Joel Gross

How to Start an Ecommerce Store?

As the web spreads and spread, and more traditional brick and mortar retail businesses are caught up in the growth, lots of people are trying to figure out how to get in on the action. But the question as always, is where (and how) to start? For many, the front end of the web (user side) is what they’re familiar with. Web addresses, social media, back buttons, refresh, favorites, email, are all commonly used and as much a part of our daily lives as eating. But that means next to nothing when it comes to creating a concept, thinking through all its pieces, picking a web design company in Los Angeles, building and designing a website, and then finally launching and managing it.

We’ll try and provide you with a quick overview of some ways that you can create your own online store. Of course, if you’re interested and have an idea, we’d love to be the team that helps you out.

    1. What to sell? If you’re already familiar with a particular product group and have a source, you’re ahead in this area. But picking an item to sell is really one of the most difficult and important things to consider. Generally, if you’re starting from scratch and you don’t have significant investments ready to put into something, you’ll want a product that has a long shelf life (things that expire or go out of fashion can be risky), something small if you have to store, or something that can be shipped directly from the distributor. If you’re responsible for shipping and are offering free returns, pick something that ships easily with little chance of damage. Socks for instance
Socks for Sale on Ecommerce

Ship well? Check.

  1. Now you’ve decided to sell socks online! Okay, maybe not. But we’ll use that as an example. The next big step for you is to find your supplier. This should be done carefully and should be done thoroughly. The wrong supplier could mean delays, low quality in products, or poor profit margins.
  2. So you found a sock wholesaler from Kansas who hand knits them all in the US and offers a lifetime guarantee, and a full refund to their retail partners if they don’t ship in a timely fashion? Great. Next up is to start the branding search. Is the company going to be geared toward younger people, stay at home moms, nerds? Come up with a great name for the company, a color scheme that coordinates, and start looking at any other site aimed at your audience. Ideally, this is not too trendy. A lot of advertising, print, and design dollars are going to be based off this branding so make sure you don’t limit your audience or your growth by an ill-fated decision here.
  3. Now you’re ready to start selling the product but you need a website. Spend the time to VERY VERY VERY thoroughly examine each of the options here. Look for references, BBB ratings, Yelp reviews, and more to verify up front, that a web design company is as good as they say they are. Examine their portfolios, looking for similar projects. The problem with web design is that there aren’t any regulations, so many people simply throw up new company names every couple months after their lack of ability and follow through shines through. You want a web design company that has been around for a while (under the same domain, name, and location) and that has demonstrated experience with what you’re looking for. Don’t miss this- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN YOUR PROCESS. Good ideas come often, but good execution does not. IF your short on budget, save, save, save. Going cheaper doesn’t mean you can fix later, usually it means more costs up front and less flexibility down the road. Why is it so important to pick the right company? Most of the time, you’ll have to take what they say as the truth. Unless you want to learn PHP, Perl, C+, HTML, CSS, Flash, Javascript, jQuery, etc, you’ll need someone to guide you.
  4. Once you’ve picked Coalition Technologies, spend the time with us working all the way through the designs. Do you want contemporary? Traditional? Themed? Feminine? Masculine? Young? A good LA or Seattle web design company like ours talks a lot about marketing, SEO, conversions, usability, and is always consulting you on what’s best for your business. You can choose to ignore it, but you’re better educated and more likely to succeed as a result.
  5. After designs, its development. You’ll have a few opportunities to review and test as things progress, so be sure to spend the time to look over everything and be vocal with any questions, comments, or concerns. We don’t mind! Feedback and dialogue are critical. While we’re working on custom coding your site on BigCommerce or Magento or Volusion, you should be gathering content- there is lots to write and lots of photographs and other information that is necessary. Most projects miss deadlines because content wasn’t ready.
  6. Finally launch! All that hard work deserves a break! Celebrate with friends and family. Make it a big deal. Its not every day you set out on your own and start a business. Word of mouth can be a valuable way to promote your business.
  7. This really isn’t the end- its just the beginning. Now you have to think about marketing, customer service, shipping, promotions, returns, payment processing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and more! But keep your chin up. You’re a business owner now, and the business you own is part of the greatest change in our economy since the invention of money.
      As we mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you. We’re based in Los Angeles and Seattle and have a great team to address your needs. I can’t assure you that we’ll be the cheapest, but we will be the best value. We look forward to helping you through this process. Call us at 310.827.3890.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.