How to Start a Successful E-Commerce Store

The internet is a vast and powerful place. We have amassed more knowledge in the past century than at any other time in human history. Not only can you use it to acquire any piece of information that you could ever want to know, but you can also start and manage a successful business. Many people today are using the power of the internet and their personal computers to their advantage, and have opened e-commerce stores that they run from home with great success. You too can follow in their footsteps, so long as you follow this guide to help get you there:

Niche in the Market

There are a lot of businesses out there. There are a lot of websites out there. There are a lot of users out there. The best way to cut through the competition and get straight to the users is to cater to a niche. The more obscure the niche, the more likely you will be able to build up a successful store, fast.

Create a Business Plan

Once you know your niche, it is time to learn everything you can about it. The more you know about the niche, those within it, and your competition, the better you can prepare to be a success. Use the knowledge and information you acquire and create a business plan.

Find Funding

When you want to sell products online, you need to go beyond the free website builders you find on the internet. Regarding the photography of your products, you will need professional lighting and camera equipment. Consideration will need to be given regarding your website design, and more. Without this, you won’t be able to convince anyone to buy from your store, which is the number one hurdle you need to overcome. Although the initial start of the process may appear costly, you can apply for a personal loan via, use your own savings, or see if crowdfunding works for you. Either way, you need to look professional, and in order to look professional, you need to invest in your business.

Build Your Business

Now that you know what you are going to do, and have the money to bring it to life, it’s time to build your business. Website design and product creation and photography will be key here. Even if you are merely reselling products from other niche sellers. Having your own product photography is key. So too is a professional and secure e-commerce store. Don’t cut corners, because the state of your website will affect your search engine ranking and user experience.

Market and Succeed

The last step is the most difficult because it never ends. You need to consistently market and expand your reach to new markets, audiences, and customers. Only by doing this can you grow your business and become the success that you have always dreamed of. Build up organic engagement online, partner with influencers and other stores and brands, and find ways to make your mark in your industry. The more you sell, the better your e-commerce store will be.

E-commerce stores are ideal, as you can avoid many of the high upstart costs of traditional stores, namely, rent. By building up your online, digital space you can sell to customers and stores around the world, or alternatively, you can sell products from brands around the world to local customers.

Tips for Successfully Raising Your Local Business Profile

The world of commerce has become global, and anyone setting up a new business can choose to trade with whichever countries around the world they wish. The majority of marketing guides and websites focus on these national and international models of business, but many start-ups have a firm base in a limited geographical area. To market your products or service successfully within that area, you need to use a strategy that focuses on your local profile and targets the potential customers who are within commutable proximity of your business. This involves many of the same principles as a general marketing strategy, but with an emphasis on reaching out to the local population.

Target markets

If you are a local business, you have a head start when it comes to defining your target market. Rather than having to narrow it down to a certain demographic, your potential customers will be the residents living within the local catchment area. That means your marketing needs to be focused on engaging with the local community using all the methods that will increase your visibility in your area. You might still have a niche within that community, for instance, if you sell high-end antiques you will spend more on advertising in glossy publications that appeal to the wealthier sections of the population.

Offers and discounts for locals

A major component of the success of local businesses is being able to connect with the people around you and highlight to them how using your business will help the community. If your town already has a Barnes and Noble store, how can you persuade people to buy books from your new independent store instead? It’s not just other local businesses that are your competition, because for many local businesses the internet and e-commerce are one of the main threats to success. If you can show people that they will enjoy discounts and special offers only available to local residents if they use your business, you will make them feel special and give them a reason to choose you over all the other possible choices.

Use local suppliers and services yourself

This applies both to your business and personal purchases. Some aspects of this might be obvious, for instance, if you make your own food, use locally sourced meat or ingredients and point this out to your customers on the labeling and in your advertising. If you run a coffee shop, use the beans from a local roastery, or if you run a taxi service buy your vehicles from a local dealer and use a local repair shop to maintain your vehicles. Unless there is a compelling economic reason not to, you should source as many of your supplies from other local outlets as possible, and don’t be afraid to let people know you are supporting other local businesses.

Concentrate on local SEO

Your website is going to be important to your marketing, even if you don’t have an online shop. The site will still provide useful information for anyone looking for your kind of service or products, and many locals will turn to the internet to find the services they need. To raise your local profile and get your site as high up the rankings as possible, you should concentrate your SEO efforts on the local market. That means using the type of business you run and the location as your main keywords. For example, if you run a dog grooming business, your keyword phrase will be “dog grooming” along with the state or county you reside in, and variations thereof. It’s worth pointing out that making your keywords location specific doesn’t just involve including your location.

Be patient

Marketing takes a while to have an effect, so you need to be patient and keep working on your local profile. Don’t assume you’ve failed if very few people respond to your initial advertising efforts; it can take multiple exposures to an ad or business profile to persuade people to take action, so don’t despair if progress is slow initially. You should see it pick up over time, and if you don’t, you might need to re-adjust your strategy. In these early days you need to be able to invest in your marketing if you want it to be effective, but if you’re not bringing in many sales, this could put the squeeze on you financially. It is important not to run before you can walk, and small steps little but often will see an improvement in your business for the better.

