How I Learned To Start A Profitable eCommerce Shop

Jun 27, 2018 by

Starting an eCommerce shop had always seemed like a nice thing to have. While it always came off as a side-gig, I knew that to be successful, I had to dedicate some time to it. When compiling how much time and effort this would take, I knew this would be tough, but figured with the right strategy, would be achievable. Now, months later, I’ve achieved my goal of having a successful eCommerce shop. Here’s how:

Looking At The Numbers

Starting an eCommerce shop was something I knew would take some legwork to be successful. While plenty of people come up with a similar idea in launching a new company as a side hustle, establishing that foundation can be practically a full-time job. When you also factor in the aspects of initial costs and inventory versus how much time you can dedicate, coming up with a solid number is a necessity to start thinking about the value of your store.

According to eCorner, the average eCommerce shop costs approximately $2,000 to start. Granted, you’ll want to consider other cost factors as well, such as branding/advertising, marketing, photography services, inventory, licensing, or any other costs associated with your overarching goal. The more you’re able to put forth towards your budget, the better of you’ll be in preparation, which can save you quite a bit in the long-term. Remember, it’s much easier to plan everything out and work forward rather than trying to catch up, so give yourself the opportunity to be ahead to ensure success.

Business Modeling

Once I established my budget, it was time to start addressing my working model. The name of the game here was to design for efficiency because as noted by Entrepreneur, businesses lose 20 to 30 percent of revenue every year due to being inefficient; which, with how competitive eCommerce can be, I knew I needed to be on top of things. Especially considering that I was a relatively new entrepreneur, this process was a little nerve-racking, but also one I knew that if I were patient with, would provide success.

One of the first considerations I had was if I was going to adopt a traditional model for inventory management or pursue a dropshipping model. With drop shipping, I knew that I didn’t need to be able to afford everything up front, but I also had to find all-star distributors for my goods. This is a primary method in staying competitive, as it not only dealt with finding the lowest price in terms of the actual goods but for shipping as well. Ultimately I took on a hybrid model of ordering some inventory I had the capacity for while seeking top-tier drop shipping suppliers I could rely on for the lowest price.

Brand Formation

With a model and budget in place, the fun stuff could begin, with branding being a top priority. As there are numerous eCommerce brands out there, coming up with something other people wouldn’t just notice, but gravitate towards was a top priority. In fact, as noted by LucidPress, 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as a reason they do business with a brand, which from personal experience I knew to be true. For this reason, it was crucial to hit the drawing board ASAP.

In carving out my brand, one of the first components I needed to ask was what my store brought to the table over any other eCommerce shop? Furthermore, how was this shop going to help people in my community? Although it took a fair amount of self-reflection, after I was able to carve these items out, it became much more clear my central mission for my store, as once I got the hang of my messaging, the rest became a cinch.

Consistent Outreach

Finally, with a solid brand to back my efforts, the only thing I had to do from here is keep everything consistent. This is perhaps the most significant point that people fall off with their efforts, which is where I knew I could gain my advantage. The biggest consideration I had to adhere to was offering the same brand experience every time someone contacted me because according to Kettlefire Creative, 90 percent of consumers expect that their experience will be consistent across all channels.

Having an organized approach to all of my marketing channels was a top consideration starting out, enabling me to improve upon what I was doing wrong. For example, being disciplined with responding to support calls in under five minutes. Little things like these are what my customers looked for in their experience. As the golden rule goes, if you treat others how you want to be treated, then you’ll be in a much better position to win over customer success every time.

What are some core components you’ve considered in launching a profitable company? Comment with your answers below!

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