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Your Guide to Running an eCommerce Shop Solo

By Yogesh Gaur on October 18, 2018

Running an eCommerce shop by yourself is tough. You have to invest time into creating your online store, manage inventory, process payments, market your brand, and ship out products. And that’s just the beginning. But think about all the benefits of owning an eCommerce shop. For example, starting an eCommerce shop is very easy to do thanks to the abundant and cost-effective resources and tools that are available to everyone. Not to mention, with an eCommerce shop you can extend beyond your local area, reaching a global audience.

And there’s always the fact that you’re able to stay open 24/7, personalize the buying experience for customers, and process lots of orders all at once because there are no lines for people to wait in. But earning passive income through an eCommerce shop as a solopreneur doesn’t come without its challenges. After all, if you’re running the show alone, everything falls onto you. That’s why today we’re sharing with you the best things you can do when launching a startup, so you can avoid some of the pitfalls that come with having to do everything by yourself.

1. Consider Dropshipping

Starting an eCommerce shop from scratch – on your own – can prove to be very beneficial in the long run. But getting to the point where you’re generating a consistent profit is hard for anyone, let alone someone who is doing it alone. For example, you may find that your initial launch of products is not well-liked by your target audience.

When that happens, you’ll soon realize that you have too much inventory, and not enough buyers, which can lead to financial ruin. So then what are you supposed to do? One of the best ways to get around this problem is to venture into dropshipping.

With dropshipping, you still run your eCommerce shop and process orders for customers. The difference is, you select dropshipping suppliers that will be in charge of both product inventory and shipping the actual items to customers once they make a purchase. As a result, you don’t have to invest a lot of money upfront to start your online shop, you don’t have to worry about housing inventory, and you never have to deal with shipping items. Not to mention, you never have to worry about having too much inventory on hand, which can ruin your budget and ability to turn a profit.

And the best part? If you find customers don’t like what you’re selling, all you have to do is change the products you offer in your shop to cater to their needs. If you find that managing an eCommerce shop on your own is too much to handle when it comes to inventory management, try drop shipping. You can still generate lots of revenue, only with half the headache.

2. Create a Consistent Brand

You may not be a large corporation making millions in revenue each month, but remember, branding is everything. If people don’t recognize your brand when they come across in it in ads, on social media, or in search results, it won’t matter what you sell, because people won’t be jumping to buy from you. If you work hard, however, to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry, and create a brand that people will not only remember, but recognize, your chances of success grow. One of the key elements to creating a strong and recognizable brand is to develop a company logo. You can do this using the free design tool Canva.

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In fact, with the premium version of Canva you can build an entire brand kit, complete with color schemes, fonts, and personal logo uploads so everything is consistent. Just make sure whatever you create is used across all platforms. This includes your eCommerce site, social media accounts, email campaigns, and advertisements. That way people will know it’s you when they happen across your content.

3. Invest in Content Marketing

There’s a lot that goes into having a good content marketing strategy.  And while it’s impossible to name off everything you should do when it comes to your website’s content, we can give you some useful tips.

Content Planning

To start, try using an editorial calendar, such as the free template CoSchedule offers, to organize what blog content and social media posts you want to publish and when.

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Or, if you’re using WordPress, you can use any number of free editorial calendar plugins to get you started on the right track:

 

A good editorial calendar will help you see that your publishing schedule is consistent and help you plan ahead so you don’t become overwhelmed since you have to do everything on your own.

Keyword Research

Next, focus on keyword research. Using the right keywords in your content will make your content more relevant to potential customers, boost your search rankings, and help you secure more sales. For keyword ideas, try Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool:

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This tool will suggest alternative keywords to help you rank higher, as well as the level of competition each keyword has, the expected search volume, and the cost per click (CPC).

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Or, if you want a more detailed look at possible keywords, try using SEMRush.

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Here you’ll get the following information after performing a simple keyword search:

  • Organic and paid search volumes
  • Phrase matches
  • Related keywords
  • Organic search results already using the keyword
  • Organic ad displays

No matter what tool you use, it’s important you pay attention to the keywords you’re using in your content, so the right people see your website in search results.

Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media, even as a solopreneur trying to run an online shop all on your own. In fact, with a little extra planning, you can be heavily involved in social media and driving traffic to your eCommerce shop, all without too much added effort.

Here are some tips for handling this on your own:

  • Research which social media platforms your target audience frequents the most, so you don’t waste time on the wrong platforms
  • Consider using Pinterest and Instagram for your eCommerce shop to display product images and descriptions
  • Always interact with those that comment on your platforms, so they know you’re invested in them and care
  • Post your website’s content to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, complete with links back to your site to drive traffic and sales
  • Automate social media posting to make your life easier using a free WordPress plugin like Revive Old Posts or tools like Hootsuite or CoSchedule.

You can even use the Jetpack settings to automatically post to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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Lastly, make it easy for people visiting your online shop to share their favorite content and like or follow your accounts using a WordPress plugin such as Simple Share Buttons Adder.

4. Offer a Smooth Checkout Process

Nothing matters to the success of your eCommerce shop more than sales. After all, it doesn’t matter how many people come to your site looking for what you have to offer if they don’t buy anything. Not to mention, in 2017 the online shopping cart abandonment rate was at a staggering 69.23%That’s why setting up the checkout process during the final stage of the customer journey is so important.

Here are some checkout process best practices to prevent cart abandonment and encourage sales:

  • Make finalizing a purchase as quick and easy as possible
  • Display a progress bar, so people always know where they’re at in the process
  • Enable guest checkout so those that don’t want to create an account to make a purchase can continue
  • Use trust badges to instill trust in your customers that their sensitive information is secure
  • Be clear about shipping costs, taxes, and the final price
  • Offer plenty of payment options
  • Send out email campaigns with coupons or promo codes to get people to come back
  • Enable wishlist functionality, so those that want to come back can finish where they left off

As you can see, you can help lower your cart abandonment rate by making the checkout process as smooth and seamless as possible.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! You now know the most basic things every solopreneur that owns an online shop should be doing to drive traffic, boost conversions, and increase sales. Running an eCommerce shop on your own can be a lot of hard work. There are many things to handle all at once, and without the right marketing strategies, generating sales can be nearly impossible. Luckily, by following this small but effective guide when you launch your online shop, you’ll find yourself well on the way to building sales and growing your business in no time.

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