Launching an e-commerce project is a complex task regardless of its tech specs, product roadmap, and niche. This is especially true if you have no experience with a similar project in the past and don’t know what it takes to successfully run an online store. If you have a clear vision and understanding of all the pitfalls associated with this business. In this post, we will share with you all the necessary things you need to consider when launching an online shop.
Step 1. Creating a Business Plan
To assess the prospects of the online store and successfully implement them, it is important to write down all the features of the project. When creating a business plan, you will think about issues that no one has enough time to take care of. An online store business plan is needed to:
- Set realistic goals;
- Analyze the prospects of the chosen niche;
- Study the main competitors in the industry and understand what your unique selling point is;
- Determine the start-up capital and prescribe what you will spend it on;
- Describe the difficulties that may arise in the online store and ways to solve them.
Step 2. Choosing a Niche
It is important to choose the right niche for an online store. Entrepreneurs who consider this step as a secondary task are mistaken and will probably fail in their business. Several criteria will help you understand that choosing the right niche:
- It shows your enthusiasm and will help you hold on if the business is in crisis;
- The niche has prospects for expansion;
- You have analyzed the main competitors and know what your advantage is.
If you haven’t yet decided on a niche and are ready to take on one of the sales hits, you can use the statistics of specialized services or research of major players.
Step 3. Determining the Price Segment of the Product
At the beginning of running the business, it won’t be possible to cover the niche completely. Therefore, it is important to determine the segment you will work in — cheap, medium, or expensive. Different price segments influence the following:
- You target audience — keep in mind the financial potential of your “key” customers;
- Messages in advertisements — in the cheap segment, you can focus on discounts, while the “expensive” niche will make you focus on premium quality and product exclusivity;
- Purchase-making decision — cheap offers are often bought impulsively, whereas expensive products are looked/researched for a long time.
Step 4. Search for Reliable Suppliers
The correct choice of supplier directly affects:
- The quality of the goods;
- The possibility to agree on additional deliveries;
- The opportunity to get discounted prices for sales periods.
That’s why it is important to find a good partner.
Step 5. Know the Target Audience
Knowing your customer, you will be able to do more accurate targeting, write more effective messages, understand triggers to influence the client, identify the main channels for promotion.