Starting An eCommerce Business From Scratch
Here is my first blog post and I hope you’re just as excited as I am! The goal of this blog is to put in the work that is required to be successful with internet marketing. I’m sure you have all heard the saying “Do easy things have a hard life, do hard things have a comfortable life.”
I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about newbies paying $1500 for a course that won’t make them a cent back. Anybody including you can make lots of money online, but you have to put in the work and be willing to sacrifice some things.
Now, let’s get right to the point. This first post will outline the time and work that needs to I will be putting into starting an eCommerce business from scratch. Each outline will have a series of blog posts spread over the course of the project. My goal is to provide you with an update at least two times a week if time permits possibly more.
eCommerce Shopping Website Business Plan:
Niche: Womens Active Wear Apparel
How do you pick out the perfect niche for an eCommerce store? You don’t! There is no perfect niche or holy grail type of product. The best way to decide on a product to market and sell is to do some research in multiple markets.
I prefer evergreen niches and products. Evergreen niches are topics or industries that will always be in existence. I know this works considering I’m not the only one who believes in using this tactic. Therefore it is important to go into it knowing the competition can be stiff in the beginning.
When I tell people this, they feel intimidated. One thing to keep in mind is that competition is healthy, remember that! I mean think about it logically. If you’re in a $100 billion a year market, how much of that do you need? $100k, $300k, whatever the amount is, just focus on getting your small piece of the pie and moving towards your profit goals one step at a time, even if it means moving on to different ventures.
Why I chose Women’s Active Wear Apparel?
I researched about 12 different niches related to women. I wanted to be in the middle of industries that have passionate followers and most importantly, fans that spend money. What’s the best way to find out if your niche will spend money? Look at your competitors! In this particular niche, the competition is Lululemon and LuLaRoe. Great Scotts!! How, do you compete with these companies? The answer is simple; you don’t! You instead use them to help define your target market based off of their current and prior success.
As the new kid on the block, you want to be able to find out what your competitors are doing well and what they’re doing wrong. Does anybody want to take a guess at where this is leading? Yes, taking customers away from your competitors could be a whole niche in itself. If you as a brand/store owner can appeal to your competitor’s customers based off of their dislikes of the company they are currently transacting with, then you are on the right track.
I’ve found through my research that women are not only the highest spending niche, but they accomplish this by purchasing multiple products in one transaction. Therefore if I can acquire a customer for $30-40 and they spend an average of $100 I know in this niche there will be cross-selling opportunities.
My Current Start Up Expenses For An eCommerce Business
As of 06/4/17, I’ve invested the amounts listed below:
Virtual Private Server
The amount of website traffic you get to come to your site on a daily basis will have an effect on the success of your business. My goal is to have at least 100k monthly visitors from Google visit the site within six months. Shared hosting is not a viable solution for this business venture to be a success. A VPS gives you the ability to scale the power of your server up and down based off of business need. As a believer in multiple sources of income, using a VPS allows me to host an unlimited amount of landing pages.
Total cost for VPS/Domain name Registration: $40
For this project, I chose to go with Woocommerce for WordPress. With my ten years plus of WordPress experience, the transition to Woocommerce should be seamless. I’m a great marketer; however, I lack in some of the much-needed design skills. To keep it simple I selected the “YourStore” child theme to run on top of the Woocommerce framework. This theme is pretty straight forward when it comes to the setup. With the added benefit of my supplier providing me with HD images to promote the products, it shouldn’t be difficult to build out a beautiful site.
Total cost of Theme: $45
Email/Premium WordPress Plugins
Gsuite seems to be the best option for me as of now. I love working with Google’s tools, and most of my colleagues/partners use them as well. I like using Yoast SEO premium and about five other plugins that cost money up front.
Total Email/Plugins: $5 monthly Google and $40 worth of plugins.
Starting An Ecommerce Business From Scratch With Facebook Ads
Ok, so this is probably the most important investment you need to make as a business owner. If you want to stand a chance against the 1000lbs gorillas, you MUST master Facebook advertising. Facebook is the most accurate representation of people in the world in data format. Your target market is out there; you just need some money to split test and find it. Zuckerberg has figured out a way to get people to tell you as a business how to sell them without them even knowing it.
As a marketer we know longer have to force a prospect to show us how to sell them, it’s given to us marketers willingly through post and status updates. It’s all based on EGO, that’s why the data is so accurate.Ok, done with the rant, I will have a post on Facebook advertising shortly. In conclusion, even though I haven’t decided on a budget for Facebook yet. I have done some research on my competitors, and currently, the trend seems to be Instagram and the power it holds for monetizing accounts.
Products And Tools
Drop shipping is the method I have selected to use for selling products. With the right communication and setting proper expectations for your customers, drop shipping works for eCommerce stores. For new entrepreneurs short on cash, takes down some of the barriers of business start-ups, which can help you the newbies who are reading who may not have a huge budget to purchase new inventory. To begin drop shipping, it takes a lot of upfront research and relationship building with manufacturers. Getting to know the company that ships your product is important because you want to be sure they are legit and they are just as motivated to make money like you.
Keyword research is another aspect of setting up this eCommerce business. Most of the tools I have acquired help me with keyword research and capturing long tail traffic. SEMRush Pro is my go-to tool for keyword research. If you’re low on cash and just starting out, you can use free Google Keyword Planner through Adwords. Keywords searches for SEO purposes can seem like a daunting experience for someone just starting out. Don’t let that be a deterrent from getting started and putting in some work. In the end, these keywords will be what will drive free traffic to your site, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to get traffic without spending a cent?
Another tool to use in getting visitors to your site is through Email Marketing. To create my email list, I have chosen to use Mailchimp. They have a free option for up to 2k subscribers which is perfect for someone who is just starting out. You can make it happen!
Total Cost: $99 Monthly fee SEMRush Pro, $0 MailChimp
Now that I have provided you with a summary of my plan for starting an eCommerce Business; from scratch, be sure to check back often. I will be writing about what gets all of this mumbo jumbo shit to work. Step-by-step replay, if that’s what you need, I’ve got it.