The ecommerce industry is booming right now and it will not stop no time soon.
It is a pretty smart move to start now since it does not require too much money to get started.
Dropshipping is a method of ecommerce that is really easy to manage
And there is a huge opportunity. In years shopping online turned from luxury to necessity.
Building a dropshipping business takes a lot more from setting up a website and choosing products.
You need to have understanding of digital marketing to certain degree depending on who will be doing the marketing.
1.Choose a niche
It is no secret that you need to target a specific niche to start a successful ecommerce business.
Yes it would be cool to be the next amazon by selling evrything but
While choosing a niche you should keep your interests in mind
For example :
If you have always had been fan of biking it is a good idea to choose it as a niche. Founder market fit is although important aspect you should consider. The more you know about the industry and niche the better.
Although avoid to choose a broad niche. Yes it might sound like you are decreasing chances of making sales it is really the opposite. For example:
Sportswear is a broad niche but smart gym wear for men is better. But don’t go too broad so you won’t have enough customers.
Micro Niche marketing has been extremely popular. It’s all about finding the narrowest niche while still enjoying a sufficiently large audience. When you choose micro niche it makes ranking on google easter,.
Most ecommerce entrepreneurs are not specific enough that is a big reason why they fail.
And the thing is that if you start small enough you can get broader later on “if you are doing good enough”. The key is being specific enough at first.
Now it is time that reality will punch you in the face.
Your passion might fuel your business at first but tou need some data to know your productsc demand.
This is common mistake I did that caused me fail. But I dont want you to fail like me.
By performing keyword research you will know your products demand.
There are tons of free tools like ubersuggest to do the job for free. It although tells you content ideas for our website.
Learn about your competition
Here is another punch in the face.
You are probably not the only one selling these products.
So get ready for a good competition
SEMrush is a great tool to learn about your competition.
You will get tons of valuable info about your competition.
Although check out neil patel’s website to choose niche
2.Write a buyer persona
Buyer personas are essential for your success.
Without this you could be blindfolded.
There is no doubt that understanding your customer is essential piece of your ecommerce journey. The information about your customers should serve you as a foundation of oll your marketing projects.
If you think you know your customers well you might miss some critical points for your marketing strategies. To organize all the messy data you have to create a buyer persona.
Buyer persona is an imaginary avatar of your customers. Their job is to describe your custumers’s needs. Buyer personas you create will for your website content, marketing campaigns and your products.
Buyer personas aren’t based on guesswork or assumptions even gut feelings. Your data should be based on true information.
Here is essentials for your Buyer persona
- Basic information
It is helpful to think your buyer personas as a person with their own requirements and desires. To make buyer personas more human give each persona a (fake) name and a photo.
Demographics help you draw more accurate picture of your customer.For example 60 year old man in Seattle and 30 year old women in New York probably has different needs.
Don’t forget to include data points like job title, industry. Interests ,famly.
If you want to make sales, build relationships with a customer you have to know what goes on their head , how they think.
- Problems What problems/hardships does this person experience?
- Goals/desires -What goal does this person want to achieve?
- Solutions – How does this person expect their problems to be solved?
- Objections – Why wouldn’t this person accept/use/exploit a solution?
- Before and after
“People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves”
A Marketer’s job is to help customers transform from before to after stage, so you should know what those stages look like. These will help you create copy, videos. Images and old sorts of content tailored for your audience.
And you should be able to answer these questions?
- What does the customer have right now?
- How does the customer feel?
- What is the customer’s day like?
- What is the customer’s overall status?
Every customer takes a journey and if you can improve the journey higher the chance of making a sale.
- Awareness: They realize a need.
- Consideration: They consider potential solutions/products.
- Decision: The moment they decide on one product over others and make the purchase.
The journey might take a few months or happen instantly, but it still happens.
A trigger is an event that encourages customers to start shopping or take steps to the buying process.
Types of triggers-
Internal – Dreams, desires, insecurities, discomforts, fears, mistakes etc.
External – Tasks/Projects, events, other peoples feelings etc.
Seasonal triggers – Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, special events etc.
Your potential customers probably use some phrases that are unique to them.
