You have decided to set up an online store. I believe you have been thinking about it for years. And now that you see other well-known people in your sector and success stories on the web, you observe that e-commerce does not stop growing, now, and only now, do the rush come and go. Do not worry about it, you’re not the only one. You are not alone.
Just as in Spain 10 years ago everyone wanted to set up a “portal”, the last decade everyone wanted their website with flash and sound, and 2 years ago everyone wanted to be a greater community manager because this year is the year of the electronic stores that … won’t sell you anything. It seems that I am discouraging to set up a store, but nothing is further from reality.
What I want is to make it very clear that having an online business is much more than assembling a template (theme) and providing it with graphic and creative design with an aspect that reflects what you want. That is only the beginning. It’s just, the tip of the iceberg, and I think I fall short.
Setting up an electronic business is: “set up a business.” With everything you need to get where you want: budget, planning, legislation, attention, excellence, … And that is the question? Have you considered where you want to go with your eCommerce and how much budget are you going to allocate?
I will give some advice in case they are of any use, not in vain at this point we have already found everything along the way.
(1) Before launching, analyze the market. Study the potential competition, the changes that will come, the trends. And to study them, you have to use professional tools, for which you surely have to pay. Or hire someone to do it to you. Choose for example products that comply with the law of 20/80, study product and market niches. Propose a phased action plan. Be ambitious in your way of thinking, but very realistic in your start-up phases. Let yourself be advised by someone who has gone through or knows the whole process, had he already said it?
(2) Do not let yourself be advised exclusively by your web designer, or “your computer cousin.” Runaway from the pirate or the one who just did a quick course on Prestashop, WordPress, or SEO and set up your agency offering an all-in-one. He designs a business card, as the web does, all at a low cost and without an invoice. I do not say that there are no excellent freelance professionals who strictly comply with their tax obligations and live on it, but if they do, today, at the speed of change and with what it costs to stay informed and trained in this sector, it is virtually impossible that a web designer, or a “computer cousin” has the knowledge and time to carry out everything that is needed in an online business: strategy, analysis, marketing, management, technical support, programming etc.
If you think that you know any Please, look for professionals. Find a team of professionals, they can be from different companies. Different specialized profiles: CRO, SEO, Analytics, Social Media, Creativity, Inbound Marketing. Currently, the online stores we work with have several specialized people and are flat organizations where everyone has their work. And it shows the difference of working with the “computer cousin” who only sees things from a distrustful point of view and with fear of losing power and credibility, to work with professionals who are specialized and eat their lentils every day for years selling their services.
(3) Look for people who know the market. With experience. Nowadays, anyone sets up an eCommerce or a website, but it is one thing to create the online tool with which you will reach your audience and another very different to sell. Invest in the human capital of your online store. Optimize your resources but don’t skimp on benefits. If you do, then you will pay. The staff does not need to be on the payroll, that you will not be able to afford at first, but surely you can count on specialized outsourced personnel.
(4) Don’t do the project thinking about the start-up budget. If you do that you will find yourself at 6 months with a store that does not sell a damn. Or with a “churro” housed in a “low performance” system, a Prestashop without optimization or conversion-oriented, a system banned by Google, etc. You will be pissed off with yourself, with your technician (you will only have hired one and in addition, you will pay little) and what is worse, you will lose the illusion and think that you have failed or that this e-commerce does not work. And if it works, what happens is that you have to be professional. You cannot pretend to set up an online business with the store creation budget. You have to think about the most important games: visibility (positioning and social networks), advertising, creativity, communication, user support, marketing techniques (upselling, loyalty) and a set of activities in all areas that will force you The management of your store. Think that if you are going to spend 1$ on the start-up, you will have to at least 5x the budget of the first year to get to your final customer.
(5) Invest in attracting customers, but above all try to build loyalty. A satisfied customer is a goldmine. You can consider/take it as a “little/early partnership” of your business. Pamper me if you have to make a discount at a cost price in exchange that invites 10 friends to buy you, or that values you with good opinions, or that participates in the “engagement” of social networks. Don’t skimp
(6) Patience A store is very difficult for you to work in 6/12 months. Even if you sell gold at the price of silver. Every day you will need to improve. do tests. Test. Plan campaigns, offers, discounts. Install new features that favor the shopping and loyalty experience. Measure, measure, and measure. Have controlled the indicators (KPIs) of your business .. and that of your competitors.
If after reading all this you feel reflected, I will tell you that 90% of the electronic businesses that are being set up in today are like this or have been created failing in all those points. So in a couple of years, there will be a good market opportunity to occupy the egg that some will have left when closing or loosening in their efforts. Do you want real anecdotes? In another post.
Digvijay Rajdaan is Marketing Manager at Design By Lavassa and has served as the Head of Conversion Marketing at Planet Web Solution. He’s an expert in inbound marketing and lead generation.