There’s a lot to be gained nowadays by venturing into the ever-growing e-commerce market, especially when you consider the fact that the e-commerce industry is expected to surpass 4.88 trillion US dollars by 2021.

This type of staggering growth only goes to show just how much e-commerce products and brands are in demand nowadays, as well as the fact that the industry is only going to maintain its upward trajectory in the years to come.

Naturally, this is the perfect opportunity for you as an aspiring entrepreneur to build your very own online store and establish a foothold in the industry. Most importantly, now’s the right time to seize your slice of this enormous market, and build a global brand that will one day dominate the e-commerce field. Here are the five tips to help you set the stage for a thriving future.

Research lucrative industries and niches

Many inexperienced entrepreneurs make the common mistake of settling for an Ecommerce niche without conducting a thorough market analysis first. Remember, just because a niche or a group of products is in high demand now doesn’t mean that they will be lucrative prospects in the future, nor that you should venture into that particular niche – because the competition might be too strong for you to handle. You’d be surprised how easy it is to go out of business if you try to establish a foothold in an overly-competitive arena.

This is why you need to run a SWOT analysis of your business idea as well as every potential e-commerce niche that you can enter. Discovering the unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of every individual market will provide you with the necessary insights to make a cost-effective decision, and avoid entering a dangerous marketplace. Try to find a niche with a stable growth forecast, one with few competitors that you can easily enter and seize for yourself.

Develop a strong brand strategy

In the modern e-commerce world, an online store is nothing without a strong brand identity. You can have the most beautifully designed website with amazing features and stellar performance, but if you don’t have a unique brand to set you apart, you will inevitably drown in a sea of similar companies. This is a recipe for disaster, in the long run, so make sure to invest time and other resources into building an amazing brand.

Start by coming up with a catchy brand name and tagline that closely depict your scope of work. Next, try to come up with a set of brand values that complement the values of your target demographic, in order to connect with the online audience on a deeper level – this is how you build loyal customers. Be sure to weave the values into your brand messages, product descriptions, and all content, including your visuals. Make these visuals bold and unique to capture the attention of your audience.

Stay on top of the latest global trends

In the world of global e-commerce, information is the key to long-term success. You need to stay on top of the latest industry trends, projections, and developments in order to safely build your brand, expand your operation, and tap into up-and-coming markets while safeguarding your company from economic downfalls. It’s important to monitor the countries you’re operating in, and the trends that prevail within.

For example, online stores operating in China should subscribe to reputable online portals such as Week in China that can give them valuable information about the latest trends in technology, economy, finance, and more. This way, you can find out how artificial intelligence and automation are reshaping the business sector and impacting the local economy, and even how you can integrate new technologies into your business to boost productivity, efficiency, and minimize financial expenditure. Be sure to monitor all of the latest trends in your field and beyond, and you will be able to make all the right decisions on the road to success.

Build a user-friendly online store

Another crucial element of success in the e-commerce realm is website design. When it comes to designing and building your online store, there can be no compromise. The future of your business quite literally rests on your site’s ability to attract curious shoppers, dazzle them with its design and performance, provide the necessary information, and convert them into loyal shoppers and brand followers.

Fail to do this, and you won’t be able to develop your sales strategy, map out the shopping journey for your customers, or incentivize them to engage with your brand in any way. You will need to build an aesthetic website that captures the eye, but more importantly, a user-friendly website that makes online shopping a breeze. Emphasize performance, including responsiveness, browsing, loading speed, checkout design, and customer support.

Market your business across the web

Now that you have your new e-commerce business all set up and ready to go, it’s time to put your marketing strategy into effect. In order for your online store to gain the momentum and traction it needs to establish a foothold in the market, you will need to employ all digital marketing tactics.
Use meticulous search engine optimization to rank high in the relevant SERPs, boost your online presence with AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages), tend to meticulous social media management and marketing, invest in paid advertising, and reach out to influencers in your niche to close some lucrative sponsorship deals.

In closing

E-commerce is on a constant upward trajectory, and there is no denying that the best time to invest in an e-commerce startup is now. Use these tips to build a strong business plan and a growth strategy that will allow you to make all the right decisions on your way to long-term success.