CommPRO Editorial Staff
For any budding entrepreneur or hardened businessperson (or, of course, anyone in between) a keen interest in building an eCommerce brand needs no justification. We are, by now, all incredibly aware of the near-endless scope an online store offers for development and return on investment. The internet has taken on an even greater significance over the course of the past 12 months and, both as consumers and businesspeople, we are all more aware than ever before of the value it holds for our lives.
It is, of course, only natural that those of us with a keen eye for business opportunities are interested in making our mark on this platform sooner rather than later. Already, countless businesses have carved out their own corners of the web and have, with plenty of time, dedication and market research on their side, found great success.
That’s certainly not to say that ‘all the best spots are taken’, or anything to that effect. New businesses make their debut on the web every month, and many of them continue to prove themselves incredibly valuable and worthwhile opportunities in only a relatively brief span of time.
So, if you’re considering building an eCommerce brand, read about our five crucial steps below.
Get Your Head Around the Fundamentals First
If you have only ever experienced the world of eCommerce as a customer, then, without proper preparation and due diligence, you are at risk for quite the culture shock when you first begin to sell online.
From compiling together that initial product range and navigating the at-times complex waters of drop shipping to actually building your online store and, of course, dealing with that first run of orders, learning how to sell online is something for which none of us come naturally prepared. We need to ensure a strong foundation of expertly curated resources and tools in order to ensure that we are undertaking a marathon, rather than a sprint.
Do Your Market Research
Market research has, under various guises, represented the backbone of trade and eCommerce since well before our time. Understanding how to conduct market research is, without a shadow of a doubt, integral to the success of any business – whether it exists only as an abstract concept, in a series of mind maps and name suggestions on a whiteboard, or, of course, whether it has existed for many years as a successful brand already.
This is something any businessperson knows deep down – but which is all too easily overlooked in the rush to start turning a profit.
Know What Makes Your Brand Different
Similarly, the only way to feel confident that your site will thrive beyond that initial wave of interest is to set yourself apart from others who are, ultimately, working toward a shared (or, at least, parallel) goal.
As entrepreneurs, our ideas stem from our ability to recognize small (though potentially lucrative) gaps in modern life – areas that, once filled, will be sure to revolutionize the ways in which we approach a particular task or way of life. As the pressures of actually building and maintaining a brand begin to pile up on us, however, it is all too easy to lose sight of that fundamental reason being your brand’s existence and, instead, to simply ‘do what the others are doing.’
Preserving this unique quality is an art. Whether you are trying to make it big in the realm of luxury hair care or as a tech start-up, then you need to ask yourself what can, and will, entice prospective customers away from your more experienced rivals – something that will highlight areas in which other brands fall short.
This is how you surpass the competition, rather than merely catching up and running alongside them indefinitely.
Find Your Voice on Social Media
Pinning down your digital marketing approaches for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and, if your team is up to the task, TikTok and YouTube will, inevitably, be a case of experimentation, trial and error – at least in the very early stages. That process of elimination and practice is, however, fundamental to your future as a brand with a unique voice and userbase.
In essence, setting yourself apart from the rest of them is not something that can be done by any external circumstances or entities. It will, however, prove invaluable to your brand going forward.
Be Patient, But Also Proactive
Success will not fall into anyone’s lap. By entering into the arena of eCommerce, any new business is automatically pitting themselves against a number of indomitable online giants – and that is, without a doubt, an incredibly daunting prospect.
Success can, and does, come to those who understand how to strike a healthy balance between patient and pre-emptive –effectively wielding their ability to take initiative and to never stagnate, but also to realize that each step in the process requires due care and attention, and plenty of forbearance.