ECommerce is both the easiest and the most challenging industries to be in. It’s easy because there are dozens of platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce that you could sign up to launch your store right away. These platforms also come with thousands of themes and plugins to build an eCommerce store experience you want.
But running an eCommerce store is much more than just setting a website up and this is why it is also quite challenging. You will need to find a supplier for your products, establish partnerships for logistics and promote your products in a highly saturated market.
In this article, we will take you through everything you need to successfully launch an eCommerce store in one hour. For the sake of simplicity, we are going to assume that you already know what kind of products you want to sell. Researching the market and identifying the most profitable products takes time and should not be done hastily.
Launch a store
Launching an eCommerce store only takes a few minutes if you already know what platform you want to sign up with. Shopify is without a doubt the most popular platform although there are others like BigCommerce and WooCommerce. The ideal platform is one that is easy to use and also has a great community of designers and developers.
For instance, Shopify has over 1200 apps in its marketplace and thousands of themes to choose from. WooCommerce is a great alternative too since it is built over WordPress. This gives you access to the thousands of third-party plugins in addition to those necessary to run an eCommerce store. Sign up with one of these many platforms and you should have a basic store ready in minutes.
You may be asked to integrate your account with your Paypal or other POS tools. If you have already registered a domain name for your business, you may now also point this domain to the server where you have installed your store.
Pick a theme
The second step in the process is to pick a theme that goes well for your industry. Each of the platforms mentioned above have a good ecosystem of designers who have paid and free themes available for various industries. While you could spend hours finding a theme that you like, it is a good idea to pick a popular industry theme and spend time instead on the finer aspects of running an eCommerce store.
Set up logistics
At this point, you have a functioning eCommerce store. Before you add products to your store, you may need to find a reliable supplier for your products. Sourcing and stocking products costs money and time. If you are just starting out on an eCommerce store, it is advisable to drop ship your products which is essentially outsourcing all your shipping tasks to the supplier. This way, you could throw all your focus on promoting your business and finding customers.
Platforms like AliExpress are handy when it comes to finding reliable dropshipping suppliers. If you have installed Shopify, you could also look at their own in-house tool called Oberlo for this purpose. Oberlo has a list of verified suppliers who can handle all the logistics for your business. Search for products in your industry to get a list of suppliers you could work with.
Listing products on your site
Once a supplier has been identified, you will also know the cost of goods that you want to sell. Add the markup to this cost and you have your selling price ready. Log into your eCommerce dashboard and add the products you want to list along with photos and prices. Some eCommerce platforms also offer bulk upload that makes it easy to populate your store with dozens of products at once.
Promoting your site
Your site is now ready for customers and making your first sale. The next step is to work on promoting your site. Set up an Adwords and Facebook advertising accounts if you do not have them set up already. Facebook advertising integrates with Instagram which has proven itself to be one of the most effective marketing channels for eCommerce products.
List your ads on these platforms and distribute your budget across a number of different ads. This helps you get a better picture of what products work and what don’t. This will help you narrow your product listing and advertising strategy in order to improve conversions and increase sales.