Starting an ecommerce business has become a popular idea for many entrepreneurs. Easier access to the latest web hosting and web design services means opening an ecommerce site is a smooth process. But knowing what type of site to start and how to market it is another matter.
Instead of jumping head first into the ecommerce business, it is better to do some research beforehand.
Start With a Google Search
The first step in starting an ecommerce business involves a few Google searches. Say an entrepreneur has a product in mind that will be at the forefront of their business. They love that product. But does everyone else?
Do a Google search of the product and related keywords to see if it is being sold by other ecommerce outfits. If 50 or 60 other sites are already selling the product, it may be a saturated market that is difficult to enter.
Using Google Trends and Keyword Planner is also very helpful. These tools can show whether a product idea or keyword is trending up or down. If something is trending downward, building a new ecommerce business on its back may not be such a wise idea.
Look Through eBay
If an entrepreneur has an idea about selling a product online, there is a good chance it is already being sold by someone on eBay. Search for the product and related items on eBay.
Assess the listings by seeing the initial auction price and the final price paid. How long do the auctions last? How many auctions are there in a day for the product? How many people are bidding on these auctions?
The best ecommerce sites enter the market in different price tiers. EBay can help someone new to the ecommerce world understand the price tiers of various products.
One of the best features of Amazon is the way customer reviews are displayed. Many products have thousands of reviews, with most going into detail about the good and bad aspects of the customer experience.
These products can explain whether customers are happy or dissatisfied with a particular type of product. Is there something about the product or shipping experience that was lacking? Can a new ecommerce business alleviate those issues so such customers flock to that site?
Using SpyFu and AHREFS
SpyFu and AHREFS are two handy tools for conducting research before launching an ecommerce business.
SpyFu goes a step further than a Google search. Google can show you what products and keywords are highest in search results and what brands advertise the most. SpyFu shows you top performing keywords and ads.
AHREFS is also helpful for identifying the top keywords. It is possible to not only see how much traffic a keyword brings, but also the sites competitors are linking to the most.
For instance, AHREFS can show whether competitors for a particular keyword are linking to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter the most. Such information is helpful as it will tell a new ecommerce business where they should be targeting their paid advertising in the first few months.