Starting an Ecommerce Business from Scratch: The Do’s and The Don’ts

In recent years, the world has witnessed a growing surge in the popularity of e-commerce businesses. As more people turn to online shopping for convenience and accessibility, the opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to tap into this market have never been greater. Yet, for those looking to start their e-commerce business from scratch, it is crucial they launch it the right way.

Numerous challenges can come with establishing a new business venture, as the online world is highly competitive. However, every decision you make will significantly impact your venture’s growth and profitability.

Consider the do’s and don’ts of starting an e-commerce business from scratch, as they will ensure you build a solid foundation for success.

The Do’s of Starting an E-Commerce Business

Explore the essential do’s for launching a successful e-commerce business, as they will guide you through the key steps in building an online store.

1. Conduct Thorough Market Research

Market research is a vital first step in starting your e-commerce business. By conducting research thoroughly, you will gain valuable insights into your target audience, industry trends and potential opportunities. 

Additionally, a deep understanding of your niche allows you to tailor your products, marketing strategies and overall approach to cater to your customers’ needs and preferences. To ensure you conduct the right amount of research, invest time studying your competitors, identifying gaps in the market and analyzing consumer behavior. 

Utilize tools like Google Trends and social media platforms to capture current demands and emerging trends. Staying informed and adapting to market shifts will enable you to make well-informed decisions to get your business started.

2. Use the Right Packaging for Shipment

The right packaging for shipping plays a vital role in delivering exceptional customer experiences, as it impacts the product’s presentation and protection during transit. Research shows that businesses with high customer satisfaction have 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors. Therefore, investing in high-quality packaging that reflects your brand’s commitment to excellence is essential.

The best types of packaging should be lightweight, durable and water resistant, as these make an ideal choice for shipping various products. Your packaging should also be able to protect your items during transit while reducing shipping costs. 

Additionally, consider incorporating eco-friendly packaging materials and visually appealing designs that resonate with your audience. When you use the right packaging, you create memorable unboxing experiences. As a result, you bolster your customers’ satisfaction, encourage repeat purchases and enhance your company’s brand reputation. 

3. Focus on User-Friendly Web Design

A website’s design in e-commerce greatly impacts your customer’s shopping experience and conversion rate. Ensuring your website is clean, professional and easy to navigate will be more crucial than ever — as it allows customers to find products quickly and seamlessly.

Additionally, a user-friendly design lets customers complete their purchases with minimal friction. Consider prioritizing usability and aesthetics to create a positive first impression. For example, suppose you create a website banner to promote a sale. The right size can determine whether it will capture your users’ attention.

For instance, many consumers shop on their mobile devices, so it would be crucial to maintain 320×100 pixels for a responsive design.

Moreover, it is important to implement reduced page load times and streamlined checkout processes to accommodate mobile users. With a user-friendly web design for your online store, you will improve search engine rankings and customer satisfaction.

4. Choose the Right Products to Sell

The right products can directly affect your ability to attract customers and generate revenue. When selecting products to sell, consider aligning them with your passion and expertise. Doing so will make it easier to create compelling marketing campaigns and provide exceptional customer service. 

Additionally, it is essential to evaluate market demand, profit margins and the level of competition. That way, you can determine whether they will have any potential to yield a sustainable income for your business.

It is also important to strike a balance between following your interests and catering to your customers. Consider conducting extensive product research by analyzing the best-selling items in your niche. It also helps to keep seasonal demands in mind while exploring untapped markets.

Remember, the right product mix can be the key differentiating factor that sets your e-commerce business apart. Therefore, investing time in product research will be the greatest step in driving its growth.

The Don’ts of Starting an E-Commerce Business

Consider the don’ts of starting an e-commerce business, as they highlight the common pitfalls to avoid in building a thriving online store.

1. Neglect Customer Service

While it is easy to focus on the tangible aspects of your e-commerce business, neglecting customer service can harm your brand’s reputation. Exceptional customer support fosters customer loyalty, improves retention, and promotes positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Avoid this pitfall by prioritizing responsive and helpful customer service. Consider offering multiple channels for communication, such as email, live chat and social media. Train your support team to resolve issues effectively and empathetically, ensuring each customer interaction leaves a positive impression.

When you value customer service and consistently go the extra mile, you create a loyal customer base that may become your biggest brand advocate.

2. Ignore Marketing and Promotion

Avoiding marketing and promotion altogether is a common mistake that new e-commerce owners make, and it can especially hinder the growth and visibility of their business. With tons of noise and activity in the online world, actively promoting your brand and offers is highly crucial. Doing so will help you establish a strong online presence while reaching a wide consumer base.

