Launching your own e-commerce venture is exciting, and with platforms like Shopify at your disposal, turning your dreams into a reality has never been more accessible. Shopify offers a user-friendly interface, a range of customization options, and a suite of tools designed to support entrepreneurs in creating and managing their online stores.
However, this isn’t to say that building a successful Shopify business is easy; only that Shopify makes the process easier. While the path from concept to functioning store has been thoroughly swept of obstacles by Shopify’s novice-friendly design, you’ll still face the same challenges as any other web-based store once your business goes live. To increase your chances of success, you’ll need to engage in some good, old-fashioned research.
Which niche are you going to focus on? Who are your competitors? And what’s your SEO strategy? These are all questions that need answering before you even think about setting up shop. So, here are 4 important areas to research before launching your Shopify store — let’s dive in!
Areas to Research Before Launching Your Shopify Store
1. Selecting the Right Product Niche
In the vast realm of e-commerce, choosing the right product niche forms the foundation of your Shopify store’s success. Before you dive into the exciting world of online selling, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to identify the perfect niche that aligns with your passions, market trends, and audience preferences.
Consider whether it’s a passing trend or an evergreen category with sustained demand. Tools like Google Trends can help you assess the market demand for particular products or topics.
There’s nothing wrong with going with a niche avenue that differentiates your store, especially if you’re an expert, however, having some stability especially when you’re just starting can be valuable too. Research the volume of searches and discussions related to your chosen niche before making any decisions.
2. Researching Pricing and Product Listings
Once you’ve identified your product niche, thinking about pricing and crafting product listings is essential. You’ll want to strike the right balance between profitability and competitiveness, and looking at how your competitors are doing this can be very insightful.
‘Competitor analysis’ might sound like a complex process, but it’s simply a matter of scrolling through your rivals’ sites and social media accounts and jotting down some notes. How many products do they list? Are their prices higher or lower than yours? Do their customers all share a common pain point? Of course, collecting all this information manually can be rather time-consuming, so you may want to use web scraping tools (this guide from Scrapingbee does a good job of explaining the basics) to help speed things up.
Don’t forget to research how products are being listed, too. To create effective listings, explore how successful competitors present their products. Note the structure, tone, and layout of their listings, and adapt these elements to suit your brand while adding your unique touch.
3. How to Use Shopify’s Features and Tools
When creating a new site or online shop, you want users to have a great experience. In this case, it’s important to get to grips with Shopify before you go live so you fully understand how to operate your online store and know which features are most useful.
Ensuring that your Shopify store runs smoothly and is properly structured will also improve SEO. If you don’t know where to start with the platform, Shopify’s YouTube channel is full of useful tutorials that you can follow until you feel more confident. The last thing you want is to launch your store and immediately run into issues so make sure you’re up to speed!
4. Providing Exceptional Customer Support
From product queries to managing errors with orders, you need to have a robust customer support system in place. Efficiency should always be a priority here. Customers don’t want to be part of long email threads or wait weeks for a response, but options such as live chat provide real-time communication for better customer satisfaction.
You should also explore ways to anticipate and address customer issues before they arise. Creating a knowledge base, for example, means customers can find relevant information themselves before having to get in touch — easy!
Good planning and research is the key to having a successful launch on Shopify. Focus on the areas discussed and you’ll be well on your way!