indicatorSales and Marketing

What you need to know about launching an e-commerce store

By ATB Financial 7 January 2021 3 min read

The online conversation about your brand will exist whether you are online or not, so it’s best to create an e-commerce website and join in on the conversation to ensure that your brand’s messaging is easily accessible.

Building an e-commerce store may seem like a farfetched idea if you haven’t done it before, but it’s simpler than you might think. We have broken down the process for you here.


How to determine who you will target and where they can find you


1. Identify your target audience 

The good news is that as the owner of an existing business, you already have a client base that you can leverage. Whether you are launching an e-commerce store to better serve your existing core consumer, or to open up your business to a new target customer, you will need to understand your audience before you can make a platform that caters to their wants and needs. 


2. Learn what the competition is doing

A key element in reaching your target audience is understanding how others are reaching them. We recommend that you use industry insights to identify your top two competitors and analyze what they are doing in the digital space to market to customers.

If you need to sharpen up on the competitive landscape with some market research, we’ve got your back with a full template for organized market research on page 24 of the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing and Scaling a Business.


3. Choose your web platform 

Your next consideration will be where or on which platform you will connect with your customers. At the most basic level, this comes down to choosing between a hosted/SaaS (software as a service) platform or a self-hosted platform. There are pros and cons to both, the most notable being:

Pros vs cons Hosted platforms Self-hosted platforms
  • Easy to build the website yourself.
  • Low cost subscriptions fees.
  • Highly flexible and customizable, since you are building it all yourself.
  • Highly flexible and customizable, since you are building it all yourself.
  • Require technical skills to build, meaning you should consider hiring a web developer and designer.
  • More expensive to build.

How to nail the branding of your online store


1. Select specific products to place online 

Choose your best selling, core products that consistently generate the most revenue. If you’re a brand new business, don’t be afraid to experiment with products online to gauge demand. After all—you never know until you try! 


2. Take pictures of your inventory

In order to place your product offerings online, you will need to take accurate, high quality photos of the products so that consumers know that what they see is what they get. You won’t need a professional camera to do this, as many smartphones now offer great photography capabilities. 

Photography tips:

  • Take your photos on a consistent, plain backdrop in the same location each time.
  • Snap your shots with consistent lighting by taking them at the same time of day, but also experiment with different types of lighting to find the right thing for your product.


3. Deliver a “WOW” experience

Make the experience instagrammable for customers! When someone makes an online order and waits patiently for their product to be delivered, live up to their excitement with beautiful packaging. Go the extra mile to build packages that align with your brand and that customers can’t resist posting on their Instagram stories. 


How to take care of your customers


1. Choose the best payment methods

Choose to accept payment methods that your customer uses to make it as easy as possible to purchase your product. In the online space, accepting credit card payments is an absolute must; however, when you do so, you must ensure that data security is your number one priority.


2. Protect customers during data breaches

Get your SSL Certification. This will build major trust with online customers and will help to boost your ranking on Google. Many ‘build your own website’ platforms will show you how to do this. 


Launching an e-commerce store can be overwhelming, but we are here for you! Don’t wait to check out the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing and Scaling a Business to learn more about navigating the online space. 

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