With the incredible growth of the internet and social media, everyone can take advantage of the wonderful chance to run a business worldwide with only a computer and internet connection. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a lot of startup capital. Moreover, you can run plenty of internet businesses with no money at all.
If you are proficient in foreign languages, you can give lessons via Skype as an Italian teacher. You can start making money with a blog on WordPress or start online drop shipping business on eBay or Amazon. Starting a successful online business can start at taking advantage of your skills.
There is a variety of eCommerce startup solutions and they can be very profitable with low overhead expenses and staff requirements. Here are simple steps you should follow to achieve success when you are starting a small business online.
Know your market
You should start with a market to boost your success. Do a research to find a profitable niche market. Research keywords related to your niche and check your potential competitors to get a better idea what they do to fill the demand. Visit their websites and analyze what products they offer. Use what you have learned to develop a marketing strategy to reach your target market with the right message and offer them the right products and services and do it better than your competitors.
Find the right supplier(s)
Wondering how you can find the best manufacturer or supplier for your product idea? You need to know all of the obvious things like what product you’re looking for, what materials you require. But, there’s more. You need to look at domestic vs overseas suppliers; do you want to focus on quality or cost? There should be a balance.
Once you have a list of the manufacturers or suppliers you would consider ordering from, request a quote, and try to speak with someone over the phone. You need to test out the customer service as well as the product quality before you start selling products in mass quantity. In addition, you’ll need to know how to negotiate things like cost for bulk orders and MOQ (especially important for a drop shipping business).
Design and build your website
Write a sales copy for your product and focus on what problem your product actually solves and how unique it is. Emphasize how your product makes the lives of people better.
Make your website customer-friendly. Keep the design of your website simple but make it attractive to grab the visitors’ attention. Choose plain fonts and make the navigation simple and the same on all pages. Consider the option to collect email addresses.
Drive targeted traffic to your site
PPC advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to your site. You can’t afford to wait for organic traffic for a long time. PPC will appear on search pages immediately and you will be able to test different keywords to discover which of them convert better. You will be able to use these keywords on your site to improve your rankings in the organic search results. PPC ads can also help you test your prices and selling approaches.
Build an audience
Build your presence on social media to generate interest in your products and services. Develop effective social media marketing strategy to find new prospects, increase engagement, and boost traffic to your e-commerce website. Start following people, respond to comments.
Establish yourself as an expert by providing information for free to other sites. Create expert content that is useful for people and gives them the information they are looking for (articles, how-to guides, videos). Become active on social media networks where your target audience is present.
You will reach your readers and get backlinks from relevant sites that can improve your search engine rankings.
Use email marketing to boost sales
Your email list is one of the most valuable assets of your e-commerce business. You can reach your customers and subscribers and develop long-term relationships with them. Email marketing is highly targeted and very effective tool for increasing sales. It allows you to develop a lifetime value for your customers.
About 36% of your customers will purchase from you again if you send them follow up emails. You should use upselling and back-end selling to make them buy again. You can offer your buyers related product on the “Thank You” page or products that complement their purchases. You can also send them coupons they can use during their next purchase. You can develop loyalty and referral programs and offer your customers different discounts.
You should constantly monitor how your online business is doing – analyze your traffic, identify the best-selling products, determine the social network that gives you the most referrals, find out what posts were the most popular and how you can create more similar posts etc. The key to success is to focus on growing and work hard to develop effective marketing and sales strategies.
Creating a successful online business is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and perseverance and the right amount of luck. You can stick to this sequence of steps because you can never go wrong with the basics.