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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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3 Tips for New E-Commerce Entrepreneurs


It’s no secret that e-commerce businesses are thriving in today’s world, and there are plenty of factors that contribute to their continued growth. Things like convenience and the ability to shop for products at better prices or find products not available in the local region will always give e-commerce shops an edge. These advantages are among the many reasons one may want to start their own ecommerce business, along with the ability to earn at all hours, of course. The fact that the tools to start an ecommerce business are becoming easier to work with doesn’t hurt either. All of this doesn’t mean that running a successful online business will be a walk in the park, however — far from it. There are still some crucial steps to follow to maximize your chances of success.


Product and market

Like with any business, the first thing you’ll want to do is ensure you have a good product. While it’s possible that you may be struck by a lightning bolt of genius and have a great idea on your own, it’s often best to be actively on the lookout for something you can use. If you do already have an idea, you can nurture it by considering points like what industries you and people you know are interested in. How can your idea work in that kind of environment? Also, consider challenges you and friends face with certain products on a regular basis. Can your idea do anything to solve these problems?


If you find yourself wanting to pursue ideas that you believe in, you may consider checking your local community or monitoring online product trends. There’s certainly no shame in getting inspiration from other sources, especially if you can think of a way to outdo other sellers.


Whether you’re starting a company like Premier Glow to sell party accessories or opening a business for something less material like selling knowledge, you’ll need to know your target market and how to reach them. Initially, you’ll want to envision the demographics you think your product will appeal to and tailor your launch to attract said audience. Later, however, it’s important to evaluate what groups are responding to your site after launch and expand on that information.


Be ready at launch

Speaking of your site launch, possibly the worst thing you can do is rush this step. It’s fine to go ahead and buy a domain name and get a placeholder set up, but avoid spoiling the true reveal of your site until it’s ready to go. Some initial steps you’ll want to take beyond establishing your product and target audience may include paid ads, social media campaigns, and SEO research. Your site needs to be reviewed impeccably, and you’ll want to already have a plan for expanding its future before it goes live. Failure to prepare in these areas will almost certainly lead to a rocky start, and this may be impossible to recover from.


User experience

Once your site is launched, you’ll naturally want to pay attention to any feedback you receive to help improve the experience. It’s also important to always take initiative to improve user experience whenever possible. Returning users will appreciate any improvements, and they will also increase your odds of retaining new customers. You’ll likely want two versions of your site; this means one for desktop users and one that’s optimized for mobile. It’s continuously becoming more common for customers to primarily use their mobile device, so you’ll want to do everything possible to make this a good experience. You’ll also be able to show off your business in person when attending events. Tablets and other devices will give you the ability to show your online business at trade shows, and this can be a great way to spread the word.


Finally, any standout deals you can offer customers will obviously have them coming back more often. Cheaper prices, free shipping, and an easy checkout process are all good incentives to promote repeat business.


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