There are several reasons people opt for opening an online e-commerce store. Some do it for passion, some do it for fun. Some do it to make a bit of income on the side (they call it a side hustle) and some do it thinking or at least intending to become the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Whilst it’s obvious that not all online stores are going to become a success,in truth, most will fail miserably – that certainly shouldn’t put you off trying. Giving up on your dream or at least your project too quickly and too easily is what leads to the majority of downfalls. If you stick at it and put the time in, your efforts will undoubtedly be rewarded.
Image source Pixabay
This article isn’t going to teach you how to become an overnight success. It’s not going to make you millions and it’s not going to save yourself from the long days and weeks ahead which you’ll need to put in if you want to succeed. No, it’s not going to do any of those things but what it will do is give you a head start and perhaps give you some food for thought before you actually dive in and get things rolling.
The first thing you need to consider is what exactly you’re going to sell. What is the niche? What is the sector?
Choosing a Sector
I’d hope you already know what sector you intend to operate in if you’re researching options for how to build a store. It should be the first thing you think about. If you are undecided though and are looking for a bit of advice on how to choose a sector I’d say to simply look for two things.
Firstly, choose a sector which has an audience. This might seem obvious but lots of people think people will want to buy a certain type of product online when there is really no audience for it. Find a sector that has people searching for products within it and then go from there.
Secondly, choose a sector which will make you money. If the sector has an audience the chances are people will want to buy whatever it is you’re selling online. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to make money from it. You need to consider the margins. There is no point selling thousands of an item and making next to no profit from it once your time is taken into consideration.
There are obviously lots of off the shelf solutions to choose from when it comes to ecommerce stores. The big three as I call them are Magento, Shopify and Woocommerce. They’re all free, extremely easy to use and all come with lots of themes, modules, plugins and various other bolt ons that allow you to customise your store and make it your own.
All of these solutions have lots of users and lots of developers which means there is a wealth of knowledge on the subject available at your disposal should you get stuck during the install or want to do something a little different with your project.
Building an Audience
You may well thing this is going to be easy. It’s not. Forget building the site, compared to building an audience – that is a walk in the park. Getting people to visit your site is a real challenge. Getting them to share it so others come take a peak or even getting them to come back a second time – that is where the real work lies.
The key, I believe is in your content. Give the people something they want and somehow or someway they’ll find you. If you don’t offer something that people want then you’re not going to get people visiting your site and ultimately getting their wallets out. You could have the best looking site in the world with great prices but the audience needs to be there.
Secondly, make your visitors work for you. You need to do everything in your power to make them come back a second time and everything you can to make sure they share something, anything from your site be it an image or an article or even the site itself. If you can turn 1 unique visitor into 2 additional visitors by way of sharing your overall traffic will obviously snowball.
If you have a clear idea with regards to any of the points above then you’re well on your way. If you can handle all of the above there is no reason your store won’t be a success. There is no substitute for time and effort. In this game money cannot buy you success. If you put in the hours you’ll reap the rewards. There really is not much more to it.