Starting your own business is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the internet creating more opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs than ever before.

eCommerce storeToday, starting your own online business has never been easier, and the best part is that you don’t even need that much money to make a head start with a growing brand. Starting an online business requires a website, social media profiles, a solid product or service idea, and plenty of determination on your part. In fact, many of the world’s favourite online brands started as small business ideas in somebody’s bedroom. But, with more and more entrepreneurs starting eCommerce businesses, being competitive is not as easy as it once was. We’ve put together some top tips to help you put together a successful eCommerce store.

#1. Choosing the right platform

When it comes to starting an eCommerce brand, one of the first decisions that you will need to make is which platform you are going to use. There are various eCommerce platforms available with a wide range of options to choose from, whether you’re looking to build your own website from scratch, buy or use a pre-made template, or use an online store builder. You should also carefully consider the range of features that the platform offers, such as SSL certification, whether or not the sites can be responsive, and how the site will be hosted. For beginners, opting for a platform with as many of these features as possible will help you get a better edge over your competition from the start. Consider an eCommerce platform that has the ability to help your business expand and grow.

#2. Branding

Today, there are literally thousands of eCommerce websites popping up every month. So, it’s never been more important to make sure that yours is standing out from the crowd. When it comes to branding, it’s important to understand that this goes much further than simply choosing a logo and brand colours for your business. Think about the brand voice that you will be using to communicate with your customers. To do this effectively, it’s important to fully understand your market. Who are they? What do they like? What will they be buying? This will help you better determine which kind of voice to use, for example, formal or casual.

#3. Deciding on a product

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a great product idea in mind that you’re sure will be popular with your intended market. However, if you’re like many budding eCommerce store owners, you may not be sure when it comes to what you are going to sell, and how you are going to obtain the stock. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to make this an easier decision.

First of all, think about the things that you already enjoy and are passionate about. Selling products that directly relate to your hobbies and interests will make the whole experience more enjoyable for you. It may also be worth interviewing the public or conducting surveys to help you get a better idea of the demand for certain product ideas. Dropshipping suppliers are a great solution for getting products to your customers without the need to buy and hold stock.

#4. Marketing your brand

The next step is getting the word out about your brand and getting it in front of your chosen market audience. Don’t restrict yourself to only advertising online; some of the biggest online brands still utilise the power of offline marketing in their product marketing strategy such as business cards, flyers, posters and banners to maximise brand reach. Social media is also one of the biggest and best tools in your box and can be used to quickly promote and encourage word of mouth marketing. Ensure that you have well-managed, active social profiles for your brand across all networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat, depending on the type of market you are advertising to.

#5. Customer service

Once you’ve decided on a brand and have your website hosted on a reputable eCommerce platform, it’s time to think about building a customer base and retaining the customers that you gain. Marketing your eCommerce platform is easier than ever thanks to social media and other effective methods of online advertisements, but customer service is the strategy that’s going to ensure that your shoppers return for more. However, today’s online shoppers want much more than a simple ‘thank you, come again’. You will need to focus on providing the ultimate customer experience from the moment that they land on your site. Discover DHL offers 10 ways to make customers trust your brand, which is essential if you want your store to be a success. This ranges from ensuring a fast page loading time to providing personalised product recommendations, a secure payment gateway with a range of payment options to choose from, and a selection of logistics solutions for delivery.

Did you find these tips helpful? We’d love to get your feedback in the comments.