Do you have dreams of opening an online retail store? Do you hope to make it big and be a force to be reckoned with? Sure, it’s a lofty goal but with solid plans in place and by making the right moves and decisions, you can be well on your way to achieving your dreams. Here’s a look at some of the tips and steps you can take that will help to solidify your odds of success as an online retailer in a very competitive industry.
What Will You Sell?
Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make is determining what you’ll sell. The answer should be based on many factors including the general vision of your store, what’s hot and trending, what’s in demand, how much competition there is, your procurement chain (how you’ll get access to the product), as well as in-depth customer and market research.
What’s interesting is that you can start this process with one particular item in mind and end up somewhere entirely different after doing your research.
Your Pricing Needs to Be Competitive
Now that you’ve decided what to sell, it’s time to think about pricing. There’s no need to be the lowest priced retailer online, but you probably don’t want to break into the market with the title of the “most expensive” either. If you want to be competitive and catch the eye of potential customers, landing somewhere in the middle is usually the best plan.
What Platform Will You Use to Sell Your Products?
Part of your business plan also needs to address the platform you’ll be using to sell your products. Do you plan on building an independent e-commerce site or will you be listing your products on an already-established platform like Amazon?
Listing on Amazon as an FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) seller has become a very popular option for new online retailers. Improving a fulfilment by Amazon Business is possible thanks to the number of ways it can be used to grow your customer base. You’ll still have control over your customer data, which can be used to your advantage, it gives a competitive advantage, and you can aim to get the Best Sellers Rank which improves visibility and sales and ultimately puts you in front of a much larger audience.
How Will You Market Your Product(s)?
Just because online retail shops are popular, this doesn’t mean you’ll have guaranteed success. You still need to follow many of the traditional steps in opening a business, which includes marketing and advertising your product line. How will you get the word out? What is the best way to connect with your target market?
For many businesses, the answer is a robust digital marketing plan that takes advantage of all the top social networks. These include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Customer Service and Shipping Need to Be Prioritized
Because the goal is to create customer loyalty and encourage customers to return to your site to make more purchases, customer service and shipping need to be prioritized. This includes responding to customer queries and concerns promptly, providing a user-friendly and intuitive shopping experience, making sure the check-out experience is fast and secure, allowing for different methods of payment, and offering fast and worry-free shipping that is reasonably priced.
This may sound like a lot of items to prioritize, but the fact is that if you can’t do it, your competition can, and you’ll end up losing potential sales.
By keeping all of these tips and considerations at the top of your mind, you’ll be able to enter into your new online retail venture with a clear plan that puts you on the road to success.