Digitalization Action Plan for your Business: Part 1
Brent PetersonMarch 12, 2019
In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, businesses need to develop an online presence in order to keep with their competitors and attract customers. eCommerce continues to increase at an exponential rate each year, and online consumers expect their favorite retailers to have fast, updated websites for convenient shopping experiences.
However, business owners who want to strengthen their online presence, or those who still need to make the “digital jump,” often feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. Whether you aim to update your current e-commerce store or start an online business from scratch, here’s how you can start developing a plan for success.
Do Your Research
Before you get carried away with building your dream eCommerce site, take some time to think about what you really want to sell. To succeed alongside giant online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, smaller companies have to narrow down their products to a specific niche and aim on being the most successful seller in that area. Even if you already have an established brand, it can be helpful to research your competitors and check out their websites to get ideas for your own eCommerce store. For online entrepreneurs, here’s how to decide what kind of store you should launch:
- Choose an area you’re genuinely interested in, but one that isn’t overly popular or too specific. Using tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you find a niche that will help you earn a profit without being overcrowded by similar companies.
- Look for specific problems you could solve or areas where a solution is lacking.
- Analyze your potential competition and determine how you could improve upon the solutions they offer.
Write Out a Business Plan
When you’re developing or improving your eCommerce store, having a detailed business plan is the key to staying on track and reaching your business goals. Tim Berry, a tech company founder, states that a great business plan should be roughly 20-30 pages long and should summarize your vision for the success and growth of your company. Spending time to create a plan will help you successfully launch your eCommerce store and make sure it continues to grow in the long run. To start, here are the main factors you should include:
- Executive summary. Summarize your vision, briefly describe your business and explain what solutions you could offer to consumers.
- A detailed business description. Describe your company, products, values, and consider the future of your business. Will there be an increasing demand for your products in the future? How will your store stay relevant?
- Identified target market. For example, if you plan to sell fashion for teens, think about how you can market specifically to that demographic and appeal to them.
- Estimated costs of development and operations. Ask yourself what the development process for your products would look like, how much it would cost, where you would get finances to pay for inventory and operations, and estimate how much money you expect to make in the first year of selling online. What costs should you expect in the first year?
Choose the Right Platform
There are countless online platforms to choose from, so it can seem difficult to narrow down the options. To make sure you choose a reliable platform that’s perfect for your business needs, consider the most important features all modern websites need to have today:
- Fast loading times. Have you ever gotten frustrated when a web page didn’t load fast enough? Did you click off and find another site? This is exactly what every online shopper does when a site takes too long to load! Prevent this from happening with your eCommerce store by choosing a platform with reliably quick download speeds.
- Responsive design. With mobile shopping on the rise, businesses need to make sure their websites function on any type of device so customers can have a seamless shopping experience whether they’re on their phone, tablet, or laptop.
- Customization options. Don’t settle for a “cookie-cutter” website that has the same template as hundreds of other online sellers. Make sure your eCommerce store can stand out from the competition with a unique, one-of-a-kind website that you can tailor and update to your exact specifications.
- Integrations and features. Do you want to use specific third-party apps or services along with your online store? Is built-in SEO optimization important to you? Make a list of the most important aspects you want your eCommerce site to have and then do your research based on this criteria.
As you’re revising your business plan, searching for the right hosting platform for your store, and calculating your budget, take a moment to check out the solutions and services offered by Magento and Wagento to learn how you could take your eCommerce business to the next level.
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