The best way to start your own e-tailer is by using a combination of cash flow, marketing, and sales, says Mike Clements, a founder of online shopping platform eBuyer.
If you’re willing to put in the work, he adds, it’s the only way to get your first customers and a loyal following.
“I would not want to be a CEO and not be able to turn those first customers into a profit,” says Clements.
Start by building a solid product.
This may seem obvious, but if you don’t know what your product is, you’ll be stuck.
“There are many businesses out there that have a product but no one is buying it because the salespeople are not that good,” says Paul E. Wold, author of the new book How to Start a Business From Scratch.
“If you don´t have a clear idea of what your business is, it can be hard to grow.”
You don’t need to sell tons of crap just yet.
There’s always something you can sell to the wrong person.
For example, you might offer free shipping, but it won’t help you sell that much if you’re still on the fence about buying it.
Instead, use the right combination of sales and marketing to convince your customers to sign up for a monthly payment plan or a free trial.
And while you’re at it, make sure your customer service team knows what your site is about, too.
If your customers aren’t interested in your business, your first customer may be someone who already knows about it, and you need to show them you have a customer-focused website.
“You can sell free shipping or free trial, but you have to have the right message and the right mix of things,” says Wold.