Ten Steps to eCommerce by Perry Goldstein

Whenever I speak to someone just entering the eCommerce business, they invariably ask about an Instagram promotion.  It seems that most newcomers feel that success in eCommerce is based on to steps, 1) Setting up their eCommerce website, and 2) Launching an Instagram promotion. 

eCommerce is a the most complicated business model ever created and entails so many more steps.  There are endless combinations of strategies, depending on the type of product you have, the markets you want to enter, and your personal goals.  The people who try the Two Step strategy never reach their goals. Because they are skipping so many crucial steps. 

I have tried to boil down the process into ten basic steps.  If your company follows these steps, in order (the order is very important), there is a likelihood that you will achieve some level of success.  Because there are so many variables, the level your company will reach depends on many factors. 

The steps are as follows:

  1. Establish business model
    • Manufacturer or reseller
    • B2b, b2c, or both
    • Product, service, or both
    • Is product general market or specialty niche
  2. Establish sales channel roadmap
    • Sell on company website, third party platform, or both
    • Sell through marketplace or direct to platforms
    • Sell through eCommerce only, or through traditional brink & mortar dealers
    • If manufacturer, sell direct or through distributors
    • If reseller, buy direct from vendors, through distributors, or both
  3. Create company vocabulary and identity
    • Establish who the competitors are
    • Find company’s place in the market and value proposition
    • Research SEO terms for product content
  4. Produce creative assets
    • Written content
    • Product videos
    • Product still photos
  5. Create company website
    • Establish theme through colors and layout
    • Create site navigation strategy
    • Add creative assets
    • Add purchase options
      • Add payment and “Add to Cart” options if selling on company owned website
      • If company owned website is informational only, add page of “Hot Links” to resellers
  6. Create logistics strategy
    • Self-fulfillment, 3PL, or both
  7. Create content for third party eCommerce platforms
    • Create standardized content for all platforms to unify message
  8. Establish pricing structures
    • Create marketing budget and plan
    • Establish bottom line cost, retail price and profit margins
  9. Create and execute marketing plan
  10. Analyze data and adjust strategy