Starting an online business can be a risky venture, and the process itself, overwhelming. Success stories begin with a well constructed business plan, including a user friendly ecommerce application: preferably one with a fully hosted, subscription based shopping cart, such as Shopify. Being in business 24 hours a day has its benefits, but prosperity and longevity require more than just being available around the clock, especially in the highly competitive children’s market, catering to parents and grandparents.
- Formulate your business plan.Without a solid business plan in place, your online children’s store is doomed to fail. The key components of your plan should include:
General description – Describe your business here in detail; what sets you apart, what types of products you intend to sell, and what types of consumers you think you’ll attract.
Market analysis – Get to know your target market, and how to appeal to your customer base.
Day-to-day operations. Where will your business be based? Where will inventory be stored, and how will you keep track of it? Who will look after the accounting? Knowing the answers to these questions and more, will help keep your business running professionally and efficiently.
Management. Whether your staff consists of 1 or 100, make sure everyone knows where they fit in, and who is responsible for what.
Products and/or services. While you can diversify or scale your business down the road, know what you’re selling now, inside and out, so that you can best describe it to your online customers in your ecommerce application.
Financial forecast. Set some short term and long term goals, for both motivational and investment purposes.
- Choose your ecommerce application. Rather than focusing your energy and efforts on a complicated interface with a steep learning curve, opt for an ecommerce application that is easy to use, both for you and your customers. A fully hosted shopping cart looks after the technical intricacies, payment details, security and hosting, freeing up your valuable time to focus on what’s really important: growing your business.
- Get online. The sooner you’re online, the sooner you can start selling. Your website should be user friendly, easy to navigate, and pleasing to the eye, catering to your target market – but make sure you know who that is. Once you begin selling, you can better identify where your customers are coming from, how to keep them, and what it takes to bring in new ones.
- Market yourself. Once your website is up and running, ecommerce application loaded and ready to go, it’s time to market yourself. With hundreds of thousands of websites already catering to children’s clothing, toys and accessories, it’s imperative that you focus a great deal of energy towards putting your business on the map, and gaining your market share. Effective solutions include social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation) and pay per click advertising.
A Tale of Success
One amazing example of what the right ecommerce application can do for your online business, is StickerKid. They are a true global enterprise, selling their stickers to families around the world for the past 10 years, with over one hundred thousand satisfied customers. Due to the unique nature and customisation requirements of their product line, creative ecommerce solutions were implemented by the team at ebPearls, making the StickerKid website not only easy to use, but easy on the eyes as well.
Building a successful online children’s store takes more than just a desire to succeed. Working with a partner like EB Pearls is an investment in your future, along with choosing the right ecommerce application to showcase and sell your merchandise.