Starting an online retail business can be just as exciting as starting a physical retail business. However, you want your online venture to be lucrative, so there are a few things you should know before you get started. You might think that you don’t need to take some of the same steps as a physical retail business, but you might be surprised. Read on for what you should know:
Create A Business Plan
Yes, you still need to create a business plan with an online retail business. Where would you like to be in 5 years, and how do you plan on getting there? Putting a business plan together will help you to stay focused, and could also help you to secure funding in the future if you need it. It gets your business off to the right start, too. Don’t just keep all of this information in your head!
Decide On Your Platform
You don’t necessarily need a website right away – some people choose to start on a site like Etsy or eBay depending on what they are selling – however, it might be better to build a buzz about your business on social media and then launch your site that way. Starting on a platform like Etsy is great because people trust the site and they could be searching for your products, but it all depends on the sort of business you are and what you’re selling.
Research Your Suppliers
Make sure you do a ton of research on your suppliers before agreeing to work with them. A business is only as good as their suppliers. Get quotes, test customer service, and be smart before agreeing to work with suppliers. Building great relationships over time is a must, so ensure there’s a possibility of that. You may need to hire a shipping solution such as a truckload brokerage or something smaller scale, but whatever you need, this advice applies.
Deciding What Products To Sell
Do your research if you don’t already know what products you’re going to sell. See what people are searching for, and try to think ahead of current trends. You don’t want to sell something that’s just a fad, and you need to provide value.
Choosing Your Domain Name
If you decide to create a website, not only will you need a professional design and SEO friendly set up, you’ll need to choose your domain name carefully. It should be easy to remember and relevant to your business, so don’t rush into this.
Your branding will need to be the same across all platforms. Make sure you think about the sort of message you want to send to your clients when coming up with things like colors, voice, and so on. Look to bigger brands for great examples of how they use colors and voice to create a feeling and send a message.
Social Media Make sure you utilize social media to build a buzz around your business. Host competitions and get social proof as early on as you can!