If you, as a consumer, find a hole in the market for some niche that you know will be successful, there should be nothing stopping you from starting your own e-commerce store. This niche is your gateway to success, and when done online it can be a part-time commitment until you have proof of concept and feel comfortable enough to take its management on full-time. Follow this guide to help you get from concept to product:
What Products or Services Are You Going to Sell?
The first step to starting any store is to have a clear idea of what you are going to sell and how you can market this to a demographic. If you are an artisan and want to sell your own products, for example, your online store and marketing strategies will be very different than if you were to partner with other businesses to sell to a niche market. For example, you could connect with international producers who create vegan bath supplies. You will partner with them, work out a deal for bulk orders, and then sell your stock to your community. This is how small businesses can expand their reach globally, and how you can make a profit. The more defined your niche, the easier it will be to sell your products.
Create Product Photography and Descriptions
Regardless of whether you sell your own hand-made items, or are selling product you have sourced from elsewhere, it is often ideal for you to create your own product photography. This is less for your online store and more for marketing purposes on social media and your blog. Today social media requires you to post frequently to keep your engagement up, so don’t let your content grow stale by having a variety of product photos to choose from.
Choose the Right Price Point
Finally, you will need to choose your prices. When you sell other business’ products, it’s generally much easier to choose a percentage on top of what it cost you to acquire and ship. Pricing your own items, however, can be a challenge. You will want to account for the cost of materials and production as well as mark it up so that you can make a profit that will help you grow your store. Similarly, you don’t want to mark it up too high or else risk no one buying it.
Create Your Online Store
Once you have the bare bones of your store ready to go, it is time to create the website itself. Though you can technically use free tools, these tools will be severely limiting both in terms of design and ability. That is why when your goal with a website is to sell a product, you should always hire a professional web developer that specializes in e-commerce websites, like Blackbelt Commerce does. This way you can ensure that not only is it easy to upload and edit your products from behind the scenes, it is also easy to filter your products, select products, and check out for your users. The better the design, the more sales you will make.
All that is left once your store is up and running is to start marketing! Social media marketing and content marketing will provide you with the best long-term benefits while paid advertising can help you get your feet off the ground. Be wise with your efforts and use what works for you.