Dreaming of making money by selling stuff online like Jeff Bezos? Hold your horses and read this guide first to understand how eCommerce works in 2020 and what your online business needs to be profitable.
Ecommerce is huge these days. So huge that there are expected to be over 2 billion digital shoppers worldwide in 2020 who will make purchases of a total of $4.13 trillion. What’s more, there are between 12 million and 24 million eCommerce sites in the world (and this competition is tough too). So, there’s no better time to ride the eCommerce wave than now.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us all this year, it is that sales and marketing plans need to embrace technology more than ever before. With physical stores being closed and in-person marketing events being canceled, brands had to move online if they wanted to stay in business. On the flip side, consumers have gone online to purchase essentials and other things they couldn’t get from physical stores.
The result? Ecommerce is skyrocketing right now. And, with people getting more used with ordering everything they need online, eCommerce is only set to continue to grow.
So, here’s what you need to start a profitable eCommerce business in 2020:
Find a great product to sell online
One of the biggest challenges that all aspiring entrepreneurs face at the beginning of their journey is finding a profitable product that will sell.
When aspiring to start your own business, this is also the first step you need to make: coming up with a product idea to sell in your online store.
How do you find a great product to sell online? There are various tactics to find an idea that will sell and be profitable, including:
- Think of a product that solves a customer point
- Think of a product that appeals to enthusiastic hobbyists
- Sell a product related to your passion
- Read customer reviews on existing products and improve them
- Pay attention to consumer trends
- Consider your personal experience (what product would solve your problems?)
Using these strategies, you can find a product idea that will actually sell like hotcakes.
Figure out who your target audience is
Figuring out who your target audience is means business 101. You can’t build an effective marketing and sales strategy unless you know exactly who you’ll be selling to.
Find out everything about your buyer persona, from their gender to age group, where they like to hang out online, their interests, and any other detail specific to your target audience and set them apart from other consumers. Mess up this step, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time and resources on marketing strategies that don’t convert.
Once you draft your ideal buyer persona, you can start shaping your marketing strategy, from what tactics to what channels and language to use.
For example, if your buyer persona is part of the millennial generation, the chances are that you’ll easily find them online on social media platforms and websites. You can also adapt your content to their interests and way of consuming content. For example, data shows that 60% of millennials prefer to watch a company video instead of reading a newsletter. What’s more, 80% of them think video is helpful during initial purchase research. Plus, millennials are 150% more likely than baby boomers to comparison shop using video.
So, make sure you determine who your target audience is and build your marketing and sales approaches with the data you gather in mind.
Build an excellent online store
Once you figure out what you will be selling, you’ll need a place where customers can order your product. In other words, you need an online store.
Now, this is another key step that you need to get right because it can literally be the thing that either makes your business fail or brings you a lot of profit.
When building an online store, there are a dozen things to keep in mind from user experience to responsiveness, an attractive design, usability, relevant and engaging content, and calls-to-action. Create an online store that customers will find easy to use and provides an overall excellent user experience, and your sales will be skyrocketing.
However, here’s the good news: if you don’t want to go through all this hard work to create a great online store, you can use an already well-established eCommerce platform. For example, Shopify Plus currently powers over half of million businesses from around the world, including some big names on the market such as Tesla, Nestle, and Red Bull. The thing with using an eCommerce platform instead of building your own online store eliminates the need to install software, hire an army of developers to support it, and a lot of money to run that store.
Build a strong e-commerce presence
You can have the best product on the market. Yet, if no one knows about it, you won’t be selling any piece of your product.
You know who your ideal persona is, what they like, and what marketing tactics work best to engage them. Now it’s time to craft your marketing strategy and build your eCommerce presence. Promote your store on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., run paid ad campaigns, share a lot of engaging content, and pretty much do anything you can do to tell the world about the new store on the Internet.
Invest in security
Many entrepreneurs who run businesses online underestimate the importance of cybersecurity.
Today, cybercriminals don’t only target large corporations, as you may imagine. Small online businesses are just as much at risk as big brands. In fact, the ongoing pandemic has made business boom for cyber terrorists and cyberattacks are on the rise. So, now more than ever, it’s essential to invest in online security.
First, you have a legal obligation to protect any customer information you get online when your customers purchase your products.
What’s more, if you fail to do so, the chances are that you’ll be losing most of your customers. Failing to protect your customers’ personal data will make your business face a lot of criticism. So, make sure that you also invest in security for your online store.