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Launching an eCommerce store is one of the most feasible routes to owning your business. Nearly anyone can set up a Wix or Squarespace page to start selling, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient route to start generating revenue. Although it might seem simple just to set up shop, doing it in a way that establishes a foundation for future success is crucial, which is what we’re going to discuss.

Start With Your Budget

The smartest place to start when establishing your eCommerce store is with your budget. Not only will this be the cursor as to what your plans are going to be, what exactly you need to place a priority in developing your shop. According to eCorner, it costs approximately $1,571 to start your average eCommerce shop, and while that’s not an astronomically high number, it’s also one that comes with its considerations. However, all of that starts with mapping out your budget.

A significant part of budgeting is first figuring out what store you’re trying to establish, including your methods for distribution. For example, if you have to buy inventory or will be drop shipping, which will determine a large portion of your overhead. All-in-all, the best strategy is to itemize everything you’ll need for your shop to get an accurate picture and ensure you’re well prepared.

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve established how much your eCommerce store might cost, it’s time to dig into what will make it worthwhile. According to RJ Metrics, there are approximately 110,000 eCommerce sites out there generating revenue, which goes to show just how intense the competition in your industry can be. Even when you factor in aspects like the amount of well-run stores per the genre of eCommerce you’re aiming to enter, it can still be a pretty daunting task to design something that will appeal to others. If you want to be competitive, taking a glance at some examples of the most successful Shopify stores today can be a crucial first step.

Take a glance at the different eCommerce stores you admire, noting what makes them unique. Try to categorize these into functions, for example, identifying if it’s a design/UX aspect or if it was a feature for customer service. Granted, many of these will overlap, however, the more you compile these case studies, the better, as they’ll provide insights into what you find valuable. A big part of a great eCommerce store being able to take the customer on a journey that both makes them feel welcomed as much as does leading them to a sale, so ask yourself what type of path you, yourself would take to get there too.

Figure Out A Plan For Marketing

With a great plan for a site on your hands, the next valuable step is figuring out just how you’re going to market this store. Depending on how closely you follow your industry, there are probably some ideas or tactics you might already have in mind; however, a big part of marketing is both knowing where your target demographic is, as well as how to reach them. Accomplishing that goal takes both quantitative research and storytelling.

To begin, scope out where you consider your audience to be, what demographics might support that, as well as how to start telling a story to them. For example, according to Pew Research, 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are on Instagram, which is the perfect medium if I’m tackling a younger audience. It’s also wise to begin familiarizing yourself with some of the popular eCommerce tools, such as A/B testing, call-to-action implementation, and even paid advertisements. While you’re not going to be perfect at first, through time, you’ll start to gain a grasp on consistency, giving you better a chance to reach a wider audience for your store.

Learn From Inefficiencies Quickly

Finally, with your shop up and running, the most significant thing now is to spot where your shortcomings are for improvement. Although this might sound like something every business does, getting in the habit of doing it daily will set you above the rest (especially in starting out). Plus, as noted by Entrepreneur, with 82 percent of businesses failing because of cash flow problems, figuring out how to get every penny you can is a worthwhile procedure to implement.

Identifying inefficiencies starts with looking at your different processes, including things like customer service, checkout, and marketing. The biggest problem you’re looking for is abandoned carts; although you don’t want to drive yourself crazy with the “why,” it is important to go through and audit the different processes mentioned. A golden rule with inefficiencies is to design things the way you would want to experience them as a customer, which you’ll eventually get better at over time.

What are you most excited about in launching an eCommerce store? Comment with your answers below!