Online sales have fundamentally changed commerce and pushed its growth into a new direction. The armies of talented and inventive people make giant leaps forward every single day in order to make the selling process better / faster / more comfortable for all the online buyers.
In our turn, we, as buyers, like to shop quickly and as easily as possible. Most of us prefer to order the things we want from a phone in our hand. It's difficult to find a person these days, who doesn't make use of the benefits of online shopping. It saves time, effort, and provides many additional opportunities. For example, to receive quick online advice from a friend or a consultant about choosing the right product; or to observe several online stores at a time, etc.
Of course, we know a lot about online shopping from the side of a buyer. And, of course, we all have different experiences of interacting with online stores.
But, if, as a customer, you:
- often analyze the work of a store “from the inside”;
- have thoughts like “here I would have done in another way/better”;
- interested in something else besides the product you need;
Then you have just the perfect mindset for starting working on your online store. So here’s the small steps to begin with:
Step #1 Decide what product you’ll specialize in
You should start by defining the market niche. The success of the whole idea depends on many factors, but the high-powered is on what you trade.
Perhaps you already have an idea and just were waiting for the perfect time. Then feel free to move to the Step # 2. But if you have no particular thoughts and have a desire to find it, it's worth paying attention to this unobvious thing.
People usually expect something more than the fact of purchase when they are shopping. For example, they want to get in a good mood, clean the house, fit their figure, to bring joy to their children, or feel comfort, safety, etc. Your task is to choose which of the buyers' demands you want to satisfy and meet their expectations.
At the stage of choosing a direction, you should take into account the nuances of sales in different niches and evaluate which will be most comfortable for you to coexist and deal with. For example, with regards to seasonal products, keep in mind that the number of requests may drop off from time to time. Or if the products can have categories or sizes, you should take care of the availability of choice for the buyer.
Also, don't go too far with the uniqueness of the proposal. Yes, you can win the competition of attracting the buyer's attention by the unusual product. But also, keep in mind the instability of the fresh-started online business and prepare a competence strategy for entering the market, a strategy of promoting, advertising and a budget for the first 6 or 12 months. The best decision is to consult with professionals, from accountant to SMM specialist and PR managers. E-commerce welcomes new ideas and bold solutions that can take off on a peak of sales and popularity!
When choosing a market niche, pay attention to the updated interests of buyers, but beware of products that are too flick in popularity. When the peak of interest will pass, hardly anyone will be interested in an outdated hype, even with a great discount.
If you are choosing a market niche of the products that have already existed on the market and you strive to take your place among the competitors - BRAVO! In this case, you have to develop gradually, be competitive, and follow the general laws “from small to large”. In gradual development, there are fewer risks and you'll grow along with your business, exploring new ways of promoting, selling and expanding your store with goods or convenient solutions for users.
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
- goods for kids;
- auto parts;
- household products;
- sports goods;
- cosmetics and parfums;
- office supplies;
- building materials;
- underwear clothes;
- medical supplies;
- intimate products;
But we want to draw your attention to the fact that any product has related products and sooner or later, it might be appealing to add them to your online store. For example, if you have chosen the sports niche, then your buyer most likely leads an active lifestyle. If he got into your online store to buy a ball, it doesn’t mean that he already has all the other necessary shells / clothes / accessories, etc. So, choosing the right ecommerce platform will save you time and effort when you'll add new products and categories into your online store.
The choice in favor of the Magento 2 platform is a rather far-sighted choice. Thanks to the numerous selection of Magento modules, you will easily assemble an online store like a child builds a pyramid. For example, for effective sale of related products, you will need to install and configure a super simple and convenient Smart Related Products extension for Magento 2 once. Absolutely all products in your store will be engaging with a potential buyer. Module automatically applies smart conditions to show only useful and relevant products.
Step #2 Target audience research
Customers are divided into types of buyers. Understanding the interests, life views, tastes of your customers makes it possible to better satisfy their demand, which leads them to your online store. Also, the ability to find and highlight various characteristics of the target audience, as well as conduct a more detailed classification, allows you to present a product or service in the most beneficial way.
How to compose a Target Audience Portrait?
The general image of the target audience should include characteristics that can tell the main preferences, interests, lifestyle, etc. of your customer. Therefore, making all sorts of decisions, from the price of a specific type of product to choosing the color of buttons on the pages of an online store should be made by taking into account the preferences of your target audience.
To compose a portrait of your ideal customer, describe it by following these points:
- Gender; age; occupatio; income level; marital status; marital status
- What does s/he do in his spare time? Which social networks uses? What forums reads?
- What tasks this person is trying to solve with the help of your product?
- Reasons to buy your product, not competitors' product.
Depending on the chosen niche of the market, you can add more specific questions of characteristics. Also it's important to determine the scale of your shopper reach as there are branches in any niche. For example, if your product is clothes, the target audience may be from a much narrow focus. These can be people who live in a specific climate, have preferences regarding the color of clothes, who may be allergic to certain types of fabric, be representatives of different structures and fashion trends with an appropriate dress code, etc.
If you decide to cover the demand of a broader target audience that might include multiple shopper portraits, keep them all in mind. Your customers will be glad to see exactly what they are interested in, in the offered related products.
Also, studying the target audience will help to better understand the goals, motives, fears of buyers. Thanks to this, you will know which path to choose for the future growth of the online store and what you need to use in advertising campaigns for each segment of buyers separately, so that they would be more interested in buying products from you.
Task #3 Finding suppliers
The choice of the right suppliers is one of the most serious decisions you need to make. Suppliers are companies and people with whom you will cooperate in the future, so this aspect should be analyzed meticulously.
At the start, it is better to find a supplier in your area in order to protect you from fraud and gain practical experience by contacting people and products offline. Also, pick the one with a more suitable assortment available for ordering, it will give you an opportunity to choose the best items to offer in your store.
Get acquainted with the reviews about the supplier, if any; evaluate the quality of the goods; discuss important conditions for you regarding the quantity of products, its payment and the process of transportation; reach an agreement of the frequency of delivery of batches.
If the supplier is a manufacturer, it's important to check the quality of the product, production deadlines and get acquainted with possible modifications of the product. It's more safe to work with 2-3 suppliers at the same time. So there is a guarantee that in case of problems with one of them, you will not be left without products.
Drop shipping is another type of purchase of goods in which the owner of an online store negotiates with a supplier or manufacturer to sell products on his behalf. In this case, the delivery of orders is handled by the supplier to you, you place the goods on your site and attract buyers.
In the next part “the title of the article. Part 2 ”we will review interesting and no less important steps to create the perfect online store for a quick, safe and successful launch.
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