You’ve decided to start an eCommerce store, and you’re either setting it up on your own or using software like Shopify to get your online shop started quickly and easily. No matter which route you’re taking, there are a few things you need to think about before pressing that launch button. This blog will give you some great tips on ensuring your eCommerce business gets off the ground, and stays aloft, as smoothly as possible.

1) Define Your Niche

If you’re building an e-store, you need to start by defining your niche. What products do you want to sell online and what are your competitors doing? Once you know who your customers are and how they shop for your product, then it’s time to create a website that sells only those products. When thinking about creating a business site from scratch, realize that there is a learning curve but once you have these things in place, it will be easy for potential customers to find out about your new business and where they can purchase from you online.

2) Do Some Market Research

Do you already have a general idea of what niche or product you want to sell on your Shopify website? If so, you might consider doing some market research before starting your store. This can help you figure out if there is any interest in that type of product in that particular niche. For example, if you are thinking about starting a fitness store, can you find other people selling anything similar on Etsy or eBay? These sellers could be direct competition or they could share some helpful insights into where else your market might be. So try searching fitness on Etsy and see what pops up! You may even stumble upon competitors’ product listings and get some idea of pricing or production time frames.

3) Choose Your Ecommerce Platform

Which eCommerce platform should you use? There are dozens of choices, but two leading platforms are Magento and Shopify. Both have strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand them before deciding which one is right for your store. Magento gives you more control over how your online store looks and functions, while Shopify is easier to set up and offers more tools for marketing your products on social media sites. Shopify has also added more features over time; currently, its catalog management system is easier to use than that of Magento. Whichever one you choose, be sure that it comes with a responsive design template so that it will display correctly on smartphones as well as PCs.

4) Create Some Products, Like Product Mockups

All online retailers have at least one thing in common: A storefront. It could be anything from a simple Facebook business page or a full-blown Shopify website with hundreds of products, but most e-tailers will tell you that having something as simple as a one-page website is helpful in starting out. Some advice: hire a web design company if you don’t know how to design your own website. It might cost you some money upfront, but it’s worth it when someone lands on your site and immediately knows what you’re all about (and isn’t confused by dozens of pages). Plus, if people can find and buy what they need quickly, they are more likely to keep coming back.

5) Start Promoting On Social Media, Start With Instagram

One of the best ways to drive early traffic and sales is through social media. If you’re starting a new business, you should be using social media platforms to build brand awareness and engagement. What better way to do that than by promoting your products on Instagram, which has 500 million monthly active users?! But before you dive in, make sure you have a web development company that can help you create branded visuals. Include easy-to-share CTA buttons on your images (like one large Shop Now button) so shoppers can immediately take action if they like what they see.

6) Set up Google Adwords and Facebook Ads

There are so many ways to market your products online. For starters, you could set up Google Adwords and Facebook ads for your eCommerce site. Both platforms allow you to target very specific audiences who may be interested in purchasing from your Shopify website. The key is choosing specific keywords that will result in targeted searches from people genuinely looking for what you’re selling. Don’t overdo it, but don’t underestimate what a little advertising can do either! Targeted ads let potential customers see just how great your products look, instantly convince them why they need them, and link directly through social media or Google search pages straight to your website!

7) Use Pinterest To Finding Influencers

While most people think of Pinterest as a platform for pinning recipes and decorating ideas, there are many entrepreneurial uses for it. One smart way to use Pinterest is by finding influencers and engaging with them. For example, if you want a business site created or want someone to develop your website, then use a search engine like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find people who have websites for businesses in your industry. Then use those web development companies’ Pinterest pages as starting points for reaching out. Once you do connect with someone on Pinterest, be sure you also connect with them via email, follow them on Twitter and check out their Facebook page so they know they can trust you if they decide to work with you.

8) Reach Potential Customers Through Email Marketing

email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and generate revenue. That said, some businesses are wary of using email marketing because they think they can’t afford it. Yet building an email list isn’t difficult, nor is it as expensive as you might think; there are many ways you can build your list. Consider sending subscribers newsletters every two weeks that feature your latest products or promotional sales, for example. To get started, hire a web design company to help you set up a basic HTML email template (it’s easy) and collect customer contact information on your website or through a landing page (more on that later).