So, you’ve got questions about starting your own ecommerce site, eh? Of course you do! There’s a lot to know, a lot to learn, and a lot of curveballs in the world of online retail. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, so let’s examine four questions about starting your own ecommerce site you were too afraid to ask.
#1 One of the biggest concerns in any business is dealing with customers. This includes retaining loyal consumers and fielding questions from unhappy shoppers. What if a customer is being difficult? What can be done? Well, the fact of the matter is you’re going to deal with a few challenging people. There’s really no way around it. If you are someone who has trouble handling such a situation, it might be in your best interest to hire a customer service team. If you think you’ll be fine dealing with issues on your own, go ahead. But remember to always be professional. The customer may not always be right, but if you blow your top or insult someone, you risk losing more than just that one customer.
#2 What about the quality of the goods you’re selling? Does it matter if it’s high quality or not? You’re free to sell low quality goods if that’s your prerogative. It’s your business and you can do whatever you want with it. But think about some brands you know that are associated with being low quality and some that are associated with being high quality. What’s your opinion of the low-quality brands? Probably something you might turn to if you were in a pinch or had no other options; while you may feel some loyalty to the high-quality ecommerce brands and want to return to them. Decide which of those attitudes you want employ towards your ecommerce brand.
#3 Now let’s talk turkey: how much is it going to cost to get started? While starting an online business is cheaper than a brick-and-mortar one, there are still quite a few costs to consider. There are the basics like buying a domain name (around $100 for a year) and a business email (about $60) not to mention that you may need help designing your site or advertising. A conservative estimate is a budget of $1000 for the first year with some costs recurring monthly. Of course, your choice of a cloud ecommerce platform can help you cover these requirements at a fraction of the cost (not factoring in products, storage, hiring, etc.).
#4 What about marketing? How do you get your brand or product in front of people? There are a variety of methods. The first and easiest option is social media. You can also contact businesses that go hand in hand with yours and see if they’d be willing to do promotions with you. If you’re selling baking supplies, find a bakery and organize a giveaway or sponsorship.
Multichannel selling is another way to widen your audience. Sell your products on any platform you can, in addition to your own site. Create a newsletter and offer specials or discounts through it. You can also hire a PR person if you’ve got some money for advertising, as they’ll have connections and a network you may not have yet.
Now that you have answers to these 4 questions about starting your own ecommerce site you were too afraid to ask, you’re better positioned to create your own success story. Just be sure your product is high quality, your customer service is on point, and your marketing is plugging away.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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