Make a successful start in e-commerce in just a few steps
Explore new sales channels in the field of online business
Those with much success focus their energy primarily on things that they actively can influence. The same applies to entrepreneurs as well as athletes, artists and employees. That also includes protecting oneself from negative effects resulting from factors that cannot be influenced. Raise the curtain for the year 2021.
We have all seen the effects of the Corona pandemic with our own eyes and how quickly and drastically a crisis can change everything. It is especially important for entrepreneurs to have more than one sales channel - and even more so if you have been primarily successful in stationary trade. This has made the step into e-commerce an interesting as well as a necessary option.
But how can a start in e-commerce be successful? What needs to be considered and planned and how can a business expansion be implemented? To help you get started, we have summarised the most important steps for a start in e-commerce for you.
- Preparation of Online Marketing
Not even the best offer will be found if no one knows about it. That is why it is extremely important to develop more reach and to gain the customers' attention before the launch of your own online offers. Social media is one of the best ways to achieve this. Create accounts for the name of your business as soon as possible on relevant platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
Make sure that your appearance on these platforms maintains a sense of consistency. This means that the way the target group is addressed should be just as consistent as the visual appearance. You should use the same logos on every platform and make sure that the design and photos have a pleasant, uniform design.
In addition, the organic reach that you achieve via social media and with your own landing page (more on this later), online advertising offers you the possibility of even more reach with a focused use of your budget. This is possible through sponsored postings on social media platforms aimed specifically at your target group as well as through campaigns on Google Ads, with which you can target pre-selected keywords. Since you can set your planned budget in advance for both social media and Google Ads, you also have complete control of the costs.
Search engine optimisation
To stand out on Google not only through paid advertising, a focus on search engine optimisation is key. That way you achieve a good organic reach and might be able to reduce your spending on ads since you will appear at a good position in the search results for the matching terms anyway.
Before the creation of your online offer, think about which keywords are important and relevant to your offer. It is important to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and consider which terms or phrases they would most likely search for if they were trying to find something that you offer. These pre-defined keywords are needed for carrying out the next steps.
It doesn't matter if you have customers on file or are in the process of building up clientele, the contacts you have already made need to be addressed. Email marketing has established itself as a cost-effective and practical form of doing so. There are different tools to implement this type of marketing. Please take care which email marketing tools you choose so that you can combine your existing customer data with the creation of target groups and can easily create and send newsletters.
In the Premium Partner Program from Cashback World Retail, for example, you receive the practical Newsletter Module, with which you can quickly define your target groups, easily create newsletters from various templates and send them out to your desired target groups in just a few steps. That way, you can inform your customers regularly about your offers and specials promotions, thus creating incentives to shop.
Before you start your online offer, you should create a landing page to spark interest, provide information and to potentially gain customers in advance. With this landing page you also have a set point to which you can link from your already set-up social media accounts. Share your upcoming offers and give your business an online presence. It is especially important that you give to those who are interested in the possibility to sign up for newsletters with further information and updates via email. This way you can expand your clientele and have more recipients for your email marketing when you launch your online offer.
After completing the previous preparations, it is now time to start building the online shop - the heart of it all. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which colours or what theme would be appropriate for my business?
- How should the shop be designed?
- Which photos should I use to illustrate my products?
- How should the product descriptions be presented?
- How do I make the shop accessible to customers with mobile devices?
There are a few things to consider but it doesn't have to be complicated. There are numerous providers such as Shopware, plentymarkets or Shopify who sell finished shop systems. There you are provided with professional themes and designs and you only have to decide on the right one for you. In order to also attract customers on mobile devices, you should opt for a Responsive Design, so that your store presents well on smartphones.
Another advantage of out-of-the-box shop systems is that they allow you to connect to larger marketplaces, which means that you can integrate your products with established providers. With Shopware and plentymarkets, for example, you can easily implement your offers on myWorld.com via plugin and thus list your offers across Europe on this marketplace. With the Premium Partner Program from Cashback World Retail, you also have the opportunity to connect your online shop to the Cashback World and thus reach millions of shoppers worldwide.
An efficient delivery system is essential in ensuring that your customers are satisfied with shopping from your online shop. This doesn't just concern acceptable delivery times and costs, but also appropriate packaging. That is why you should be careful of which packaging options and materials you use and choose a transportation company that will deliver your products to your customers on time and with reasonable prices. To anchor your brand firmly in the minds of your customers, you should also consider creating your own parcels and, if you would like your business to be perceived as sustainable, choose appropriate materials. Don't forget to also consider how returns will be handled when choosing your transport company.
You have successfully completed all the preparations so now it’s time to open the doors of your new online shop to the world with a big launch. Get positive attention right off the bat by offering special starter discounts or free shipping. A raffle also helps to increase interest and you can collect more customer contacts. Existing contacts should be informed about your launch via newsletter and others in your community via social media. In addition, you can inform various publications about your start and, if it is appropriate, a partnership with influencers is also something to think about.
Are you already planning your start into the world of e-commerce? By completing each point, step by step, nothing stands in your way. We wish you all the best in exploring new sales channels.