Best place to engage with your customers is somewhere they feel safe and comfortable whre are people like them. For example best place to talk to dog owners is a dog park or networking events.
You can learn a lot more information about your customers by going to these places. And dont forget that you should be the part of the community.
3.Write an ecommerce business plan
Your ecommerce business plan is a document that changes and evolves over time with your developing business.
Here are six step formula to create ecommerce business plan.
- Problem and solution
In this part you shoud decide on which custumer proble you shoud solve and focus on.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business.
You can use SWOT Analysis to make the most of what you’ve got, to your organization’s best advantage. And you can reduce the chances of failure, by understanding what you’re lacking, and eliminating hazards that would otherwise catch you unawares.
Better still, you can start to craft a strategy that distinguishes you from your competitors, and so compete successfully in your market.
- Market research
- Business model
- Business cost vs potential revenue
- Proof of concept and beta testing
- Marketing plan
4.Choose an ecommerce platform
After all this time, finally you need to choose your platform and build the website.
Shopify is the most used platform, even today there are 500.000 shopify stores out there.
The reason is –
- Low cost to entry
- No costly development or technical problems
- A framework that is designed to help you grow
It is a good idea to choose a platform with a great community of people both running and using it.
Check out their forum, blog and take a look at their support materials.
As ecommerce technologies continue to get better every day.
And when it comes to hosting, there are 2 ways a site can be hosted: self hosted and cloud
Self hosting- They require you to choose a hosting platform, do the installation ,perform update on platform manually.
This option might be costly but it although has appealing options like-
- More control over your website
- Greater visibility ower your own data
- Better understanding of data security
If you have a more complex business idea this is a better option for you.
Cloud hosting- These are the options like shopify, Big commerce, Woo commerce, Wix and Squarespace.
These options might be less flexible, but they are a lot easier to manage and use. They offer automatic updates and upgrades for you.
5.Create social media profiles
Social media is a must for ecommerce businesses. The ability to attract potential customers and engage with them is incredibly useful.
“If your business is not on the internet, you are out of business”
It is an incredible tool to reach and expand your audience.If you want to be one step in front set up your social media even before you set up your store.
It is although important to have a strategy before you jump in.
- Create useful content
Nowadays nobody wants to be bombarded with sales pitches. Thing is that people are not looking for your products, they are looking for a solution for their problems.
That is why you should be using Inbound marketing as your primary strategy
- Stay consistent
Putting content out there in consistent basis is critical to improve customer engagement.
Consistency is key to show your audience that you’re interested in constantly sharing valuable content.
- Leverage blogging
A blog is a great way to attract people to your store. If you share valuable content that is useful to people you are increasing the chances of making a lot more sales.
One of the best ways to remedy this is to maintain an active blog with educational and inspirational content so you always have something to talk about. Besides showcasing your company’s unique perspective or expertise, a single blog post can produce dozens of social media posts that engage followers and compel them to click-through to your website.
- Maintain relationship with influencers
People who have a strong following online can give a huge boost to a brand’s reach and trust factor.
Similarly, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff has developed a social media partnership with supermodel Karlie Kloss, who recently launched her own YouTube channel. Both brands benefit from being associated with celebrities in the fashion industry.
- Leverage paid advertising
If you have the budget, take your social media marketing to the next level with Facebook ads, or Promoted Tweets that you link back to a product page for conversion. As long as they’re highly targeted, these paid options can help you dramatically boost website traffic.
7.Choose the best products
Choosing an ecommerce product is kinda like dating. You are excited the first time but later on you might decide that wasn’t a great idea.
If you choose right products from the beginning it is going to save you from a lot of frustration and time. Not to mention money!
Fortunately to find the one you don’t need to waste time and too much and effort To find the best products for your store.
Tips we are about to share with you are actionable so you can take action quickly.
This is one of the most important step because if you don’t put yourself out there nobody will know you exist.
Starting a new ecommerce business is like climbing a mountain in the dark!
To reach the top, you need solid preparation.
Chances of being successful depends on how well prepared you are and How you use tools you have.
It is although important to learn from other’s mistakes to reach your ultimate goal.