Starting an online retail business can be both exciting and lucrative. However, there are a few best practices that you need to pay close attention to before doing so. Here are expert tips for building, growing, and scaling an online eCommerce store.
- 0.1 Building Your Online Brand
- 0.2 Choose the right platform
- 0.3 Understand your target market.
- 0.4 Create a cohesive brand to customize your online store.
- 0.5 Growing Your Online Brand
- 0.6 Generate a positive customer journey experience.
- 0.7 Drive traffic with paid marketing.
- 0.8 Grow your social media following and email marketing list.
- 1 Scaling Your Online Brand
- 2 Decide on your goals.
Building Your Online Brand
Creating an eCommerce store is a fun process, but there are key areas to establish before launch. This eCommerce checklist will move you in the right direction towards building a strong foundation for your online brand.
Choose the right platform
There are tons of options out there when it comes to picking the right eCommerce platform for your online business. Shopify is one of the most popular for startups as it is economical and user-friendly, while more prominent brands with an extensive catalog of products often prefer BigCommerce. Other options include having a custom platform made, but no matter what you decide to work with, make sure you choose one that offers everything you need for future growth.
Understand your target market.
When starting your online store, you want to make sure you’re completely comfortable understanding your target market. Grab a notebook and write up a persona of your ideal shopper, including their age, marital status, income level, likes, dislikes, and other details you can brainstorm.
Create a cohesive brand to customize your online store.
You want your website and associated graphics to look as professional as possible. If necessary, hire a graphic designer to help you get this done. Don’t forget to make sure all of your content from social posts to your eCommerce blog matches your brand’s overall tone and voice.
Growing Your Online Brand
After launch, you’ll need to start taking steps to grow your brand. Only offering a product for sale isn’t all it takes to have a thriving eCommerce business. To be successful, pay attention to these three tips.
Generate a positive customer journey experience.
The most important thing you can do as an eCommerce business is to create a positive customer experience. From the moment someone interacts with your brand until they receive their very last shipment from you, it is vital that they enjoyed the process and were impressed with their personal shopping experience. Remember, the end goal is to get them to be a repeat, loyal customer.
Drive traffic with paid marketing.
While you can wait for Google to catch up with your organic marketing, it is good to try to use a form of paid marketing. Campaigns through Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and others are great ways of driving traffic to your page and creating awareness of your retail brand. This will also be a way to check off a box on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) checklist. Increase reach and your search rankings to help your online business thrive.
It’s important to have varying ways to stay in touch with your clients consistently. Use an email service provider (ESP) like Klaviyo or Constant Contact. These platforms make it easy to keep in touch with current and future customers regularly. Also, build your following on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others that make sense for your particular niche.
Scaling Your Online Brand
After you’ve got your eCommerce store launched and running smoothly, it becomes time to start figuring out how you’ll scale your online brand. With these three tricks, you will see success in no time.
Track data to see where you can expand.
Before you view where you have room to grow your business, it is essential to track data. Every online advertising campaign and sale promotion should have information to help you visualize where you have room for growth. Pay attention to this information and make plans accordingly.
Decide on your goals.
Understanding where you ultimately want to take your eCommerce business is critical. Are you hoping to sell it to the next highest bidder one day or do you want to make a set amount annually? Decide on an end goal and map out the steps it would take to get your brand there.
Hire staff and grow your business.
Another major part of scaling your brand is deciding when you should hire staff. Eventually, it won’t be possible to handle shipping, fulfillment, marketing, and customer service by yourself. As you start to develop, have a plan on how you want to make this transition.
Bonus Tip: Work with an Experienced Partner
If there’s an area of owning an online store that you aren’t sure about, it is important to find an eCommerce agency to help you out. There’s a lot to starting your retail brand and having that extra level of experience can go a long way. It can often mean the difference between spending years achieving your goals or hitting a home run from the very beginning.