28 eCommerce Tips for Entrepreneurs Wanting to Start Their Own Online Store

Coming up with unique business ideas is no mean feat and even the best ideas are of no use, if you don’t take the next bold step and turn them into a reality. To help you turn your ideas into a successful online business, we have compiled this list of 28 tips. From creating your website to interacting with your target audience, these practical tips will make your journey much easier.

How to Start and Grow Your Brand: 28 eCommerce Tips for Entrepreneurs:

1. Create a website that is aesthetically pleasing

While it's important that your website is informative and easy to navigate, it should also be aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, there are countless themes and templates available that will help you to create a site that will be a visual feast. After all, your website will be a virtual storefront and will shape your target audience’s first impression of your brand. 

2. Pay attention to your navigation

Did you know that users click more often on the first and last items in your top menu? You can use this to your advantage by placing a popular product category in the first spot. Another good strategy is to create a page just dedicated to items on sale and then place it either in the first or last slot.  

3. Stay clear from trending niches

It's best not to build your entire eCommerce store around only trending products. Instead, identify a popular specialized segment in the market like fitness products or men’s clothing.  You can then always add a few trending product ideas like bamboo toothbrushes to your product range.

4. Use subcategories for your products

While your top navigation will usually only have your general categories such as Men, Kids or Women, it's still important to create specific subcategories. Not only do generic categories make it harder than it has to be for customers to find a product, but it also does not help with SEO. If you are selling women’s clothing, for example, you can use subcategories like clothing, shoes, and accessories which you can further subcategorize by using product categories like boots, sandals, and sneakers. This step will become even more important as your store and its product range expand. At the end of the day, if your target audience can find specific items easily, they will be more inclined to support your store. 

5. Include a page dedicated to FAQs

All eCommerce sites should have a page just for frequently asked questions. Here you can include information about your returns policy, shipping and other questions related to your products. For example, if your online store sells clothing, it can be a good idea to include information about how the sizing works. Not only will you be able to redirect customers to this page, but it can actually help to limit the number of queries you receive allowing you to focus more of your time on other important tasks like marketing your store. 

6. Start a blog

Creating a blog is one of the easiest ways to improve SEO and drive more traffic to your eCommerce site. What's more, you can even consider monetizing your blog by for example including relevant links in your blog posts. Even if you have no intention to turn it into an additional stream of income, it's a great resource that you can use to teach your target audience more about your products. That alone is more than enough reason to pick up the pencil. 

7. Work with influencers

It might take time and hard work to identify the right influencers for your brand, but influencer marketing is not as costly as you might expect. According to a Bloglovin’ study, more than 80% of micro-influencers charge $250 (or less) per sponsored post on Instagram. What's more, it is also extremely effective. Our own influencer marketing survey revealed that 90% of respondents believe that it works. So, if you have not done so yet, start to build a relationship with influencers. 

8. Grow your presence on a number of social media channels

Long gone are the days that your brand could be on only one social media platform. Nowadays, it is best to use multiple social media platforms. It does not even necessarily have to mean more work as there are numerous tools available. After all, it could just be that the one platform that you concentrated all your marketing efforts on will no longer be that popular in the near future. You just need to think of Myspace and it is clear that you need to grow your presence on at least three social networks. 

9. Grow your list of email subscribers

While email is not new, it remains one of the effective marketing tools. To help you promote your products and online store by means of email marketing, you will need to grow your list of email subscribers. You can then, for example, send exclusive offers to your email list or share your latest blog post with tips that your target audience will find valuable. 

10. Create adverts

To make money, you need to spend money. One place where you can spend your profit is on advertising. Retargeting ads, in particular, work very well. In short, retargeting ads are shared with those who have visited your website in an attempt to try and get them back. 

11. Provide free shipping

If you can try to offer free shipping to your customers, it can be a great incentive to your target audience to support your brand. Plus, if your biggest competitors offer only paid shipping, free shipping can also help to set yourself apart. 

12. Don’t just copy your copy

If you take the time to write original product descriptions, you will be rewarded with more sales. Unlike Ts & Cs, people actually read product descriptions. In many instances, potential customers turn to the product description if they are unsure about if they should buy the product. So, if they are only greeted by a few bullets about the product’s specs, the chances are that they would rather continue their online shopping. 

Effective product descriptions tell a story and include details like the inspiration behind the product to help add more personality to the item. They also focus on the advantages of the different features, instead of solely listing the dimensions. 

13. Use the right keywords

While it is important to use social media channels and work with influencers, you should not forget about search engine optimization (SEO). By creating an SEO strategy and identifying the right keywords for your niche, you can generate loads of organic traffic. The best part is that unlike other forms of advertising, an SEO strategy does not necessarily have to cost money. 

14. Build external backlinks

To help you reduce what you spend on advertising, you can focus on creating external backlinks. You can, for instance, write guests posts for relevant blogs. At the end of the day, if you can increase the number of sources that can generate traffic to your online store, you can decrease what you spend on other forms of advertising.

