Answer These Questions Before Starting Your E-Commerce Business

By November 19, 2013E-Commerce Marketing

Below is a list of questions you should definitely answer before you get started with your e-commerce business.  This will give you a solid foundation to really have a handle of what you are getting into.

Step 1 – Product

  • Do you have intimate knowledge of a specific product or industry?
  • Is there a product you wish existed but doesn’t?
  • Is there a product that exists, but just doesn’t seem to be doing something right?
  • Is there a product that hasn’t targeted a niche it could be great in?
  • What is the product you want to sell?

Step 2 – Brand and Image

  • Why would someone want to buy your product?
  • What is the lifestyle that surrounds your product?
  • Who is your product’s customer?
  • Who is your customer aspiring to be?
  • What problem are you solving?
  • What is your logo and why?
  • What is your color palette?

Step 3 – Supplier

  • Where are you getting your product?
  • Does it need to be manufactured?
  • Can it be white labeled?
  • What is the cost per unit of your product?
  • How many units do you need to get started?
  • Can you get terms with your supplier or do you need cash now?

Step 4 – Technology

  • What platform are you going to need to build your e-commerce store on?
  • Can you do it yourself or do you need a developer?
  • Will you bring on a partner or hire a developer (inside or outside)?
  • What other technology will you need to handle your business?
  • What are your initial tech costs?
  • What are your ongoing tech costs?

Step 5 – Fulfillment

  • Are you going to handle your own fulfillment or outsource it?
  • Can your supplier drop ship or are you going to pay a fulfillment center?
  • What are your costs in fulfillment?
  • If you are going to bring it in-house, how much space do you need and how many man hours does it take to ship your product?
  • If you outsource it, what are the costs associated?

Step 6 – Customer Service

  • How are you going to manage your customer service?
  • Is your strategy scalable? (Don’t get caught with the “we can handle that later” mentality.)
  • What is your return, exchange, and refund policy?
  • What FAQs do you anticipate?

Step 7 – Marketing

  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What is your marketing budget?
  • What budget do you have allocated to risk and test different marketing channels?
  • What channels are you going to take advantage of to market your product? Why?
  • Do you have a full marketing funnel mix? Top of the funnel? Retargeting? Etc.

Step 8 – Financials

  • What are all the initial costs to start your business?
  • What are your ongoing expenses?
  • What is your cost of goods?
  • What are you going to price your product at?
  • Are you leaving room to wholesale as well?
  • Are you leaving room to do affiliate and commission based marketing?
  • Do you make enough cash per unit to justify marketing spends?

If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to email me at Erik@hawkemedia.com.

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