Contributor: Andrew Michaud, Chief Marketing Officer at Valet Seller
If you’re thinking of starting your own eCommerce business, here’s a hard statistic to swallow:
While the figures tend to vary from source to source, one thing is certain — starting an eCommerce business is not nearly as simple and straightforward as people think.
Fortunately, that statistic holds true for the average online store only, and there’s a lot you can do to rise above the average.
So without any further ado, let’s explore the five eCommerce strategies that can keep your business out of the dreaded statistics and let it thrive online.
1. Evaluate Your Product Idea
Creating a product without assessing the market first is one of the biggest mistakes budding entrepreneurs make.
They spend months and years turning their idea into reality, but when the launch comes, they’re left wondering why no one’s willing to buy it.
So if you’re ready to order 100’s of units from your manufacturer, take a step back and assess the market viability of your product first.
Here are a few quick and easy ways to evaluate the demand for your product:
- Use Google Keyword Planner to see how many people search for your product each month. If no one is searching for it, you’ll have a hard time selling it.
- Use Google Trends to see if the demand for your product is stable. If there’s a steady decline, you might want to reconsider your idea. Furthermore, you can also check for seasonality using this tool.
- Check Online Marketplaces like Amazon for reviews and ratings of similar products. Not only will this help you determine the market size, but you’ll also get invaluable insight into the pain points of your target audience.
2. Make Your Brand Memorable
Another common mistake we see eCommerce businesses make is they neglect their brand.
Sure, most business owners think of a creative name and pair it up with a quality logo, and some even throw a few branded colors into the mix — but that’s not what true branding is.
For instance, people don’t buy products from Apple because of the name itself or the literal apple in their logo. On the contrary, people buy Apple products because of the emotions and the experience associated with the brand.
So how can you get customers to remember your brand? It’s simple — give them something worth remembering.
That memorable something can range from a captivating brand story and a compelling call for change to exceptional customer service and an enticing USP.
3. Carefully Plan Your Finances
You can launch an eCommerce store today for as little as nothing. However, launching a store and launching a successful one are two different stories.
From software and platform fees to the cost of stocking an inventory and then clearing it — the list of expenses is a long one.
To give you a rough estimate, here is a breakdown of some common expenses (on average):
- Domain Name: $15 per year
- Hosting: $29 per month
- Website Designer: $1,000 one time
- Warehouse: $5 per square foot
- Product Photos: $50+ per photo
Apart from the list above, you have to consider the cost of your products and marketing as well. You can spend as consciously as possible or you can spend an entire fortune. The choice is ultimately yours.
As a general rule of thumb, however, you should stay away from the extras and focus on the necessities only.
For instance, a $1,000 logo may be an excellent investment for some businesses — your new online store is not one of them.
Fortunately, there is a way to cut down on many of the initial costs and expand your reach at the same time…
4. Leverage an Online Marketplace
Whether you’re thinking of creating a storefront on your own website or already have one — leveraging an online marketplace is one of the most lucrative opportunities at your disposal.
Just think about it for a second. By placing your products on Amazon, not only do you get to take advantage of all the infrastructure they have in place, but you also get access to over 105 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. alone.
It’s true that you’ll have to pay a hefty percentage of your revenue to Amazon in fees. If that fee is stopping you from listing your products on there, then you’re looking at it from the wrong angle.
You see if people can’t buy your products on Amazon, they may not buy at all. That’s because thanks to its excellent reputation, Amazon is the preferred online shopping destination for 89% of online consumers.
As you can imagine, selling on Amazon is not just important but necessary in 2020.
5. Take a Multichannel Approach
While we focused on Amazon in the previous section, maybe you were interested in Walmart, eBay or Groupon?
After all, each of those marketplaces offers its own unique advantages. For instance, eBay is the second-largest online marketplace, Walmart is the biggest retailer, and Groupon is great for getting some initial traction.
The good news is you don’t have to pick one over the others. Instead, you can and you should list your products on every viable marketplace out there — thus taking a multichannel approach.
The reason why multichannel marketing is so powerful is that you get to meet your customers where they are. Every marketplace has its own legion of followers and you can tap into that audience by just being there.
Furthermore, by building a presence on multiple marketplaces, you can diversify your revenue and effectively mitigate the risk of relying on third-party platforms.
As such, a multichannel approach is one of the best things you can do for your business.
How Valet Seller Can Help You
As we’ve established, selling across multiple marketplaces holds several important benefits for your business. At the same time, it’s not an approach without its own challenges.
For starters, getting approved for each marketplace is a painful process. What makes it worse is that you’ll have to build a reputation from scratch on each platform. On top of all that, you’ll also have to create a listing on each marketplace for each of your products.
Apart from the setup, day-to-day operations won’t be smooth either. That’s because you’ll have to manage inventory and ship to fulfillment centers of the marketplace where the order came from.
To sum it up, selling on multiple marketplaces is far from simple.
That’s why we believe you’re going to love Valet Seller. With our platform, you can sell across multiple channels without waiting for approval or worrying about fulfillment.
Plus, you get to leverage our solid reputation across all the marketplaces we support. We already have reviews and ratings, so customers will trust you from day one.
We support Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Groupon, Jet.com and many other online marketplaces as well.
Sounds too good to be true? Experience the Valet Seller way with our no-obligation 14-day Free Trial.