The fact you clicked on this article means you’re probably considering launching an ecommerce business; however, you might be unsure about how to get started. Well, you have come to the perfect place, because we are providing 12 steps to launching your first ecommerce store.
1.- Create a Brand Name
The brand name you choose will determine your company’s image and tone of voice. It will also allow determine whether a customer recalls or forgets your business. You must therefore choose wisely to ensure that you pick the best name for your company. Once you have thought up the perfect name, register it to form an LLC or corporation.
2.- Buy Your Domain Name
The next step should be to secure your domain name so you can launch your store. If your brand name is not available, we recommend choosing a URL that is both memorable and relates to your company. For example, if BillsBBQs.com is taken, select something a little similar, such as BBQsByBill.com.
3.- The Web Design
One of the most important elements of your ecommerce store will be the web design. Not only must it be aesthetically-pleasing, but it also must provide an exceptional user experience, such as easy navigation and a fast checkout area. However, the process can be a little daunting if you lack the technical knowledge to design and execute an attractive, functional website. We therefore recommend consulting an experienced web development company, such as coolblueweb.
4.- Apply for an Employer Identification Number
To open a business account to file business taxes, you will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). It’s similar to a social security number, as it will identify your company and supports the filing of paperwork. Regardless of whether you have employees on staff or not, you will need an EIN.
5.- Apply for a Business License and Permit
Many e-tailers are surprised to learn that they require business licenses and permits to operate an ecommerce store. We therefore advise you to identify what sales tax licenses and home businesses licenses you’ll require in your city, county, and state. It is important all licenses are approved before you start operating a business.
6.- Source the Best Vendors
The marketplace is full to the brim with competition. There are many ecommerce businesses selling products online, so you must sell products that will clearly separate your brand from its rivals. The best way to do so is by finding the best quality products at the most affordable prices – even if you create your own products. Don’t settle for the first vendors you find. Browse the market to discover a vendor you’ll happily use for your business supplies.
7.- Start Marketing
You don’t have to wait for the launch of your website to start marketing your brand online. Create social media profiles and publish blog posts to establish your voice, promote your brand and reach a new audience. Add a “coming soon” design onto your homepage, and encourage people to sign-up to your email newsletter, too. So, while you’re waiting for the web design to be complete, start engaging with your target audience, provide helpful content, and run teaser campaigns and sneak peaks to build interest in your business.
8.- Find the Best Software
Streamline your operations by finding the best software for your ecommerce business. For example, you can make your working life much easier with the right accounting tools, project management systems, and email marketing software. The tools will allow you to organize your finances, take control of tasks, and automate repetitive processes, so you can quickly tick each box off your checklist and move onto the next task.
9.- Review Your Inventory
Before you officially launch an ecommerce store online, you must ensure you have enough stock to cater to demand. Whether the inventory is stored in a warehouse or your garage, it is important to review your product levels to ensure you have enough products to sell to customers. While it can be difficult to know how much stock you’ll need when starting out, it is often better to have too much than too little. Also, monitor your sales to ensure you do not run out of inventory, and make another order to a supplier before the stock runs low.
10.- Optimize Your Website
SEO optimization will determine your ranking in the search engine result pages. If you want to appear at the top of Google for your products and services, you must optimize your website by integrating the right keywords into your content. However, don’t stuff your web copy with keywords to boost your appearance in the SERPs. Instead, aim to incorporate your chosen keyword into a landing page 2-3 times per 500 words. You should also publish well-written, insightful content that will keep your website fresh, while driving a considerable amount of traffic to your ecommerce store.
11.- Multiple Payment Methods
Customers like options once they reach the checkout area. While some people might be happy to submit their credit card details, others who are unfamiliar with your brand might be less than trusting, so may prefer to pay through a third-party payment provider, such as PayPal. It might be a wise move to incorporate multiple payment methods into the payment area, which will reduce cart rate abandonment and increase your conversion rate.
12.- Remain Compliant
Once you have launched your ecommerce store, the fun can really begin. You will undoubtedly spend most of your time connecting with your customers, creating innovative marketing campaigns, and improving your product range. Yet, it’s important to not lose sight of your company’s legal responsibilities. This means ensuring you leave enough time in your schedule to file your business’s annual report for an LLC. We recommend putting important deadlines into your business calendar to ensure you remain compliant each year.
Have you launched a successful ecommerce store? Please share your informative tips by posting a comment below.