Four Tips For Launching an Online Store That Can Scale
By Veselina Dzhingarova // November 28, 2018
Starting an online store can be one of the most exciting ventures into entrepreneurship, but also one that requires quite a bit to scale. As we often see stores launch and fall by the wayside, it’s easy to give up on the online business in saying “I’ll never compete with REI, Best Buy, or PetsMart.”
However, with the right approach on thinking about your business to scale, you not only could see more success but follow through with it long-term as well. Here’s how:
Study Up On The Winners
If your eCommerce store is going to be successful, then one of the first steps you need to take is studying up on who the winners are and why they’ve been sustainable in their endeavors. As noted by Entrepreneur, 42 percent of businesses fail due to no market need, which can be a tough factor for those involved in luxury goods such as fashion or cosmetics.
However, even despite the limitations for certain fields, there are still numerous success stories from grassroots efforts, which the experts have studied and explained in a way that can help you design out your business model to be ahead.
To begin, take a look at some of your favorite eCommerce stores and see if there are any specific case studies on their efforts, especially in looking at how they scaled their growth. With eCommerce, the biggest factors that you should pay close attention to should be how they marketed themselves (customer referrals or discounts codes), what their user experience was like (both on desktop and mobile), and what their infrastructure was like.
Read some ebook textbooks focusing on these areas, highlighting the sections that are most relevant to your industry. The goal here is to learn what others have done right that can be applied to your business while studying up what people have done wrong to avoid their shortcomings, giving yourself a sense of confidence going into what you should be doing from day one.
Compile A Brand Others Will Follow
A significant factor of being an eCommerce store that’ll grow is having something that people will not only want to follow but share as well. After all, a big part of your role is to be a curator for others, which is a widely agreed upon expectation; according to LucidPress, 48 percent of consumers expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services.
And while no one is anticipating you to be a mind reader, they are reliant upon your taste and expertise for being an expert, which all starts with your brand.
Your brand is going to be the cornerstone of your image, giving those who come across it on social, in public, or even just by organic search a sense of what you sell without ever having to visit your page. This should be something that’s driven by your core buying philosophy, including the slight impact you want to make upon the world with your inventory.
As high-minded as that sounds, a brand has to resonate with your consumer as an image they’ll not only want to be a part of but share with their friends as well. Give yourself some time to hammer down on this (or even bring on an expert) as branding is a must-have for any successful eCommerce store.
Know Your Inventory Before Launch
As important as branding is for people to know your inventory, it’s also key that you have curated and refined this down to only the premiere items. All too often eCommerce shops take on too much, leaving their audience overwhelmed with the selection and eventually leaving the store.
Believe it or not, there isn’t as much of a “strength in numbers” approach here, as aiming to become the next Amazon isn’t in the cards for most businesses. Instead, your focus with inventory should be on search, especially in the type of lifestyle you’re aiming to convey.
According to Disruptive Advertising, 74 percent of shoppers say that product selection is their most important factor during the online search process; or in other words, curation is vital for search. Make a list of your inventory, including asking yourself how this all fits into different categories; for example, if I’m a nature store, ask yourself what will you need if you were to go hiking, camping, or swimming.
Furthermore, it’s wise to conduct some A/B testing and ask your peers what they think of your store, as well as any items they’d suggest you have. While inventory can be improved as time goes on, the most important thing is that people have a clear composite view of what you sell from day one.
Get Social With It
Finally, whenever you’re ready to launch, introducing yourself to the world via social media will be crucial. As noted by Bigcommerce, online stores with a social presence have 32 percent more sales than those that don’t, which is significant for a few reasons.
First, brands that have a social presence are able to sell directly via those platforms, securing a direct line from product consideration to their shopping basket. Second, social can help be a medium for acquiring feedback from your base, giving you a better chance of improving inventory. And lastly, as one of the most effective mediums for marketing, it can help increase your audience.
In looking at your social accounts, start planning out what your campaigning will be, including for different subsets of inventory at a time; for example, you might be campaigning “Fall Looks” for 1-2 months, highlighting men and women’s clothes.
Furthermore, it’s also important to be mindful of mediums when planning, including what executions will be necessary for your Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram posts, or even Instagram stories.
While getting into paid advertising can be a great move as well, first get down your routine with your current social accounts, refining what strategies you’ll use in the future. Overall, as social is something that’ll be a continuous art form, constantly work to improve your following from one day to the next.
What are some strategies you’re excited to implement for your online store? Comment with your insights below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veselina Dzhingarova, the co-founder of www.esbo.ltd, currently works as a branding and marketing consultant, bringing together the knowledge and intuition that she has developed over many years spent working in relevant fields. Veselina is a regular contributor at many online publishers. She is the co-founder of Dzhingarov, BlogForWeb, H
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS