What does it take to build and run a successful eCommerce business? While every eCommerce entrepreneur needs to hone their marketing skills, business skills, and soft skills, there are a few technical skills that go a long way in building a successful eCommerce entity.
These technical skills are essential in order to understand the underlying layers of what makes an eCommerce business sustainable. These technical skills aren’t simply ‘good-to-have’, they’re a ‘must-have’ for eCommerce entrepreneurs.
5 Technical Skills Every eCommerce Entrepreneur Should Have
1. Web Hosting and Domain Name Selection
The first of many technical skills that every eCommerce entrepreneur should have is related to web hosting and domain names. When you build your online store or eCommerce websites, you need to:
- Pick a domain name for it
- Host it on a server for the world to access it.
To begin with, you need to pick a memorable and relevant domain name for your eCommerce business. Remember, your domain name is your online identity and it doubles up as your brand name.
Ideally, you should have the basic technical skillset of picking a short, easy to remember, and meaningful domain name.
Consider picking a name on new domain extensions such as .store.
Once you’ve picked out a brandable domain name for your online store, it’s time to pick a website design and a web hosting solution. Things can get complicated here if you don’t know your way about web design.
While you may not be required to code, you should have enough technical skills to build a WordPress website. You can also build your eCommerce store on Shopify.
There are a couple of technical aspects to running a website that varies in terms of complexity. If you are unsure about your technical skills, consider hiring freelancers to do some of the work.
Having said that, it’s best to learn about these things and to know about how things work. This way, in case you encounter any issues, you will have solutions instead of relying only on your freelancers.
These technical skills are particularly important with eCommerce and SaaS businesses.
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2. eCommerce SEO
The best way to do this is by optimizing your organic search strategies and investing in an SEO strategy.
If you aren’t doing your keyword research, indulging in content marketing, starting a blog, and constantly making SEO improvements to your eCommerce website, your business will fail to remain competitive in the online space.
Keyword research and content marketing are great places to start your SEO strategy. Additionally, you’ll want to invest in building Page Authority, Domain Authority, a responsive design, and building backlinks.
However, your SEO skills need to be dynamic and you should understand the importance of long-tail keywords and anchor text. There are many technical aspects that you need to learn and keep track of in the constantly changing world of SEO.
Which is why keeping up with it all is quite a task, especially when you’re running a business. To better cope with this, you can strategically hire freelancers or marketing agencies to keep your website consistently optimized for SEO.
Nevertheless, having the necessary SEO knowledge will help you cross-check their efforts and justify the quality of results.
3. Content Creation
Winning at eCommerce SEO is largely down to churning out and publishing quality content. Long form blogs and FAQs that add value and are search-engine-optimized contribute greatly towards building and running a successful eCommerce business.
Furthermore, your content creation skills should include writing compelling product copies, showcasing positive reviews, and content is key to running a successful eCommerce business in today’s online environment.
Your content writing skills should pivot around creating content that drives traffic, builds trust, offers value, and attracts new leads to your business.
While investing time in writing long articles and tedious blog posts isn’t a viable option when running a business, indulging in social media posts (especially Instagram marketing), podcasts, and short videos are a great alternative.
Having said that, there is tremendous value in old school content creation. Search engines love new content and they use this content to push your website to rank higher.
You can start by creating a content calendar, followed by scheduling and publishing creative content.
Furthermore, frequently publishing value-driven content builds credibility. It can also establish you as an authority in your niche.
4. Industry Expertise
Before starting an eCommerce business, you need to ask yourself if you have enough knowledge and expertise in the specific niche that you’re planning on doing business in.
If not, you may want to rethink your business choices. In order to build a successful business and trust with your customers, you’ll need to be able to come across and demonstrate your expertise and knowledge and experience in your industry.
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Having said that, this doesn’t mean that you need to know everything about your niche. You can build your knowledge base with just enough of an understanding of the topic.
However, you will rise rapidly in your niche if you’ve voraciously invested in learning about your niche. For instance, if you are planning to sell exquisite and rare fashion accessories, you should know everything about it.
Where is it manufactured? What materials are used? Who are your competitors? Who are your suppliers? What’s the market for those products? And so on.
5. Data Analysis and Number Crunching
If you’re someone who doesn’t like negotiating data and numbers, you’ll have to learn to love them if you want to build a successful eCommerce business.
Because data analysis will help you understand what strategies are working and which products are selling the mist.
When it comes to numbers, you’ll need to calculate your profits, the number of people visiting your store, the number of people who bounce off from your store, and so on.
This becomes interesting as you start noticing trends or inconsistencies that can help you tweak your approach and make the right decisions.
Accounting is a critical area where you will require technical skills. Now, you need not manage your own bookkeeping.
But knowing how to read and make sense of a Profit and Loss statement, a Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet is essential. Basic accounting skills will help you gain an insight into the health of your business.
Furthermore, you need to understand the costing of your products and the margins to be made. Know the difference between margin and markup and remember to calculate and include taxes, and packaging, shipping, and payment gateway fees into your final cost.
As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you need to learn the basic eCommerce metrics and how to derive insights from it. Learn to use marketing performance measurement tools such as Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools as well as advertising metrics through social media platforms.
Understand the concepts of CPC and paid advertising and learn to measure the success of your marketing campaigns. Even if you outsource this activity, having an insight on this topic will help you to better supervise and manage your eCommerce business.
These technical skills will help you to better manage your eCommerce business and ensure that you know the basic ins and outs of running an eCommerce business. No team member or agency will be able to take you for a ride since you would already be equipped with the basics.