Without marketing and promotion, your business may get lost in a sea of competitors. Therefore, ensuring your e-commerce store receives the attention it deserves is important.

Consider investing time and effort in developing a robust marketing strategy. Use social media, content marketing, email campaigns and influencer marketing to generate awareness and interest in your offers. 

Additionally, paying close attention to search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results is essential. In turn, this tactic will drive traffic to your store and increase the likelihood of converting visitors into loyal customers.

3. Underestimate the Power of Customer Reviews

Today’s online shoppers rely heavily on reviews and testimonials to make purchasing decisions. It is part of their decision-making process, as positive reviews instill trust and serve as social proof to show customers why they should choose your products over competitors. 

Take advantage of the power of customer reviews by encouraging satisfied customers to leave feedback. Provide incentives, such as discounts or exclusive offers to persuade them to share their experiences. 

If you get negative feedback, consider addressing these customers to show that you are listening and are committed to resolving their issues proactively. Valuing customer feedback can create a strong foundation of trust and credibility, which can take your e-commerce business to new heights.

Start Your E-Commerce Business on the Right Foot

After exploring these do’s and don’ts of starting an e-commerce business, it is evident that a strategic approach with diligent execution creates a path to success. Focus on the right way to start your online business while avoiding the pitfalls.

The journey of building a successful e-commerce business may be challenging. Yet, hard work and the right guidance will help you land better results.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How Good UI Can Reduce Eye Fatigue

People who spend a lot of time on the computer can wind up with eye fatigue. However, designers have an opportunity to reduce visual strain with a few changes toward excellent user interface (UI). When the UI is better, the user experience (UX) naturally improves in many cases.

Can Eye Fatigue Be Reversed?

According to The Vision Council, around 60% of people who are online more than a few hours a day suffer some digital eye strain. Eye fatigue occurs from viewing harsh white backgrounds or difficult to read text. People also can develop poor habits, such as not glancing away from their screens every few seconds.

Eye fatigue usually lessens within a few hours of stopping use of digital displays. Long-term, people may want to turn to methods such as dark mode on their mobile devices and only spending so much time a day on the computer.

Designers can help people avoid eye fatigue in the first place by implementing these tips.

1. Choose Dark Backgrounds

While not always the case, a good rule of thumb is that darker backgrounds/designs create less eye strain than brilliant white or pale yellow backgrounds. Of course a lot has to do with the combination of text and background and how much contrast you choose.

To reduce eye fatigue look at some dark mode designs and how they look both on a desktop and on a smartphone. If you can’t stare at them more than a few seconds without your eyes hurting, the color ranges likely need more work.

2. Utilize Proper Lighting

Don’t forget design for things such as manufacturing systems. Engineers sometimes complain about the design of the computer screens on pieces of equipment. The designs can often create eye strain because they tend to be on a light background with tiny text.

Better lighting can help improve the situation and reduce eye fatigue. The best lighting for computer readouts on machinery as well as visual inspections of parts is steady and reliable so light changes are from the parts and not from anything else.

3. Use Larger Text

Tiny text is sometimes the reason for eye strain. Making the font slightly larger can have a huge impact on how readable the screen is. Larger text can also reduce the amount of white space on lighter backgrounds.

Bolder, darker, bigger text is much easier to read than tiny little letters you have to strain to see.

4. Create Responsive Pages

By 2025, mobile app revenue will hit $613 billion, with new apps appearing every month. To grab user attention in a crowded marketplace, you have to design an app that not only functions as expected but has an excellent design interface, right down to not causing eye strain.

Create responsive pages that adjust to different screen brightnesses and look as visually appealing on desktop as smaller screens.

5. Turn to Warm Colors

If the overall design doesn’t allow for a darker-mode theme, you can also use warmer colors to reduce some of the eye strain people experience. Studies show blue light is part of what messes with human circadian rhythm and creates vision issues. Warm colors use less blue light, so designing with a warm yellow or earth tones may help.

Of course, people can also set their phones or computer screens to filter out blue light or buy special glasses, but many don’t think of it or won’t bother. You can fix part of the issue with your designs.

Good UI Is About More Than Functionality

The user interface of any design is a complex beast. Not only should every link, button and action work the way the user expects, but the entire aesthetic must come together for a visually pleasing experience. Since eye fatigue is part of the visual process of visiting a site, making just a few changes in your design means helping users not experience the pain of harsh designs on their eyes.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.