Have you or your friends bought anything from online stores? Do you depend on online grocery sites to get your weekly supply of food and veggies? Are you frequenting online marketplaces to get the best deals on home devices and gadgets? All of us are guilty of the above.
With online shopping spends increasing by the day and growing reach of the internet, it’s the ideal time to for you too to jump on this bandwagon. If you’re already running an existing retail store or contemplating ideas to start up, then going online is the right choice. And you’ve come to the right place to find out the best method of setting it up successfully.
We’ve drawn up a 7 point checklist to help you get started on your ecommerce business journey.
- Select a Unique Business Name
Once you’ve decided which industry you want to enter and what products you’d like to sell, the next crucial step that will remain with you throughout your business journey is the name of your brand. It doesn’t necessarily have to have to be directly related with your product or service as long as there’s a proper thought process and reasoning for the name that will help in building the brand and recall. Think of famous businesses like Google or Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook. While on the surface these names look frivolous, there’s a clear story and reasoning for the names they’ve selected.
- Set Up Your Online Presence
Once you’re sure of the name, buy the domain name and get your website live. Also make a professional business mail ID for the brand. It’s also the right time to set up your other social media profiles using this brand name. On one hand, you will get control of this name on all these platforms and secondly, you’ll be able to generate organic traffic to any of your platforms through a google search.
- Complete the Legal Formalities
It’s important to register your online business before getting into any business transactions. Having your legal documentation in place saves you from fraudsters, payment defaults and other issues that are commonly faced by any business venture. Another advice would be to register your company as an LLP or Limited Liability Partnership rather than a proprietorship to save your personal assets in case of any legal disputes. Before starting your business you should also have all the local and national permits and licenses needed to start a business. Ideally your web page should showcase all the necessary licenses and permissions that have been procured for the online business.
- Find Like-Minded Partners and Vendors
In the initial days of setting up, you will need the support of your local procurement, manufacturing and dispatch vendors. These early days are vital for the success of your online business as most of your customers will receive their purchase only if these independent teams work proactively towards delivery. So, do your research and testing much in advance to enable a smooth flow from purchase to delivery. Having authenticated vendors and partners who have good reviews from other businesses will be a major plus point.
- Set Up A Good Marketing Foundation
Many businesses make the mistake of ignoring marketing till everything else is completed. But this is the wrong move, especially for an ecommerce business. Marketing activities like SEO building and Marketing Automation are two vital components that will give your business a good head start. Setting up SEO during the design stage of your website will prove critical. These ecommerce marketing tips can further help you get sales in.
- Use Technology to Iron Out Operations
Nowadays technology can help you with almost any task. It’s become much easier to startup with these easy-to-access, free online tools to keep your business running, even without hiring employees. Simple tools like chatbots, google analytics and CRM systems are able to take care of tasks that otherwise needed at least 2-3 employees. Further with AI and machine learning being implemented, many operational tasks will further get automated.
- Test Your Processes and Tweak Results
For all the planning and preparation you’ve done, there are chances that you would’ve missed out or overlooked certain processes. Do a test run of the complete purchase process to delivery with your friends and family and get feedback from them to understand if the operations are working like you want it to. It’s always better to identify the mistakes and rectify before going to market.