opening an e-commerce store

7 Things to Know Before Opening an E-Commerce Store

As more people turn to “gigs” and entrepreneurial pursuits, the internet abounds with small business e-commerce sites. It can be hard to stand out amid the crowd. It’s possible to make a steady side income, or even run a large store right from our laptop. The task does not come easily for everyone, and it can have some pitfalls. Here are seven things you should know before opening an e-commerce store.


Polish Your Web Skills Before Opening an E-Commerce Store

You don’t have to know how to program a website to succeed in e-commerce, but you do have to know a thing or two. The text you add to your website matters, as does the volume of it. Did you know each image you have on your site has written text behind it that helps search sites like Google to understand what you sell? When you consider that many others may sell the exact same product that you do, how you write about and display your product makes a huge difference. Make an effort to stand out. It could give you the edge you need to grow a customer base. You will find no shortage of easy-to-understand tutorials to help you understand each and every technical point you need for an online store.


Consider Shipping and Storage Challenges

The choice of product for your e-commerce store makes all the difference. Do you intend to ship the items yourself or will you have a third party retailer ship them for you? Do you have room to store a product? Have you considered the cost of shipping? When you start to imagine the physical limitations, you might wind up allowing third parties to store and ship your products. That is, after all, the beauty of the internet. It allows you to reach across any distance and create business partnerships with product providers who will very often do much of the work for you. That reality should help you to choose your product.


Track Your E-Commerce Metrics

If you have not run a store before, the record keeping involved might throw you for a loop at first. While tracking income over expenses is a start, it’s not the whole picture. You will need to track product acquisition, cash available for investment, advertising costs, and the all mighty return on investment (ROI). The good news is, that once you have the metrics under your belt, manipulating them can provide a rather fun game. In fact, that’s what growing a successful business is all about.


Licenses and Permits Matter in E-Commerce

Creating a business online might seem ethereal but its a real business that falls under the laws governing any other kind of business. You will need licensing and permits to sell your product. Will you run your business as a sole proprietor or take advantage of the tax breaks for a corporation? Either way, you have to register and let your state know you are doing business. Be ready to report your taxes more often too, from four to twelve times a year. Running an E-Commerce store will require some set up, but once you leap those hurdles, you will find yourself in a sturdy and safe position to move forward.


Prioritize Customer Relations

Customer relations will become part of your life with e-commerce. In this day and age of prolific communication, your performance will receive reviews. You can provide a space on your own site if you like but, even if you don’t, customers will find a place to talk about you. Be ready to handle their concerns, replace lost or damaged shipments, or calm an upset client. Online commerce may require a thick skin for those grumpy customers, but with good customer service, you will find most people quite happy with your store.


Helping Hands Matter in E-Commerce

Running an online store requires a lot of moving parts all at once. If you are not ready, it might seem overwhelming. The good news is that the internet is no stranger to e-commerce. A lot of sites provide pre-packaged templates for you to use. If you want to take a load off your shoulders, shop for a premade storefront. The best ones allow you to simply drop your products into a ready made store. With a third party vendor to stow, handle, and ship your product, you become an instant executive. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Get some helping hands to make your e-commerce experience easier.


Your Attitude Matters in E-Commerce

Attitude is everything in e-commerce. You will have hills to climb. You will have to register, find a product, build a store, employ e-solutions that suit you, and secure a means to get your product to your customer. Realize that you can do it. Perseverance through each of those steps will carry you the distance. In the end, you will have opportunity to earn an income that makes it all worth it.


IMAGE: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

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