How to start your first eCommerce store

Woman cutting products

Starting an eCommerce business is a great way to reach a larger audience when selling a product or service. But it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start. Don’t worry - we’re here to help! 

Keep reading these easy steps that could help get your eCommerce off the ground: 

Step 1: Choose what to sell 

The first step is knowing what products or services you want to sell. It’s often the most challenging part of starting a new online business, so make sure you: 

  • Evaluate your idea - validate product ideas and who you’re selling to 

  • Know where and how you’re going to obtain your products 

  • Know which eCommerce platform you’re going to use 


Step 2: Research your competition 

To know what you’re up against - you’ll need to research your competition. The research will also help you to find unique ways to differentiate your business from theirs. 


Step 3: Write a business plan 

A business plan is vital for ensuring you prioritise and do everything you can to reach your potential customers. Remember to highlight your company’s mission statement so you can show investors and employees the core values of your business. 


Step 4: Choose your company name and logo 

Choose an available domain name and register it (this can be done online.) Once you’ve registered, it’s time to craft a simple logo. Many free sites allow you to create your own logo, or you can have a logo designer from a marketing company assist you. 


Step 5: Understand search engine optimisation (SEO) 

Understanding SEO will help you to market your business better. Start by ensuring you understand the basics, like properly structuring your site for Google and other search engines. 


Step 6: Choose your shipping strategy 

Even if you choose a strategy now, you can always change things as you learn more later. Here are a few key factors to consider when deciding on a shipping strategy: 

·        Shipping rates and methods: Are you going to pass the shipping cost on to your customers? Or will you offer free or flat-rate shipping and absorb some or all of the cost? How will you get orders to your local customers? 

·        Product weights: measure and update the weight of each product you sell - having this information will help you get a good sense of total shipping costs 

·        Packaging: once you’ve chosen the materials, you can add this information to your platform so you can calculate accurate shipping prices that include packaging costs 


Step 7: Launch your business 

When you’ve launched, the hard work of marketing your products will begin. Keep in mind the following tips when launching: 

·        Consider offering a discount code to entice your audience 

·        Add your store URL to your personal online profiles 

·        Don’t spam your audience with repetitive messages. Look at how you can provide value and make authentic connections with personalised emails or newsletters 

Len’s Self Storage offers Business Storage options that can help your business grow. Store all your stock to avoid it taking over your home or office, and you can get *50% off your first eight weeks of storing with us. Get a quick storage quote right here! 

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