7 Tips to Build a Successful eCommerce Store

Many recent college graduates go on to work for famous “kick-starters” like Rocket Internet.

They are flexible and excellent places for learning.

However, one interesting trend is that many fresh and recent college graduates are now increasingly breaking away from the race of excelling in their respective organizations and instead focusing on starting their own online ventures.
7 Tips to Build a Successful eCommerce Store
This new trend has seen many eCommerce stores pop up.

Setting up an e-commerce store is not that challenging, but setting up an eCommerce store that is geared for success now that is a true challenge.
Let us see what can one do to start a successful eCommerce store.

1. Start working on an SEO strategy from Day 1

Looking at a successful eCommerce website, you cannot even begin to grasp the amount of work it took to ensure that you land on their page.

Everything has to be well thought out, from the domain name to the text in product descriptions and blog articles; all this to ensure that traffic lands on their website.

A good looking eCommerce website is useless if people are not coming to it. So start working on SEO strategy from day 1.

This is not something you defer to after the website is up and working. It is actually better you do it before your website is up because then you will have a lot more things on your plate to deal with.

2. Get your paperwork in order

Setting up an eCommerce business is now about setting up a website and its related operations.

Just like a traditional business, you will have to get a vendor’s license and deal with all the relevant legal requirements of your home country. If you are not aware of all the requirements, the best advice would better - get assistance from a local attorney, especially to understand all tax-related implications.

 While this does add on an upfront cost, it will save you a significant headache in the future.

This is especially important if you are based in a country like the USA. Laws relating to taxes and legal incorporation differ state from state. Not complying with these strict laws and regulations can lead to a closure of your business once the authorities find out, and this usually happens in the middle of operations.

The ensuing negative goodwill is very hard to counter especially for a new start-up.

3. Research Payment Gateways

Credit cards are not accepted by default on an eCommerce website.

You have to get a payment gateway and also a credit card processor. By payment gateway, we mean services like PayPal. There are quite a few good options other than PayPal.

Getting approved for a payment gateway and credit card processor is usually not easy, especially if this your first venture. So do your research before applying. Also before applying you will need to ensure that your website has a safe checkout process, a Privacy Policy, a Return policy along with a working customer service phone number and email address.

Also, this whole process will lead to your credit history being pulled up. So before starting this process get a copy of your credit report and ensure that no adverse item that does not belong there is showing up. Mistakes do tend to happen, leading to an unnecessary dampening of your credit score.

4. Take your website live asap

Many people think that they should wait before they have successfully listed a plethora of products on their website before they go live. That is not a wise route to take.

Go live as soon as you can. All you need is a homepage, an About Us page, and a contact page. Does not have to be beautiful, but should work perfectly. Why is this so important?

Well, a live website gives you a level of legitimacy when dealing with vendors. You can show them that your idea is a lot more than an idea.

5. Find a theme that matches your vision

When choosing a layout, do not get ultra-creative in the start and start re-designing the wheel.  Building a website from scratch is expensive and will cost you a lot of time. To save time and cost download a ThemeForest or anywhere else you feel comfortable with.
  • There are a huge number of choices out there, with ThemeForest alone having 28,000 website themes and templates.
The customization process besides being expensive is very cumbersome and is only worth it once you are solid footing.

6. Personalized outreach

Personalized relations are very important and this really comes into play when implementing the SEO strategy.

When you are about to talk to reporters and editors make sure that you do research on them. This will help you make your pitch more relevant to them and make it interesting for them to read thus avoiding it treated as unwanted spam.

For example, if your e-commerce store sells a delicious pasta sauce and you are contacting the editor of a foodie website. send the editor a sample if your pasta sauce or talk about your expertise of pasta sauce and how you can educate cooking aficionados to cook a truly out of this world sauce. This is sure to get you through that door.

7. Figure out shipping, storage, and packaging

These are the big 3 and they need to be figured out all at once for they are interlinked.

Are you going to do this all on your own we outsource it?

If you have deep pockets then you have the option of doing it all organically, however, outsourcing all of this to a drop shipping company will prove to be much more cost-effective and reliable in the short-term.

Learn from them and then you can go out on your own in the long-term if you wish to.
Guest contribution by: Rachael Everly lets connect Twitter