I have had a few enquiries lately from people who want to set up an e-commerce website. All but one were new businesses without an existing customer list.
Setting up a business that sells online might be easier than setting up a high street shop, but either way, without customers neither will be successful.
So if you are planning to open up a shop (online or high street) think about your target customers first.
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- Why do they need your products or services?
- How will they find out you exist?
One way of doing that is by starting a blog about what you’re going to sell several months before you open up your online shop.
For example if you plan to sell edible things, write a food blog. Perhaps specialising in particular foods you are going to sell (gluten free, spices, sweets, drinks, …).
Or if you plan to sell pencils, you can write about their history, the different types, classic examples, different pencil brands, …
And so on.
You’ll need to do this pretty consistently, once a week at least, if you want to get somewhere. Use a platform like WordPress.com or Tumblr where your posts can be shared easily by readers. Title your posts well so that they match questions potential customers might search for. And then answer those questions in the posts.
When you start to notice people are beginning to read your stuff, add in some affiliate links to websites where people can buy things. Amazon affiliates is easy to set up and they have a huge catalog of things to buy. Affiliate links will kickstart your earning career.
And finally, when you have your audience of readers (potential customers) you can set up your online shop. And not a day sooner.
By the way, I am available for custom designed and build Shopify websites 🙂