If you’ve worked in commerce for any length of time, you know that succeeding in the industry is no easy task. If you’re creating or marketing a product or forming a commerce business, there are several things to keep in mind if you want to be successful.
1. Sourcing Your Products
If you’re selling physical products, one of your first steps should be determining how you’ll source your products. Do you manufacture them yourself? Do you purchase them from a wholesaler? Will you work with multiple distribution companies? If your business will strictly be an e-commerce one, will you drop-ship products?
2. Creating The Best Online Store You Can
Whether you sell products exclusively online or combine online sales with those from brick-and-mortar stores, having an aesthetically pleasing online store that’s easy to navigate is important. If your website is poorly laid out or confusing, your customers will likely click over to something else. Consider hiring a professional to design your site if you really want to attract customers.
Be sure the design makes sense with whatever you’re selling. For instance, if you’re running a children’s clothing store, you probably don’t want your site to primarily be in shades of black and gray.
3. Setting Business Goals
Sometimes, the process of getting a business off the ground is so overwhelming that you forget to set goals once you launch. Business goals will help track your progress, and they can also motivate you. Most people in commerce suggest creating SMART goals:
When setting goals, set both a realistic goal and a stretch goal. Ambitious goals are great to shoot for, but if you don’t set a realistic goal, too, you might find that you start to get discouraged.
4. Setting Yourself Apart From Your Competitors
The world of commerce is rife with competition. Finding your niche is sound advice, but there are enough businesses out there that you’ll probably have competitors even within a very specific niche. Think about what sets you apart from similar companies and make sure your customers understand.
5. Choosing The Right Name And Logo
You want your business name and business logo to attract your target customers. For example, if you sell minimalist, upscale decor, a sleek and minimalist logo will likely draw the eyes of potential customers. If the logo looks cluttered or whimsical, it won’t attract the right audience. Similarly, choose a name that will resonate with your customers. Make sure it’s unique enough that customers will distinguish it from other brands!
6. Making A Great Marketing Plan
You can have the greatest product in the entire world, but if your customers don’t know it exists, you’ll get nowhere. That’s where marketing comes in. If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, consider working with an experienced agency. Especially if you’ve recently come to the commerce industry, the right marketing campaign can really help you cement your reputation.
7. Knowing Your Target Market
Before you launch your marketing plan, you need to know who you’re marketing to. Once you’ve determined your general target market, create buyer personas. Buyer personas help you fill in details about your target customers: where they live, their interests, their relationships with family members, etc.
8. Handling Product Warehousing and Shipping
This might sound like an obvious consideration, but with all the other aspects of commerce, actual product storage can fall by the wayside. For very small businesses, it might make sense to rent your own warehouse and handle the shipping yourself. In some cases, it’s more economical to hire a third-party logistics company.
If you choose to do your own shipping, make sure that you take steps to adequately protect your product, your employees, and your company. If you have a network of truckers who distribute your product, be sure you have comprehensive long-haul trucking insurance.
Working in commerce can become an adventure. Even if you’re not a business owner right now, the skills you learn in the industry provide you with a foundation you can use to grow a successful business.