Selling items online is taking many hardships out of the product distribution process. You no longer need a brick and mortar store to reach your clientele. You can easily go national, even international. An online store can sell digital products, in case you want to eliminate the shipping costs.
It all sounds like a dream come true but creating an ecommerce website is a bit more challenging than that. Spending enough time on thinking it through and discovering your niche will help you succeed with this online money making opportunity. A number of essential considerations have to be gone through before you get started with this project.
It’s All about the Product!
Creating an ecommerce website is the easiest part of the process. Coming up with a product that will certainly sell is much more challenging.
You have two options when it comes to selling products online – one focuses on your own development and the other involves the sale of somebody else’s product. The second option is a bit easier because you will be safe from having to go through product development. When it comes to your own product, there’s always some risk of creating something that the clientele would have no interest in. Distribution, on the other hand, will be a bit limiting if you have an idea of your own.
The range of products that you sell will either make or break your online store. Testing the idea before getting started will save you a lot of money and will increase the monetization potential of creating an ecommerce website.
Test the Niche
Once you find the niche, you will have to explore the work that the competition has done so far.
Trying to enter an excessively competitive niche, especially if you have no prior experience, is going to be an incredibly challenging task.
Do your products and services address a market need that none of the competitors manage to meet? Are you creating a new market niche? Ask yourself these questions while going through other ecommerce websites. All of the effort you put in the preliminary work will pay off. Otherwise, you risk entering a highly competitive niche that will kill your project right from the start.
If there are numerous competitors and ecommerce websites offering products similar to yours, you will probably have to focus on doing a bit of additional specialization. Have your product or range of items address a particular need. You will be reaching a smaller target audience but these people will be much more interested in making a purchase than the general crowd.
Choose the Right Ecommerce Website Development Method
Creating an ecommerce website can now go to the next stage – choosing the right development method. Several possibilities exist, each one featuring its advantages and shortcomings:
- Design templates: this is the most inexpensive possibility and you will even find some templates free of charge. The risk with these is that they could have some bugs and issues with the functionalities. A design template could also look like dozens of others, depriving your website of the opportunity to have a unique personality.
- Online ecommerce website builders: these are comprehensive services that include hosting, website development and some marketing tools. Some of the solutions could be really comprehensive and high quality but in order to get these features, you will have to pay for a more expensive plan.
- Working with a freelance developer and designer will also be a cost-efficient solution. You will simply have to do some preliminary research to make sure that these professionals are reputable and knowledgeable enough.
- Choosing a website development company and creating an ecommerce website that will be 100 percent personalized. This possibility is the most expensive one but if you are planning to turn this idea into a serious business, it will deliver the best results and the highest level of control.
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
You didn’t think that you will simply need to be involved in creating an ecommerce website and letting it run on its own after that, did you?
Marketing is crucial to being successful in every niche. Even if you have just a few competitors, you will still have to make sure that your website is easy to find and that the audience keeps coming back and purchasing your products.
Online marketing comes in many shapes and forms. Learning how to optimize your website is the first and the most important step towards being successful. What are your keywords of preference? Is your website achieving top positioning for those?
Having solid social media marketing presence is the next important step. Build your Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter profiles. Learn how these are different from each other and what types of marketing benefits can each bring.
Occasional campaigns that focus on pay per click (PPC) advertising or partnerships with quality website in your field will also come in handy. My ebook shares a lot of essential information about internet marketing and boosting the popularity of your online store.
Creating an Ecommerce Website: The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
Beginners in the niche of ecommerce store creation commit a series of crucial mistakes. Here are some of the biggest shortcomings to be aware of:
- Failing to consider all of the cost can leave you without financial resources during a crucial moment. Though creating an ecommerce website requires minimal investment, you will still need to keep a few essentials in mind. Hosting, domain names, support, transaction costs, marketing costs and your returns policy will have to be kept in mind.
- The failure to test and improve the user experience will also decrease the chance of making money through this opportunity. Internet users today want simplicity and convenience. If your online store is not functioning properly, they will look for possibilities elsewhere.
- Lacking a business plan will slow you down. What are you trying to achieve? How much money will you need on a weekly or monthly basis to break even or generate profit? What is your target audience and how can you reach new market segments? You need to have all of these questions answered before getting started.
- Poor product display features. Your product is the focus of the ecommerce development. Failing to present it in the best possible light will leave the website visitors unimpressed.
The actual process of creating an ecommerce website is simple, making sure that the idea will bring you money is going to be harder. Take your time to think everything through before getting started. Testing the product, assessing the niche and the competition will help you achieve success. The more detailed your analysis is, the higher your chances of success become.
Want to learn more about making money online through an ecommerce development? My book How to Make Money Online: The Secrets of Starting Your Own Web-Based Business will teach you the essentials. Learn more about the book and the ways to buy it here.