7 Steps to Create Good E-Commerce
In the midst of the recent release of the Best Online Shops 2021, Newsweek, DK Hardware CFO Art Goldman shares his thoughts on what it takes to build a solid and sustainable online sales strategy.
We call e-commerce a type of business that sells through an electronic store, either through an app or a website. When creating an electronic business, it is advisable that you follow these 7 steps to create good e-commerce.
Before starting, I have to warn you that -although it seems a simple and intuitive task- to be successful you must control many aspects and technical elements, as well as considering whether it is worth looking for an agency or business to help you or to do everything yourself. A good start is essential for the project to survive and continue in the following months and years. DK Hardware for instance was one of the first online retail stores in the United States and Canada back in 2008 and has continuously evolved to adapt to consumer needs and expectations.
The truth is that in order to be successful you must delegate many tasks to third parties; rarely can a person execute all the tasks alone. Hence, apart from these digital marketing tips, you should also take into account other legal advice and the different formulas that you can implement to associate yourself with the different professional elements that you require.
1) Analyze both internal and external elements that can harm your project
Logically, before starting any project, a good business plan must be made so that it has the success that we can expect from it. For this reason, the first step is to analyze both the internal and external elements that can harm your business. We already have a key piece that is choosing a good platform to manage the e-commerce or online retail perspective. In fact, if we do this analysis well, we can not only prevent some of those negative elements before they appear but also carry out future strategies so that if they arise, the team knows how to act against them before they escalate.
A) What is an internal analysis?
By internal analysis, we understand the observation of how the company is going to function and its financial resources. Here comes into play the work that legal consultants carry out in tax, labor, and financial law to advise entrepreneurs on how to optimize all these elements legally. However, you can also do it yourself, taking care of these aspects:
-Economic and financial situation of the company.
-Human resources and labor expenses.
-How to obtain financing.
-Structuring the distribution network to streamline expenses.
-How to formalize contracts with the different agents or subjects involved (employed, self-employed, subcontractors).
B) Analysis of external agents
This all about observing and analyzing the competition. It is especially important to have good tools that allow us to evaluate our main competitors in different aspects such as social networks and organic positioning in search engines.
On the other hand, from a legal point of view it is about analyzing the current legislation, being essential to observe the following normative aspects, which may vary in each state, country, and continent:
-Consumer protection laws.
-Data Protection law.
-Statute of the workers, the commercial and civil code to establish contractual labor relations.
2) Create a SWOT
From this list of steps to create good e-commerce, the next one I recommend is once we have analyzed our internal and external landscape, do a SWOT to synthesize the competitive advantages that we have; as well as the disadvantages, opportunities, and weaknesses.
Once we have the SWOT completed, it will be easier to identify our competitive advantage.
3) Identify the competitive advantage
The third step in creating e-commerce is to identify our competitive advantage. This must be maintained, expanded if possible, while always monitoring that the competition does not remove this differentiating element in the future. Hence, many entrepreneurs maintain that creativity must not only be maintained during the first stage of the business; but during throughout the endeavor.
Furthermore, if we identify the competitive advantage, it will be much easier to set prices.
4) Define the target audience
Once we have identified our competitive advantage, we must define our target audience. It is a difficult task on many occasions since it is not only about imagining it, but to try to find out who really buys those products and who is willing to buy them.
It is good to accompany it with interviews, prospecting techniques, surveys and focus groups.
5) Select a good e-commerce platform
Creating an electronic store is a difficult task which not only has to result in a functional platform with flawless user experience, but also be optimized for search engines and have all the appropriate psychological elements so that people who browse the website finally buy and acquire those products.
Therefore, there are many aspects and factors to take into account, like:
A) Choose a good domain.
B) Select the quantity of products that will be sold.
C) Hire a good hosting.
D) Select a technological platform.
E) Create an attractive and user-friendly design.
F) Use logistics and stock control software.
6) Communication strategy
Once the skeleton of the website has been configured and a coherent structure has been planned, you must create and design a solid online aligned communication message, led by professionals in the field. You can think of social media and public relations to convey your message initially and, if the budget allows, escalate that into aligned marketing campaigns with a traceable ROI. Google Ads and social media might surprise you with its efficiency and usual low costs for tailored advertisement.
7) Set product prices
Now that we have everything designed and that you have probably already executed each of the elements to create a good e-commerce environment, we will have to establish the prices for our products. It is good not only to have the advice of marketers on these prices; but also, from the tax consultant or financial advisor to help your company run properly and not have losses that endanger its validity.
To set prices on your online store, it is essential that you take into account the analysis of the situation that you did at the beginning of the project, both external and internal elements. Setting prices may sound quite easy, but in practice, a profoundly serious study is required to help you optimize each of the elements that make up the production and distribution chain of the company.
With this analysis we must enhance our strengths and create opportunities in our weaknesses, only when you know the profitable price of each product, you can later make discounts, promotions, offers, and bonuses on designated dates (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Black Friday, etc.).
Featured in America’s Best Online Shops 2021 – Newsweek, DK Hardware is one of the largest online home improvement retailers for a variety of hardware manufacturers all over the United States and Canada.