In 2022 starting a successful e-commerce store or business is as easy as having a computer, a strong internet connection and a business idea that sets you apart from the rest. Anyone can start an online business. In these tough economic times, everyone who has the capacity, and resources, should try and attain a second stream of income.   

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on society as a whole, and a long-standing legacy of the pandemic will be businesses prioritising their online presence. Being an online-first business means you’ll be reaching a wider audience, staying in contact with your existing customers and being able to scale accordingly. 

If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting an online business and don’t know where to start, you’ve clicked on the right place because we’re giving you the ultimate guide to starting your own e-commerce store. 

Start an e-commerce store in 5 steps:

Identify a gap in the market

Businesses need to fulfil a purpose. The most successful businesses in the world all found a gap in the market and went for it. Your business needs to satisfy a need (or want) and also give you a competitive edge. To hone in on what’s happening in your chosen field, and to be ahead of the competition, you need to: 

  1. Monitor trends in your industry
  2. Keep an eye on competitors 
  3. Watch the trends and adapt your offering

 

Conduct market research

Researching your field before you invest in a new business is crucial. Before you invest your resources and time into starting a business, you should conduct proper market research. According to Hubspot, cohesive market research includes: 

  • Interviews
  • Focus groups 
  • Product or service research
  • Observation
  • Buyer research 
  • Market segmentation
  • Pricing
  • Competitor analyses 
  • Customer loyalty research
  • Brand awareness research

 

Choose a name and brand identity

Choosing the right name for your brand is very important, and there are some key tips you need to keep in mind: 

  • Keep it simple
  • Conduct keyword research
  • Incorporate relevant keywords 
  • Make the intention clear
  • Keep scaling in mind

 

Get a website and register your business

The first thing you should do when setting up your business website is to register a domain. Choosing a domain name can be tricky but if you keep it simple and choose a name that reflects your company’s core function and values, you should be okay. 

  1. Register a domain:

Here’s a quick guide to picking the right domain name for your business: 

  • Use keywords in your domain name: if you’re a plumbing or photography service, it’s beneficial for you to include the industry in your domain name extension. A good example is crystalcaptures.photography.com
  • Keep it short, easy to spell and easy to remember: you may want to play with interesting characters and make the domain name quirky, but the simpler your domain name is, the easier it is for your customers to remember
  • Leave room to expand: always leave room to expand when registering a business domain name
  1. Pick a web hosting package:

Select a web hosting package that suits your business. 1-grid has a comprehensive selection of DIY Website Builders that start from as little as R109 a month. 

  1. Register your business 

If you’re serious about your business, getting it registered should be a priority. Register your business with 1-grid and enjoy all the benefits like: 

  • Attracting new business opportunities
  • Protecting your personal liability
  • Attracting new business opportunities 
  • Separating your finances

 

Market your business

Businesses need marketing to reach new customers and grow. In 2022, the best way to market your business is online. If you have an accessible website, you will need to market your website to prospective customers by using SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of increasing your website’s visibility on search engines.

Here are the key things to keep in mind to increase your SEO visibility:

  • Update your website regularly with keyword-rich content 
  • Optimise your metadata 
  • Conduct regular keyword research and incorporate them into your content 
  • Make use of your ALT tags 
  • Publish quality and authoritative content

Another big part of online visibility is social media. All businesses need to have a social media presence to communicate to their existing customers and reach potential new customers

Starting an e-commerce store is easy if you dedicate the time to getting it right. The additional stream of income makes the hard work worth it. Let us know in the comments what e-commerce business you want to start