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How to Start an e-Commerce Business

Is this the year that you finally take the plunge and set up your own e-Commerce business? If you have a great idea that fills a gap in the market, why not cash it on it by setting up your own online store? Starting an e-Commerce business isn’t as expensive or overwhelming as you may think. Simply follow our guide below and you will be well on your way to turning your great idea into a profitable e-Commerce business.

Conquer your fear of failing

The first step to starting your own e-Commerce business is to get over your fear of failing. Far too many people worry about the ‘what ifs,’ resulting in them failing before their idea has even had chance to flourish and succeed. Remember you haven’t got to do everything all by yourself. You may be an entrepreneur but you can always rely on our web design and content marketing experts for additional support in the areas you aren’t so confident in !

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Is there a local or global market for your product? Get on social media and find out!

Build up a customer base

Many successful e-Commerce business owners say that the key to success is to build up a customer base before you have even launched your website. Early interaction with customers is key. It will help you validate your idea, ensure there is a market for your product and identify your target audience’s most common concerns so you can address them.

One of the best ways to interact with your target audience is via social media. Set up an account for your company on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and start joining groups, participating in hash tag chats and interacting with other users. You never know, as well as confirming that there is a market for your product, you may even be able to achieve a few pre-sales, which will help to get your ecommerce business up and running.

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We can help you choose the best e-Commerce platform to meet your needs and requirements.

Choosing an e-Commerce platform

Once you have validated your product by confirming that there is a market for it, you will need to think about setting up your e-Commerce website. There are a number of different e-Commerce platforms out there to choose from, however the developers here at Online Media Direct highly recommend both Magento and Woocommerce.

Magento

Magento is the industry leading e-Commerce platform, used by businesses both big and small, all over the world. Whilst being a very user-friendly platform, it is also customisable, highly functional and has great SEO benefits. 

Here at Online Media Direct, we have a team of talented web designers and developers who specialise in building professional Magento e-Commerce websites for businesses from all industries. With their help, you can benefit from a unique and highly functional Magento website that provides your customers with an outstanding user experience.

Woocommerce

Alternatively you may want to consider going with our other recommendation, Woocommerce. This e-Commerce platform is designed for businesses with existing WordPress websites. It delivers enterprise level quality and features, making it the ideal platform for new e-Commerce businesses.

Our expert team of web designers and developers are also experienced in developing professional Woocommerce stores and would be more than happy to take on yours as their next big project !

 

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Our team of expert web designers will create a bespoke e-Commerce web design tailored to meet the needs of your customers.

Designing your e-Commerce website

When it comes to designing your e-Commerce website, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. Not only does it need to look professional, unique and aesthetically pleasing, but it also needs to offer high levels of functionality. The easier your website is to use and the quicker visitors can navigate to the information they require, the more likely they are to stick around and buy your products.

It is essential that your e-Commerce website offers an excellent user experience and that will be heavily impacted by the design. Today many people actually use their mobiles and digital tablets to shop online, so a responsive or mobile-friendly e-Commerce design is a must. Luckily for you our team of web developers are highly experienced in creating responsive e-Commerce websites.

 

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Our expert team of copywriters are here to write unique and engaging copy and content for your e-Commerce site.

Writing engaging copy

Your website would not be complete without engaging sales copy. The content you create for your website will contribute towards the positive user experience you are trying to create. When writing copy for your website, make sure it answers your customers’ questions and addresses any concerns they may have. Think about what they may be typing into search engines like Google when looking for the products you sell and write your copy in relation to that.

Of course, writing content isn’t everyone’s strong suit. This is why we have a team of expert copywriters on-hand to help you when you get a little lost for words.

Drive traffic to your site through SEO

Unfortunately when you set up your e-Commerce store, you can’t expect people to find it just like that. In order to drive traffic through to your e-commerce store, you will need to improve its search engine optimisation. The better your websites SEO is, the higher it will appear on relevant search results pages. The higher it appears, the more traffic you will receive, giving you a better chance of increasing your conversion rates.

When it comes to improving your website’s SEO, it is important to stick to using white hat techniques only. There are hundreds of SEO companies out there that will claim to get you to the number one spot on Google. Whilst we can’t promise that (no one really can), we can promise that you will achieve better rankings, thanks to our white hat SEO techniques, which include on-site SEO, guest blogging and content creation.

Establish yourself as an industry expert

Closely relating to improving your SEO is the need to establish yourself as an industry expert through content creation. The more knowledgeable you appear to be about a niche subject related to your e-Commerce business, the more likely you are to win the trust of your customers (ultimately resulting in repeat sales).

Here at Online Media Direct, we recommend that all of our clients start a blog. Blogging is a great way to ensure that high quality, unique and relevant content is regularly uploaded to your website. This will not only help you engage with your target audience, but improve your sites SEO too. Google and other search engines favour industry experts, so by sharing your expert knowledge on a particular subject, you could significantly increase your website rankings over time.

The key to writing successful blog posts that generate great results for your business is to think about what your target audience requires information on. The more informative, relevant and valuable your blog posts are to visitors, the more likely they are to share them with others via email and social media; helping your content to reach a wider audience and potentially generate sales.

Again, some people find content creation and blogging easier than others. Luckily for you we have a team of talented, innovative and experienced content creators that can assist you in producing fantastic blog posts for your e-Commerce site.

Conclusion

If you are thinking of starting an e-Commerce business, it is important to remember that you’re not going to get rich over night. Just like with a traditional brick and mortar store, your online store will require hard work, dedication and a good business plan to get it off the ground. 

We hope the pointers outlined in this article prove useful to you when starting your e-Commerce business. Like we said before, even though you are an entrepreneur, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Outsourcing web design, content creation, SEO or social media marketing is a great way to free up more time for you to spend elsewhere, whilst benefiting from the knowledge, skills and experience of our team of experts.

Image credits: lumaxart, lumaxart, lumaxart & lumaxart

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FOR FREE SUPPORT CALL 01706 594 819 or 0800 689 9968. Contact Online Media Direct today. Arrange a meeting or call to discuss your Web Design, Development, Search Marketing or Social Marketing projects further.

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