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April 11, 2018 E-Commerce & Retail en_MY Learn more about the type of common challenges small business owners are facing, and get some tips on how to overcome these obstacles. Discover how to attract more customers, maintain profitability, and obtain funding for expansion. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/cas/dam/IMAGE/A21yPJsMe/ee046763ea303f70431e515b56d4445c.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/my/r/starting-up/successful-e-commerce-business-essentials 5 Essentials for Starting a Successful E-Commerce Business
E-Commerce & Retail

5 Essentials for Starting a Successful E-Commerce Business

Staff Writer April 11, 2018

If you’re thinking about launching an e-commerce business, you’re on the right track. Tech-savvy Malaysians love shopping on the internet, making it a great time to open a store online. To be successful, it’s a good idea to make sure you have the following essentials in place before going live.

A Plan

Like a successful road trip, every successful e-commerce business venture starts with a road map known as a business plan. The most basic parts of a business plan include:

  • Your concept, which includes details about your store, your product, and what you plan to do to make your e-commerce store successful.
  • Your target market, who they are, and what they buy. This section can also include details about your competitors and how you plan to beat them.
  • Your finances, including your balance sheet, the amount of income and assets you have on hand when you start, and your cash flow.

As you proceed with your business, referring back to your business plan helps you see if you’re achieving your goals along the way.

Appealing Products

You want to stock your store with a highly sought-after product or product line that can sell starting on launch day. Don’t worry about chasing every trendy product, though. Instead, identify a target market, find out which products your prospective customers buy online, and sell those products. Free online market research tools offered by Facebook and Twitter can help you identify target markets. Start your market research just by talking to your friends and their friends. Once you decide which products to sell, you can feel comfortable stocking your store.

An Amazing Website

A great-looking online store inspires shoppers to buy. Choose one of the many available e-commerce templates, or, to design a truly unique store, consider hiring a web developer (don’t worry it’s not as expensive as you might think).

If you’re on a budget, you can hire a freelance web developer on a website like Upwork. Ensure your online store has a simple layout that makes your products look great on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Online stores that are easy to navigate are more likely to be successful.

An Active Social Media Presence

Just about everyone is on social media so your active accounts can help spread the word about your store well before you launch. Photos and videos sell products well, so head to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to build buzz. A great way to attract followers is to share your posts with your online friends and encourage them to share them with their friends. If you have an advertising budget, consider buying some online ads to drive traffic to your store.

Business Apps

Once you start selling, you need to keep track of your inventory. That’s where a company like QuickBooks is helpful. Its top-quality inventory management apps help you track your inventory, run reports on top-selling products, and track product orders. The apps, which you can access from anywhere, also make it possible to invoice your customers from your smart device.

Your online store could blow up faster than you think if you sell the right products and market them well. Planning how you’re going to set up your business first is the easiest way to ensure success.