Don’t let finances disrupt your progress

Although you will have budgeted for the initial lean period in your business plan if it takes longer to make an impact than you’d anticipated you might be running short when paying your own salary. If this is the case, a modest amount of credit could keep you going long enough to see a turnaround in your fortunes. Financial advice sites like can provide information and advice on the best options for your situation. Propping up a failing business or a marketing campaign that isn’t working, or using a marketing strategy that isn’t producing results is a foolish way to manage a business, but giving yourself the breathing space to start achieving results is a worthwhile investment.

These are all ideas for ways to raise your profile in your local community, without spending a dime on advertising. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and the more avenues you can find to get your business name entrenched into the consciousness of the populace, the better. Getting involved in any form of local event or charitable money-raiser, engaging with schools and community groups, and building relationships with local publishers and website owners will all boost your overall profile. At the same time, you’ll need to be placing ads in local publications and on local sites, plus you’ll need to check and maintain information held in online directories and databases that could guide people to your business. Local marketing is a multi-layered activity, with each element playing a part in a successful strategy.

How to Use Content Marketing Effectively

If you want to achieve any level of success in the modern business world, it’s imperative to have an online presence. To help with that presence, you will need to understand content marketing. For small businesses, it is especially important, and it doesn’t require a huge budget like other marketing strategies and advertising. If you don’t know what content marketing is, don’t let it keep you awake at night because you are not alone. What you truly need to know is that it’s a great way to grow your brand, and how you can use it effectively.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a way of attracting people to your brand, with the ultimate goal of turning them into loyal customers. You’re not trying to sell to them, but rather, the aim is to be engaging. You should be inspirational, entertaining or educational, but preferably a combination of all three. Content marketing is about sharing information with your target audience, and this content, or information, should be helpful and valuable for them on a personal level. The information could be in the form of blog posts, articles, videos and a range of other formats.

What Sort of Content Should You be Creating?

When creating content, it is important to put your customers’ needs above your own. Put yourself in their shoes in order to understand and appreciate some of the challenges they face. You need to be providing them with helpful knowledge, but you need to be able to understand what it is they need and want to know. Think of it as being empathic; you shouldn’t be promoting or selling your company, not all the time anyway!

Many Content Marketing Initiatives Fail Because There is no Strategy

When it comes to building a content marketing strategy, you first need to define your goals. Review the current communication channels you use and make audits. If you don’t document your content marketing strategy, you’ll find yourself facing challenges. It will also be almost impossible to analyze your strategy and determine whether any changes need to be made.

Grow Your Brand by Building a Reputation  

It is the best way to grow your brand. When your brand is trusted, potential customers are more likely to become loyal. It also makes it easier to influence their future purchasing decisions. Publishing high-quality content is one way to establish authority in an industry. However, it can take up a lot of your time. You may also be lacking in confidence when it comes to writing informative, engaging pieces. However, you don’t need to worry as there plenty of companies with the expertise needed. is one such company that will be able to help with video lead generation because after all, content is not just about words. It’s about images too!   

Analyze Progress

Any effective content marketing strategy should include consistent analysis. Doing so will help you to determine how effective your strategy is and whether it is performing in terms of growing your brand. Effective analysis will include the time customers spend on your site, what pages they visited, conversions, goals, and the bounce rate.  

Running a Successful E-Commerce Business in 2018

This era seems to be one characterized by all things digital. It is no surprise seeing as the internet has become ubiquitous and most people can’t function without it. For this reason, there has been a rise in the number of businesses that are now operating online. In addition to this, people are becoming more comfortable with shopping online because of how easy, fast and convenient it can be. If you happen to have an e-commerce business, this article is going to explore a few characteristics that a successful e-commerce business should seek to possess in 2018.

Easier Checkout

One of the essential components of a successful e-commerce business is 2018 is easy checkout. Seeing as we’re living in a fast-paced world, people are always on the go and looking for ways to save time so ensuring the shopping experience is as quick as possible is key. Some payment options that are currently being utilized include Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal amongst others. It has also been predicted that the traditional checkout form will gradually begin to be fade, and one-click purchasing will make online shopping faster as well as more convenient. If you want checkout to be as easy as possible, it’s also important that you optimize your site.

Investment in Social Ads

Seeing as e-commerce businesses operate online, it’s essential that a successful business invests in social ads. This is one of the only ways to ensure your brand and products are visible online, meaning you will be able to compete with the many other businesses out there. If you own a drop shipping business, for instance, some marketing you should focus on includes Facebook ads, retargeting ads, influencer marketing, and influencer marketing. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t still aim to get free media coverage, but the reality is that driving clicks is becoming more difficult, so you will have to invest a noticeable amount.

Mobile Shopping Apps

It is likely that you’ve noticed that some of your favorite E-commerce sites now have apps, and that’s because businesses understand the importance of them. These apps are an E-commerce trend that you’re likely to see becoming more pervasive as E-commerce sales have continued to accelerate, while in-store retail has seen much less growth. Mobile shopping apps have seen significant growth, at 54% year-on-year making it the fastest growing app category ahead of music, entertainment, as well as utility apps. It’s safe to say that a successful E-commerce business in 2018 should be looking towards having an app.

Running a successful e-commerce business means different things to different people. While for some it means making a significant amount of returns, to others it could mean successfully being able to dominate within their niche. As an e-commerce business owner, it is imperative that you’re able to keep up with the trends and ensure your business remains a few steps ahead. Doing so should ensure that your business has a better chance at success in 2018.