Every major number regarding the productivity and profitability of online-based e-commerce stores is trending up. The margin isn’t small, either. Between 2019 and 2020, smaller e-commerce stores saw a 96% rise in web traffic. 50% of consumers switched between different brands to try new companies.
With these two figures, it’s clear to see that consumers are gravitating towards smaller mom-and-pop e-commerce stores. The pandemic only elevated consumer interest in these stores. The niche-specific stores give consumers a chance to shop for things they want specifically without being bombarded with everything they don’t want.
E-commerce platforms, such as https://www.top10.com/ecommerce/reviews/x-cart are able to make the experience customizable thanks to different plugins, platforms, and applications. These tailor-made niche sites are only getting stronger. We’ve got some tips to help you start your own online store.
Pick a Niche and Stick To It
When you pick your niche, it’s important that you stick to it after you’ve invested a certain amount of time and money. Changing niches is what kills a good deal of e-commerce hopefuls in the beginning. They spend a couple of months getting things prepared, invest a ton of time and money, and when the store doesn’t boom from the gate, they get discouraged and think the niche doesn’t work.
Honestly, if they had stayed the course for another month, things would have started to pick up. Just because a business is online-based and doesn’t have a physical location doesn’t make it any less relevant. It’s still not easy to start an e-commerce store.
You wouldn’t spend months opening a physical store only to shut it down and switch your product after a month of being open, would you? No, so why would you do it with an online business?
Take some time to carefully research your niche before you make a final choice. Study things like keywords and how well the niche will perform in regard to paid advertising.
If you can nail down a niche with low-competition keywords, you’re sure to be competitive on the search engines, which leads to long-term success. Some online store owners build the entire business around keywords. That’s how significant having the right keywords is for your business. You can use an effective blog to drive traffic to your store.
Honestly, the best way to conduct your research is with the keywords first. Find some low-competition, high-traffic keywords and come up with a group of potential winners. Afterward, you can research consumer interest in these niches and see which one would garner the best consumer response.
Your brand should be uniform in all categories, from your product, the look of the store, to your domain name.
Choose a domain name that properly represents your brand. It should be catchy and no longer than one or two words, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/09/23/the-best-extensions-for-a-cost-effective-domain-name/?sh=4bb182fe6253. If you can incorporate your business name and the product you sell into the domain name, even better. This will sit better with the search engine gods at Google.
Choose the Right Business Model
Are you going to do a dropshipping store or ship your own inventory? Will you have physical or digital goods? Is this a consumer brand, or is it business-related?
Your business model is the base for what your brand will look like. This is how you come up with the theme of your business initially.
Pick Your Builder/E-Commerce Platform
There are a few important questions you need to ask yourself when you choose a platform for your online business.
- Can this platform grow with my business?
- Will there be a drop in performance after my sales hit a certain point?
Because of these two important dynamics, you don’t want to choose the cheapest e-commerce platform you can find. You want to find a quality platform that has some staying power. It’s important that your small business doesn’t outlast the platform. The worst thing for an e-commerce store to do is to switch platforms.
Your platform should have a high level of security. Remember, this business is just like a physical business. You wouldn’t leave your doors unlocked at a physical location, so don’t do it online.
Find out if there’s been any recent activity like a data breach or any sort of hacking. There should also be an SSL certificate at checkout to ensure customers your site is safe and secure. Payment processing and data storage information should be clearly posted and accessible from the checkout platform of the site.
If it’s hard for customers to find and notice security features, they’re going to have reservations about buying from you.
Designing the Store
Whatever platform you decide to go with should have an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder with some eye-catching design elements. You don’t want to go over the top, but remember, even down to our store design, we want our brand to be represented.
Consider using things like testimonials or real-time counters that display each time people buy. This adds to the credibility of your store and builds rapport. Customers see these things, and it builds trust.
Regardless of the niche you’re in, the most important things to remember are a uniform brand and security. Without these two elements, you have nothing. No brand means there is nothing specific for a customer to remember the experience by, regardless of how good the product is. A lack of security will have them ditching before they even make a purchase.