SalesWarp Tips on How to Launch a New Ecommerce Business
SalesWarp Storefront Management System is the best way to Build, Manage and Expand your online store or business.
But before you improve and expand your business, or even manage it, you have to launch it. Here are some tips for how to successfully launch a new E-Commerce Business.
Identify Your Market
First you have to identify the market and customers your new business will target. Keep your opinions open by looking at several different markets with very different products. One method is to identify niche products that have broad appeal, but are not widely available in mass-market retailers. Find several hundred products with a common theme and purpose and tightly focus our marketing activities within a specific niche.
An example of a niche market could be golfers. Products that could be sold include golf clubs, balls, instruction videos, clothing, accessories, and much more. You can offer high-ticket, boutique items which are high quality and/or hard to find and charge a premium price.
Alternately, you may have an entirely different goal of selling commodities at the lowest price. Either way, it’s best to focus on one approach so your new customers will know what to expect from your new business. Don’t send mixed signals, you dilute your brand identity by trying to be all things to all people.
Take Over an Existing Online E-Commerce Business
You can jump-start the process by looking at E-Commerce businesses for sale. No matter what idea you come up with for a business, chances are someone thought of that idea already, so why not consider acquiring an existing store that may be small, but has a proven business model, and an established customer base, supply chain and web presence.
Visit BizBuySell.com, BuySellEbiz.com, local Craigslist.com listings, or other business listings. Even if you don’t find a business worth buying for take-over or turn-around, you can get some great ideas. It’s also a way to identify what markets are over-saturated and which types businesses seem to be for sale. If there are too many in a certain field, chances are your new business could meet the same fate, unless you have a superior store management plan.
Do Your Homework
As you identify product ideas, we research what’s currently available and look at the traffic and web presence for the stores currently selling the same products. Look for markets that have several — but not dozens — of stores which seem viable. Check out your competitor’s sites for user friendliness, depth, design, functionality, size of inventory, prices and other factors. Use Google to research the keywords which would apply to the business you plan to launch and see what companies are already in that industry and how they operate.
Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool is a good way to analyze the number of searches for the products and related topics. You need to find products for which people are actually searching so that you have a way to market through targeted pay-per-click advertising. Check out how competitive — read, expensive — the keywords are so you can assess the marketing costs.
Once you find a viable suite of products, look more closely at ad spending and organic traffic to those sites using tools like SpyFu.com, a competitive analysis tool. This provides a more detailed view of what you might be up against if you decide to open a new store in that marketplace.
In choosing a market, you should evaluate the supply chain. Businesses can either purchase and manage inventory, or you can use drop shippers. In our case, we are considering both options — researching traditional wholesalers, manufacturers, and drop shippers in our potential target markets.
Another important factor is the number of different products you carry, and how big your inventory will be (meaning, how much investment is necessary to build your inventory). If you are selling something like sporting goods, you’ll want to have several distinctive price points and several brands available at each price point. 3 to 5 products in a particular segment seems to be a common practice. This provides choices to consumers, but not so many that they have to think too hard.
It’s fairly straightforward to build an ecommerce store for several hundred products. It’s much more complex to design efficient online, front-end navigation for several thousand. That’s not to mention the process and cost involved.
In a market where everyone offers free shipping, or if you will compete with or sell on Amazon.com, you may have to offer free shipping. Consider whether you can make enough revenue to cover both your cost of goods sold and the shipping costs.
As you view competitive sites, try to sort by “best seller” if they offer that as an option. Also ask potential suppliers to provide “best seller lists” so you know what products are actually selling. I am frequently amazed at the things that really sell as they will not necessarily match my own style and taste.