There has never been a better time to be a determined individual ready to launch that startup. You're an entrepreneur. You've got the idea, and you have the capital. You finally have the opportunity to establish that business. But where to begin?
Before establishing your leadership style and catapulting your way to massive success, there are a few things to consider. Let's go over the significant steps in launching that e-commerce startup.
Part 1: Do Your Research
Whether it's e-commerce, digital marketing, or even graphic design, you must do some in-depth research on your target audience. Finding your niche in the e-commerce space is vital for your business's sustainability and relevancy. Not to mention future business growth. Commerce online is a big deal and helps make the world run. People always need a better service; can you deliver it to them?
If you were starting a trendy restaurant, you'd want to ensure you're launching it in a high-traffic area with your target customers nearby. The same goes for an e-commerce business.
Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, started out selling books in Bellevue, Washington. It's target audience? Book readers who needed a way to reliably buy books they couldn't find elsewhere.
Ecommerce Startup Market Research: Expanding Your Reach
Market research is the backbone of every business. Are you specializing in selling a niche product online? Or do you want your e-commerce business to act as an online marketplace, à la Etsy? You need to do a deep dive into researching your industry. It means little if you try to expand your company if you're a complete novice in your niche.
Some great ways to build a better picture of the people you want to attract are via surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews. This can be a lengthy process, but well worth it, as it lays the foundation for your business.
Part 2: Establish Your Brand Persona
Before jumping right in and offering products and services, you need to determine a few key ways to connect to customers—namely, brand persona, brand voice, and your e-commerce business's mission.
Personification: Making Your Brand Relatable
Starting a brand requires you to do creative exercises, namely personifying your brand. What do your brand and company represent? What are its goals? Essentially, if your business was a person, how would it act, and how would it aim to serve customers online?
A great way to get started is writing good web copy. This is a simple way to directly communicate ideas, mission statements, and products and services to your target customers. Likewise, building your presence on social media platforms the same way is always an excellent plan.
Mission Statements: Connecting With Consumers
What's your company's mission statement?
A mission statement for your business should easily communicate your business's values, goals, and plans for serving your target customers.
Are you an e-commerce business looking to serve people who love to hike? Maybe you're focusing on customers who need a car service (move over, Uber).
Clearly, (seriously, make it easy to understand), state your business goals in your mission statement.
Part 3: Start Making Design Decisions
This is the time to let those creative juices flow. However, it doesn't mean you can just go wild; there are some unwritten design rules to follow if you want to boost user engagement and grow your site’s outreach.
Time For Your Logo
We all love a stunning logo. The best logos are recognizable a mile away and directly communicate ideas and product design to your customer.
When you see a Mercedes logo, you know that you're dealing with a higher-end car company. Likewise, that classic Macintosh apple with a bite out of it represents artistic freedom and innovation with Apple.
What does your e-commerce company represent? Time to take those brand persona brainstorm sessions to the next level. Keep in mind, designing a timeless logo isn't something you come up with overnight.
Did we mention research is an excellent method to get things done? Yep, research about what color schemes and shapes customers respond to is a science. Speaking of which, it's time to craft your site.
Part 4: Design Your Website
Now it's time to let your artistic side shine. Website branding through effective design is one of the most important parts of marketing and launching your business.
Creating a beautiful website requires (surprise, surprise) market research. Some great ways to take your site to the next level are keeping it simple, creating visual aids, and ensuring a responsive site.
Always Keep It Simple
When a site is too busy, it can be way too much information to unload on a customer at once. Remember your mission statement and brand personality? Now is the time to put those ideas into action.
And above all, remember to choose a nice font. People love a nice font.
Grow Your Business
Once you have that business up and running, it's time to take it to the next level and make a customer's life a whole lot easier. Either way, remember to do your research, nail down timeless designs, and make a responsive website.
The rest is in your hands.