When it comes to starting your own business, lack of funds is one of the most common problems properly giving it a go. Doing something like taking a loan also has its risks. Thus, a lot of individuals do not find a way to get out of these shackles that are holding them back.
However, there is a way to create a decent ecommerce project with a minimal budget and slowly upscale it. This article will be a reference for reaching a point where you are happy with how much money you are making, so be sure to continue reading.
Finding the Right Idea
The right idea does not necessarily have to be one that you find interesting. Though it is better to work with something you are passionate about, consider that some products or services are easier to start with.
Print on demand is a good example of how you can save budget, especially if you pick a platform like Printify.com. There is no need for an upfront payment for inventory because you will be working as a middleman and not be in charge of creating or storing products.
Digital products like ebooks, online courses, and various designs are great examples of that, though there is the problem of creating one or finding a person who would be willing to leave you in charge of marketing to sell it.
Developing a Website
Ideally, a fully-developed and functioning website is the way to go. One can find a decent hosting provider for a relatively cheap price, and a domain name costs around 10 to 15 dollars a year if you are not buying one that was registered before.
At the same time, you can make do with a simple landing page as well. Persuading visitors to click the “purchase” button is possible so long as you have quality images, relevant content, and some SEO to gain organic traffic.
A landing page has to be exactly what the call-to-action suggested. Tricking visitors will only lead to an increased bounce rate and loss of reputation.
All in all, a simple landing page is one of the best ways to save money for business when starting out, and once you have some funds to spare, you can always switch to a proper website.
Start Collecting an Email List Immediately
Visitors who voluntarily subscribe to a newsletter do so because they find your products or content interesting. Email marketing is another asset that you should focus on from the very beginning.
Sending out offers, exclusive deals, or even reminding about yourself to those who have not visited in a while is a long-term strategy. And it will be much easier to attract an audience that is already engaged, which, in this case, is an email subscription.
Social media is another method of marketing and growing your ecommerce project that does not cost you anything unless you intentionally spend money on ad campaigns or purchasing shoutouts from influencers.
There were over 3.5 billion users on social media worldwide (Emarsys, 2019), and Facebook has the majority of active users with 68 percent (PewInternet, 2018).
Of course, that does not mean forgetting other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest if you rely on visuals. Creating a profile is free and the more time you spend on marketing on various social media platforms, the more traffic you can expect.
Organizing a simple contest or a giveaway is one of the most common methods to increase reach. People will enter a contest so long as the entry fee is free, which, in this case, it should be because you are going to ask them to like, share, comment, and maybe tag another person. Finally, keep in mind that everyone loves free stuff even if they do not necessarily mean it. That is why contests on social media see such high engagement rates.
Look to leverage social media because it is hard to think of another hub that has so many active people at all times and offers so many opportunities without the need to spend money on it.
When your business picks up some momentum and you start to receive more orders and visitors on the website, do not underestimate the importance of having a proper customer service system.
Emails, questions on social media, or messages in live chat should be responded to as soon as you can. Ensuring quality in customer support helps with building a relationship between you and customers. After all, expecting someone to talk about your brand in a positive light when they are unhappy is a fool’s errand.
To conclude, those who have been struggling to get started on their ecommerce project because they lack funds will find the tips above useful. And applying them in practice should help to get one step closer to a great online store.