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What Does it Really Take to Earn a Decent Income with an Online Store?

Earn a Decent Income with an Online Store

It’s 2022, and anyone can start a thriving online business, irrespective of their entrepreneur experience or professional background. Yet, even though the entry barrier is relatively lower, it’s not entirely gone. You need to get the basics right to start and scale an online store.But that shouldn’t discourage you from launching an eCommerce business.

First, there are a couple of reasons you should start an online business. Here are the three main ones:

  • It’s pretty inexpensive to start: You can get your store up and running with $100
  • There’s massive potential for growth: By 2025, online sales will account for 45 percent of global sales
  • You can run your store around the clock: Your online store will be available to customers 24/7, so you can sell anytime.

Still, 90 percent of all internet businesses fail within the first 120 days. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your online store isn’t part of these statistics

Get the Hang of Things First 

While starting an online business is easy, you must know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for failure. You need to join the dots to stand a chance of a reasonable income and scale with time. Here are the five most crucial online business skills:

  • Digital marketing
  • Planning and research
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Picking the right niche

While these may come across as a great deal of skills, you can sign up for a good online program to equip you with the know-how to get started on the right footing.  Echoing the words of Abraham Lincoln “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”  Take some time to learn how things work before taking the plunge. Your chances of succeeding are higher if you’ve got the fundamentals figured out.

Conduct a SWOT Analysis

After acquiring the skills you need to get started, it’s time to take the plunge. Start by conducting a SWOT analysis. For starters, SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Think of it as a strategy to assess several niche and product ideas.

The point of a SWOT analysis is to enable you to develop a solid business strategy by ensuring that you’ve taken into account all your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you may encounter during the course of running your business. SWOT analysis should be part of your planning process. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all plan for your business, thinking about your new online store in terms of “SWOTs” will put you in the right direction, saving you from unnecessary headaches later.

Conduct Thorough Product Research

You can stock three main types of eCommerce products in your online store. Selling each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

Physical Goods

These, as the name suggests, are the material merchandise produced via manufacturing. You can store physical goods in a warehouse and ship them to customers. While selling physical goods on your online store can be lucrative, the margins can be relatively low, so you need to manage your operational costs effectively.

Digital Downloads

Digital downloads comprise anything customers can download to their devices, such as online and audio courses, eBooks, etc. The upside of selling digital products is that they have a higher profit margin than physical goods. On the other hand, pricing digital products can be a delicate balancing act since most customers perceive them as low-value products.

Services

You can sell almost any service available online. In fact, selling services is arguably the fastest way to start an online business and generate reasonable profits. However, by extension, selling services means you’re selling your time. This implies that your earning potential primarily depends on the number of hours you can commit every day. You can overcome this disadvantage by scaling your service business into an agency.

Conduct In-depth Market Research

To succeed with your online store, you need to determine your target customer's wants, needs and lacks. Conducting thorough market research allows you to determine how competitive and profitable your chosen vertical can be. Think of market research as a strategy to determine if enough people are keen to buy your offer. On top of that, market research enables you to validate your product idea, pricing structure, and demand.

Below are three tactics you can use to Kickstart your market research:

Analyze SERPs

Check your service or product keywords variations and analyze their search engine result pages (SERPs) for your phrases. Scrutinize the type of content ranking on the first page. In addition, look up the businesses using paid ads. These steps will help you pre-assess your competition. Further, analyzing SERPs can allow you to get the insights you need to run data-backed SEO and digital marketing strategies.

Research Your Competitors

Market research involves analyzing your competitor. You need to look at big brands in your niche and their revenue. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Reaching competitors before launching your store lets you determine how you can outperform them.

Track High-performing Keywords

Survey how the demand for various products is changing in your niche. You can check the high-ranking content for niche-relevant keywords using tools like Google Trend, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush.

Determine Your Target Audience

You can’t solicit sales or scale your online store if you don’t understand who your target customer is. To pinpoint your audience’s needs and preferences, you must research psychographics and demographic data. Psychographics include elements like interests, values, opinions, interests, etc. Demographics, on the other hand, comprises socioeconomic elements like age, gender, ethnicity, job title, and income. With these insights, you can develop an in-depth understanding of your ideal customer’s purchase triggers, preferences, and needs.

Source the Right Product

You can thrive as an online business owner if you’re selling substandard goods. However, you need to carefully consider your product strategy because you don’t want to attract negative reviews.

You can get goods to sell by:

  • Making your own products
  • Finding a drop shipper
  • Partnering with a wholesaler

In addition, you must evaluate your product’s viability before buying a big order. Put differently; you’ll want to determine if your product’s demand is sustainable.

At this point, you’re almost ready to launch your business. You’ve done everything you need to do to prepare your online store for launch. Before you launch your store, though, you need to determine how you’ll make your business stand out from competitors.

Some of the niceties you can use to win your first customers include:

  • Establishing a solid social media presence
  • Optimizing your website for SEO
  • Creating interesting, helpful content
  • Partnering with complementary brands
  • Participate in online events and discussions

You can leverage paid strategies per-per-click and Google Ads as your business grows.

The Bottom Line  

Running a successful online store requires laying a solid foundation from the get-go. It involves reviewing your strategies from time to time. You’ll also want to keep up with eCommerce trends to know what’s happening in the industry and how your store can fit in. With the right growth strategies and dedication, you can generate a stable income regularly with your online store.

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