become normal for the everyday life of everyone because of the convenience and experience that it brings to the customer’s journey
That is why Ecommerce businesses are growing rapidly for years especially this 2020 in order to adapt with the situation. A lot of people and business owners want to start their own ecommerce business or website to sell their products or services, but they don't know what are the steps and processes to start an ecommerce business.
So in this article I’ll be explaining an in depth guide about ecommerce. (Step by Step)
How to Start a Small Business E-commerce
Research about your business model.
B2C or B2B Ecommerce Business
Create a Plan on your target industry or niche.
Study your Product and your Target Market personas.
Set up Your Business
Create a Brand Name
Create a Logo
Creating a Website
Advertise your business
Research About Your Business Model
The first step when creating an ecommerce business or any business is to research first on what type of business you are trying to build. There are two major types of business in the ecommerce industry, these are the “Business to Consumer”(B2C) type of business and the “Business to Business” (B2B) type of business model.
Identifying your business model is very important for your ecommerce business journey especially on your marketing goals.
Other Ecommerce Business Models that are emerging in the industry as of now are the following and their examples:
C2B - Consumer to Business (Upwork)
C2C - Consumer to Consumer (Ebay)
D2C- Direct to Consumer (Nescafe Online Store)
Subscription Service (SaaS platforms)
Whether you choose one business model or mix two or three models, the most important aspect is to keep them in line with your marketing strategy and business goals.
Create a Plan on Your Target Industry
When starting an ecommerce business, It’s better to focus first on a small category of products or services unless you have billions of dollars on your budget, it’s very hard to compete with the ecommerce giants like Amazon, Target, Alibaba, etc.
Having the right plan and Target Industry to focus on is one of the most important fundamentals when it comes to starting your ecommerce business. This step will identify if your ecommerce business idea will be fitted to the industry or niche that you’re planning to target.
Do not pick an overcrowded industry or niche as it may be hard for an ecommerce business start up to keep up with the top ranking business. But at the same time, make sure to pick a competitive industry because it shows that a lot of people are in that market.
(Take note to also analyze and do your research on your competitors)
Study your Product and your Target Market personas.
After creating your business plan and Identifying your target industry to focus on, the next step is to study your product and your target market personas. In order to succeed in your e-commerce business and its competitive market, you need to know all the details of the product or service that you’re selling.
What you need to do is identify and list down all the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service. What makes it excel among others, what is the image of your product or service, and most importantly what are your target customers personality.
On the strengths of your product or services, you need to identify the features that make it excel among others, what makes it unique, what do you offer that others don’t have, how can it give satisfaction and solution to your customers.
For the weakness, you also need to know the features of your products or services that needs improvement, how well is your customer service for the product or service that you’re selling (this is an important role for the customers’ journey for your business).
Once you’ve identified the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service, you also need to identify who your customers are and what they are thinking (think like a customer that's looking for a product or service that you're offering). You can Identify your Target customers by knowing their age, gender, occupation, buying power, location, goals, and frustration. You can use a tool like UxPressia to map out your customers' buyer persona and user journey.
Setting up your Business
When all of your Ecommerce pre-launching research and planning has been done, the next step is setting up your E commerce Business. By naming your business, creating your logo, and creating a website.
Naming Your Business
One of the basic concepts of creating a name for a business is to make it easy for the people to remember it (From the advertising perspective), but creating a business name is a much deeper meaning than that. It must be inspirational, unique, and it must tell a story in order to create a meaningful story for your business.
You can also do a mix up of your name and add a location or symbols, the important thing is you must keep it short, meaningful and in tact with your business. You can use an online tool like Namelix to create your business name.
Creating A Logo
A logo is the image that represents your ecommerce business and your brand identity that you want the people to perceive, so it must be meaningful and creative at the same time. When creating your ecommerce business logo It must be professionally made and must be easily remembered by the people, you must also take a look at the colours or texts that you will use for your business logo, because colours can create a meaning to the peoples perception. An example of this is colour blue, it represents the sky, trust and loyalty, but it also represents the corporate world.
Creating a Website
Website creation is one of the main objectives of starting an ecommerce business. When creating your own ecommerce website, you must have a well designed and responsive website because it will drive more traffic or customers to your store. Make sure that you leave your customers and website visitors a great User Experience (UX).
Add your products to the website, make sure to have a neat and high quality image of the products or service on your website to grab the attention of your customers. You also need to take note of the payment methods on your ecommerce website. This can be through credit cards, pick up, or delivery.
Advertise Your Business
Marketing and Advertising is essential to your Ecommerce Business as it can boost your sales and growth of your business. There are a lot of ways to advertise your business online. This can be through social media, SEO, or sponsored contents like Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
Advertising your ecommerce business through social media needs a concrete and well-planned strategy on the contents if you want to boost the brand awareness of your business. This can be User Generated Contents (UGC), Competition, or influencer reach out. To boost your organic advertisement on social media pages you must focus on the KPI’s (Key Metrics Indicators) of your social media like the engagement rate and the reach rate on each of your contents. You also need to balance the contents on engaging contents and product or services contents to keep your audience and customers engaged. Here are great “social media tools” that can help you advertise your business to social media especially for small businesses. However, managing Social Media and its tools like the “Facebook Business Manager” can be hard to overcome the learning curve especially for starters, that is why it’s best to ask for professional help from experts that offer their social media services.
To keep on generating organic traffic to your website, you must do SEO on your website, this can be done by doing keyword research that is popular on search terms and search intents of your target market and add it to your website. You also need to optimize your website speed and its contents to maximize the user experience of your customers and website visitors, this can be done by minimizing the image sizes of your website product or services images. Another important thing is to do copywriting for the descriptions on your website because it can attract customers.
You can also do sponsored ads on your target product or services from your ecommerce website, take note to maximize your target market based on your buyer persona. However, you should also be wary of the budget that you will allocate on your sponsored ads.
Whatever platform you choose to advertise your ecommerce business, you must always think of your customers' problems and how you can be a solution provider. One of the best strategies for your ecommerce business is to create a great experience for them and to make use of the omnichannel approach.
Ready to create your ecommerce business?
Starting an Ecommerce business is very fulfilling especially if it’s your first time to have and manage a business. It will take time and hardships to achieve success in your ecommerce business, but the success awaits you once you’ve taken the steps and processes.