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12 Steps to Building a Successful eCommerce Site in 12 Months

Expert Tips For 12 Steps to Building a Successful eCommerce Site in 12 Months

If you have some entrepreneurial spirit in you, you might be thinking of launching an eCommerce website to launch your new idea.  

Before we get to the steps of building a successful eCommerce site, there are some fundamental business issues you need to think through.

You are launching a business.  And, the business of business is money.  You have to have money for inventory, logo and design, legal advice, accounting and tax advice, business insurance, marketing, warehouse, and logistics.  It isn’t free to start a new business.  But, with expert eCommerce development processes, you can be efficient and spend your money wisely.

You are launching a brand of product or service.  Who is the market for your brand?  What is the competition for your brand?  What is your brand positioning?  Where geographically is the audience for your brand?  What is your pricing strategy?  How much sales volume do you need to generate to be profitable?  What is your overhead cost going to be?  What is your true gross profit?

About 90% of new eCommerce websites fail by the 10th year.  22% fail in the first year.  50% fail by the fifth year.  So, why do online stores fail at such a high rate? The simple answer is the sheer amount of competition. There are over one billion live websites, but even narrowing it down to eCommerce sites, there are still between 12 and 24 million currently operating. Of those, only around 650,000 (or 2 to 5 percent) are selling at least $1,000 each year.  What’s different about your idea?

At Agency Partner, we pride ourselves on honesty, practicality, and providing the best eCommerce services in Dallas.  We will tell you what we think your costs will be and what your chance of success is.  

So, if all of this preceding info isn’t daunting to you, here’s how to get started on creating your successful eCommerce website in 12 months.

1. SEO strategy:

SEO means search engine optimization.  You want your website to be found when consumers are looking for your type of brand.  Getting on the front page of Google is your goal.  Google has a 92% share of the search engine market.  If Google can’t find you, doesn’t recognize you, or you don’t play by their rules, you are going to fail.  If SEO is not something you are an expert in, find an expert.  Agency Partner would love to help you with SEO strategy, especially if you start building your website.  In that way, we can help you with a maximized eCommerce development process building the key strategies from your SEO strategy into your eCommerce website development.

2. Select a domain name for your eCommerce website:

This isn’t expensive.  You can use a service like GoDaddy to pick a URL.  Often it costs less than $10 to buy your domain name.  Ideally, your domain name will be the same as your brand name.  And the URL will be short.  Five to seven letters or less is ideal.  And something catchy and memorable.  Google, Amazon, eBay, TikTok, Etsy, Apple are all great examples.  Your domain name will be a key aspect of your SEO strategy.  

3. Select your eCommerce website developer:

Is this going to be you?  It may seem cheaper, and you might know a lot about the digital world.   But, can you keep up with all of the constant changes?  The new technologies?  You need an expert web developer and an expert in an SEO strategy to increase your chances of success.  Agency Partner offers the best eCommerce development services in Dallas and beyond.  We have completed over 1200 successful projects for clients in Texas, the US, and internationally.  

4. Select your eCommerce and website hosting platform:

There are thousands of options.  Shopify is extremely popular because it is quick to set up, offers the easy setup for taking credit card payments online, has a rich library of themes and plugins to add functionality, and is currently hosting over 1 million eCommerce websites.  If you plan to get big in a hurry, BigCommerce might be for you.  As the name suggests, it is a platform for a large volume of transactions and is very popular among large online retailers. Their clients include Kohler, Hush Puppies, Ben & Jerry’s, and PayPal.  WooCommerce is another widely popular platform because it works on WordPress.  It also offers lots of customization, extensive themes and plugins, card processing, and clients such as Weber Grills, Fuji, Dr. Scholl’s, and Burning Man.  

5. Select a theme and graphic design stylebook that matches your brand:

Your brand is unique and has its own story.  Visually, you want your eCommerce website to match your brand’s look, tone, and feel.  The type of photography, the type fonts, the colors you choose for your eCommerce website will reflect your brand and how your consumer feels about your site.  You might not only want an expert eCommerce website developer but a graphic design expert as well to guide you in your selections.  At Agency Partner, we can do both.  We have brand design experts as well as a state-of-the-art eCommerce development process to guide you along your way.

6. Publish a pre-launch page on your URL:

This will start your website to gain traction in SEO.  Create some great content for the page proving your site is an expert in your product or service area. This will get you followers and SEO links before you even launch your site. 

7. Generate press interest before you launch:

The news industry is always hungry for new content.  Use services like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and PitchBox to get your story and product or service before a reporter.  

8. Select your payment gateway

Select your payment gateway and integrate with your accounting, inventory, tax, and finance software:  Before you launch, the business must be ready to function.  Talk to your bank, your accountant, your inventory/warehouse/logistics team to gain input.  Then, ask your eCommerce web developer to help you select the best payment solution.

9. Create an email list:

Of all of the marketing tools that will be available to you, nothing will come close to the return on investment on a high-quality mailing list.  Give consumers a chance to register for emails on your pre-launch page.  Add key personal contacts to the list, including your business partners in banking, real estate, logistics, etc.  Once you launch, the customers who buy from you first will be your most profitable customers.  Use social media to generate emails by offering great content in exchange for a consumer’s email address.  

10. Get listed on Google Shopping and Facebook Product Catalog:

Google and Facebook will be your two primary funnels for potential customers.  Get your product listed before you launch, and then activate and begin advertising on these two giant platforms targeting your core consumer.  An expert in eCommerce development and marketing can help guide you.  Trustpilot, BazaarVoice, and Yelp are but three of hundreds of services out there.  It would be best if you got this set up before you launch your eCommerce website.

11. Identify and build a relationship with key influencers:

You’ve no doubt read about Instagram influencers and the money they make.  You likely don’t need that type of influencer.  It would help if you had people that are knowledgeable of and respected by others for their expertise in your product or service category.  They should have a following on social media.  Many times, simply sending them a free product is enough to get them interested and generate mentions for you on their posts.  Be wary of paid influencers.  Hire an expert in eCommerce website marketing expert before you get involved in an expensive and hard-to-manage contract.  

12. Launch with as big a bang as you can:
You are only new once.  If you have done your homework, you have identified your core audience, your key influencers, built an email list, and have reporters ready to announce that you are living and up and running.  .  It takes time and money to develop an audience for a new eCommerce website.  Spend wisely, and we highly recommend hiring an eCommerce website development expert to guide you along the way.  

Agency Partner offers best-in-class eCommerce website and marketing services for Dallas, Texas, the United States, and internationally.  We’d love to help you achieve your deserved success. 

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