Selling tech products online has never been easier. Automation, virtual assistants, marketing tools, online store builders — there are loads of easy ways to grow your ecommerce store and earn (almost) passive income from product sales. Here are some key things you need to know about running your first ecommerce venture — including some common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.
Your store belongs to the customer
Starting your own business is a personal decision, but in order to make enough sales and sustain yourself, you need to put your customers first. From the products you stock, to the blog posts you write — always think about how you are going to do things in a way that appeals to your ideal customer.
To keep your ideal customer front and centre of your mind, it’s recommended that you create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is basically a fictional representation of a customer, detailing their habits and interests, and covering information like:
- Their age, location & occupation
- Core interests
- What do they read online
- Budget & spending habits.
Find your niche and stick to it
Find out what you’re good at, and then bring that back into your business. Whether it’s your personality, skills, or interests — use your strengths to help you succeed. If you are genuinely committed to your business, you will find it easier to put in the hours.
Keyword research is a great place to start when you’re trying to decide on the best products to sell, as it will show you whether there is a real market for them. You don’t need any fancy tools to do this — there are plenty of free keyword research tools that are easy to use.
Sticking to one thing and being very good at it is best. If there’s too much going on you will start to lose focus and credibility.
Build your own store
Your first ecommerce website is an exciting milestone. There are loads of different ways to get the job done, and plenty of ways for you to get involved with a bit of coding if that’s your thing. Even if you are not that tech savvy, you will find customising your store a fun task to take on. Pick a free theme or template and get personalising!
However your ecommerce store is built, ensure that it’s a system that you’re comfortable using on regular basis. You will save a tonne of time and money if you are able to update your store yourself.
The technical stuff
In order for an ecommerce website to drive sales, you need to tick a few technical boxes so that it shows up for relevant online searches.
The way that search engines process sites mean that you need a logical site structure. Structure your site around the user, and think about how they are likely to search for products (i.e. whether they will be using the search box or the menu).
Ensure that product discovery and organisation work well, even on mobile, and that you are using photos that accurately depict your products. Large image files can slow down a site, so make sure that you compress yours.
Automating your marketing: is it a good idea?
You can’t run a brand on autopilot, but there are ecommerce social media tools that can help you promote your store. It’s tempting to sometimes press ‘play’ and simply leave it to the social media tools to re-post stuff — but real ecommerce results come from hard graft.
If social media and blogging really aren’t your thing, consider outsourcing or speaking to a pro who might be able to help you out. If you’re keen to have a go at it yourself, be aware of the huge time commitment that marketing can become.
Being green with your business
You can definitely streamline your ecommerce operations and make them as small-scale and environmentally friendly as possible. From helping people recycle tech they don’t need anymore, to upcycling and responsible packaging and delivery, think about how the choices you make will affect others. Efforts to be green are worth shouting about — they can be a big draw for customers, and will help you stand out.
Selling on marketplaces like Amazon is a viable business option for those who don’t quite fancy the burden of managing their own website! What products would you like to sell online?