 15. Use video

Not only can product videos help you to provide information about your products, but they can also be used for marketing. According to MarketingMag, consumers’ attention spans are even shorter. Now, you have only 2.7 seconds to grab their attention. As video is more engaging than texts or even images for that matter, they can help to capture attention more effectively than just relying on text. 

16. Ask customers to write product reviews

Social proof is invaluable. So, don’t be shy (or lazy) to reach out to previous customers to ask them to write a short product review. It really helps to give potential customers the reassurance that they might need to buy one of your products. 

17. Use user-generated content

In addition to asking your customers to write product reviews, it is also a good idea to ask them to share some of their photos in which they use or wear your products. While you should have high-quality product photos, consumers also want to see what the products look like in real life. Just remember to get permission to share these photos and give customers the credit. 

18. Implement a loyalty program

A loyalty program can really help you to grow your base of returning customers. One of the main benefits of having repeat customers is that they tend to spend more than first-time customers. Needless to say, you should still focus on attracting new customers, but too often businesses forget about improving the user experience for their loyal customers too. 

19. Make your relationships with your customers a priority

By sending personalized emails to your customers from time to time, you can get a much more accurate understanding of their needs which will ultimately help you to deliver a better shopping experience. If you find that customers are reluctant to share their feedback, you can include PROMO codes as motivation and a sign of your gratitude. It might take time, but you will definitely reap the rewards. 

20. Price your products fairly

If your strategy is to compete on price, be warned that it comes at a cost. Truth be told, customers do not mind paying for a product if they believe the price to be fair. At the end of the day, to stay afloat your online business needs to remain profitable. So, stay clear of always trying to offer your product at the lowest possible price. 

21. Promote upselling

One way to boost your sales and increase the average value of your orders is to make use of upselling. You can, for instance, share a list of similar products and offer discounts if they add one of these similar products to their purchase. 

22. Treat your customers to sales

Sales can benefit both customers and online stores. Your customers will feel as if they scored, while it can help you to boost your sales. It is a good idea to add countdown timers to the products on sale as this can create a sense of urgency. You can also include a dedicated section to sales in your menu.  

23. Try to recover abandoned carts

While abandoned carts are completely normal, you should still try to see if you can recover at least a few. To help you do this, you can send your potential customer a follow-up email a few hours after he/she failed to complete the transaction and a few emails a couple of days later. 

24. Embrace automation

There are many tools available that you can use to automate aspects of your daily operations. From social media marketing to simply sending invoices, try to embrace automation in various ways. Not only will it help to reduce human error, but it will free up time that you can then instead spend on scaling your business. 

25. Use a selection of payment gateways to make shopping easier

If you can, try to provide your customers a selection of popular payment gateways. This way, they can pick the way that they prefer to pay which will ultimately make their shopping experience easier. 

26. Focus on your strengths (and outsource your weaknesses)

As an entrepreneur, you do not have to be good at everything. Though, you do need to know what you are good at, know what your weaknesses are and have the wisdom to outsource your weaknesses to experts. 

27. Stay consistent

Consistency matters a lot. Consumers like to know more or less what they can expect. This also rings true for when you are posting to social media or adding new products. It's a good idea to add new blog posts or products on the same day each week. This way, you will encourage customers to visit your website and social media channels often. 

28. Keep an open mind

Successful eCommerce businesses experiment a lot. From big hero images to a seemingly insignificant call-to-action button, there are many different elements that you will need to test. So, be sure to experiment with both your website and adverts to see which deliver the best results. By taking the time to test different ads, graphics, copy, etc., you will gather invaluable data that will help you to get to know your target audience much better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes an ecommerce business successful?

To help you turn your ideas into a successful online ecommerce business, consider these tips:

1. Create a website that is aesthetically pleasing
2. Pay attention to your navigation
3. Stay clear from trending niches
4. Use subcategories for your products
5. Include a page dedicated to FAQs
6. Start a blog
7. Work with influencers
8. Grow your presence on a number of social media channels
9. Grow your list of email subscribers
10. Create adverts

How can ecommerce businesses be useful for entrepreneurs?

Successful ecommerce businesses can be a great alternative to brick-and-mortar stores for entrepreneurs. It’s a big advantage for cost-saving methods. Instead of paying rent each month, online stores will offer business owners the ability to receive orders online, ship products, accept payments, and more. You can do business with customers across the world with an online ecommerce business.

In 2021, is ecommerce still profitable?

Online ecommerce businesses are still growing and profitable in 2021. Many entrepreneurs opt for dropshipping ecommerce businesses, which can lead to larger profit margins. The number of e-commerce activities around the world continues to grow, especially post-pandemic. Research has shown that ecommerce and dropshipping businesses have grow more than $4 billion in the last 10 years.

What can you do to make a successful ecommerce business?

A successful ecommerce business is all about building a bright and user-friendly website, easy-to-use navigation, avoiding trending niches, subcategorization of products, launching your FAQ page, running a blog, working with influencers, growing your marketing presence, and more. It’s about convincing your potential customers to make a purchase on your site.

How much money do ecommerce businesses make?

The amount of money your ecommerce business makes will depend on your product, your marketing, and your niche. New ecommerce companies can make anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 in profit their first year of operation, and you can work on growing your profit from there.

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.