5 Things To Prep Before Starting Your E-Commerce Store
Many business owners are eager to get into the world of e-commerce - especially ones that already own busy retail locations. Your e-commerce store can provide retail store locations with an additional line of revenue for the terrific products or services that you’re already offering. With a growing fan base for local products and services, there’s no better time to launch your passion business!
If you’re a creative artisan, maker or builder, e-commerce can level the playing field to get your products directly to market without having to invest in a storefront. For my own e-commerce journey, my family farm sold organic vegetables and fruit right out of the back of our pick-up truck to get started.
Armed with digital marketing tools like email marketing, social media, pay per use advertising and search engine optimization, business owners can quickly attract the right audience to their new e-commerce store to generate leads and sales.
But before we get to all that, let’s talk about the things you need to have ready before you hire an e-commerce expert or tackle the store build yourself. Having these five things at the ready, before you start your design and build, will make it easier and faster to get your shop online.
Step One: Have a High-Quality Brand Logo
Having a high-quality logo for your brand that you’re happy with is key. Your brand logo will be one of the pivotal pieces for your eCommerce store. If you don’t have a logo yet, there are several online logo generators you can use to develop one. My favourite is Logo Maker (free).
Along with it, you need the hex colour codes for any colours or palettes that represents your brand. If you have an existing logo, you can pick the colours out of it here, or if you need to generate your own, try out Coolors (PS. it’s addicting).
Step Two: Know Thy Ideal Customer
When you know your ideal customer, it’s easy to make sure you’re building a site that will appeal to your customer aesthetically, as well as copy-wise. You should be able to answer the basics about your ideal customer (or customers) such as age, gender, marital status, and interests. Additional details like their pain points, and why they need the solutions your products or services offer would help too.
Step Three: Have an Inventory Sheet of Your Products
If you do nothing else from this list - do this one! Knowing the number of products or products with variants that you have is critical. If you’re a store or business owner that has many products, start a simple spreadsheet and list the product name, price, any variants (size, colours, types), description and weights.
Step Four: High-Quality Product Images
Customers buying online want to see big, beautiful pictures of all of your wonderful products. Having product images that show your products in their very best light is the difference between amateurs and professionals.
Make sure you’ve got photos of your products with a white or black background, and are high-resolution (at least 300 dpi, and 900px or greater). Hire a local product photographer, or invest in a light tent to take amazing photos. You can do this with your smartphone with great lighting.
Step Five: Time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your e-commerce store be. Make sure you’re being realistic about your expectations in the timeframe it takes to build your store. It typically takes 2-8 weeks to build an e-commerce store with most developers. As a business owner, make sure you keep your commitments to provide content when you are asked to.
For a DIY build, my experience shows it takes most creative artisans about 12-15 weeks to build their stores with dedicated effort.
Holly LaRochelle is a digital marketer who helps busy entrepreneurs grow their online presence and optimize their Shopify shops to reach new audiences and increase sales. If you need help building an online store, Holly invites you to join her Wild + Free Women: Living Intentionally in Business + Family + Life or connect with her Free Getting Started with Shopify Guide.