How to Start a Thriving E-commerce Business

Hey guys,

Something I don’t talk a lot about on here are my two e-commerce businesses, Festival Queens & now, my luxury scarf company Amouri.

Starting up an online business couldn’t be easier in this day and age with the technology we have available, which is why such a large number of people are choosing to launch e-commerce stores.

They’re an amazing way to turn your business idea into a reality but at the same time, not as simple as you would think to set up a shop or decide on a business type, neither is making sure it’s successful.

It seems that every time I log onto Facebook or go onto Instagram I see some free training for an online e-commerce guru claiming to be able to make £100k in Shopify sales by selling rubbish.

And though I don’t doubt there are lots of people out there with the skills to do that, there are lots of things you need to manage, consider and keep on top of when starting and running your e-commerce store – it’s a far more complex process than you might realise. However, if you get it right, you could be setting yourself up for life.

So bearing that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you manage your e-commerce startup and ensure that it is a success.

1. Be selective about your business name

When you decide to start up your business you need to decide on a name for it. It sounds easier than it is as there’s a lot that you need to consider, such as that the name is not registered to any other companies. This stops any legal issues with the other business, but also if you match your name with another business and that has been around longer and is more built up, they are more likely to come up in an online search for the business name, so you will potentially drive business to a competitor. Instead, try to think of something unique – something that describes your business, is SEO friendly, and is easy to remember. Once you have decided on your business name you need to make sure you register it so it cannot be taken by anyone else.

2. Decide what you will offer

What you are going to sell on your site is very important, if you pick something that is oversold and is seen everywhere, then you are unlikely to see much traffic on your new site.

The key to success here is ensuring that you are offering something unique – something that has a USP and because of that has a high chance of success.

You need to make sure you find some sort of niche, or that you are creating the products yourself with your own branding. This will help to ensure that your business and brand stands out for all of the right reasons.

For instance, ASOS and Boohoo took fashion online, to compete businesses had to be creative, such as creating niche online brands like SimplyBe.

3. Secure your domain and create your website

Once you have decided on the name of your business, securing your domain is crucial. If you can’t find the domain for your chosen business name then you will likely have to rethink the name of the business, as you need a domain name that matches that of the business. Securing your domain means you are creating and securing the website URL for your site.

When you are getting your domain, if you decide to use a website builder make sure you are actually buying and owning the domain, if your URL has Wix, Godaddy, etc in it before the .com then you do not own the domain.

Owning the domain is vital from a practical standpoint and a professional one too. If you have your website builder in the domain then it does not look good on you as a business because it looks like you have not invested into your business and the site because you have not purchased the domain.

In addition, if you want to take control of your site and build it yourself or have someone build it for you so it looks better you cannot do that if it is owned by the website builder.

4. Integrate the right software

Setting up the right software on your site can help improve the customer experience and retention of your customers.

If you don’t have any software on your site to help your customer make a purchase and it is slow and tedious to put payments through, then your customer is likely to give up or not come back after their first experience with your online store, potentially going to a competitor instead. Software that helps with payment processing for businesses, or allows customers to setup up an account, can really help with the smoothness of how your website runs.

If customers can set up an account on your site it means they can save their details for future purchases and manage their orders more easily, this makes the experience quicker and more efficient.

You can also integrate detail capturing software to your site too, this will allow your customers to opt out of newsletters/updates or sign up for them which gives you a way to be able to stay connected with your customers and update them with upcoming sales or new product releases.

5. Social media and advertising

To help build up a following for your brand and to increase your reach taking advantage of social media is a must especially for an online store.

The number one way I make any money through my online businesses is through Facebook advertising. Without it, who knows you exist? Your friends and family. Unless you have a bricks and mortar store, you have no hope. And even those needs a degree of marketing.

The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can be SO specific in who you target. It’s not the simplest thing to work out, but once you’ve cracked it you will see the results. There’s some great resources out there on the internet to help you, too.

Starting your business is an exciting time, but don’t get lost in the excitement and forget the crucial aspects of why you started that business, Making Money! If you don’t execute the right things when starting your business then you are setting yourself up to fail. You need to be patient and follow the tips above and you will be well on the way to getting your eCommerce store up and running successfully.

Let me know if you have any questions!

As always, thanks for reading.

Hannah x

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