How to Prioritize When Everything is “Important”, for Early Stage E-commerce

If you’re a retailer just starting off with e-commerce
or you’re just starting with your first e-commerce website,
you should think about the first steps.

The first steps are the exciting. Really exciting.
A new channel being launched. A new challenge. Brilliant!

The one question I’m being asked, _a lot_ is this one:
“How can i Prioritize things? What should I do first when I’m starting with my online commerce channel?”

There are three steps you need to follow,
to make sure you’re doing the right things to move forward.

When you’re starting your online story,
you’ll probably have a lot of cool ideas to begin with.


You start writing copy, making coupons for actions, maybe even an offline contest, …
A few weeks later, you’ll find yourself with no progress at all and a bunch of half-done projects.
Making no revenue at all from your new ideas, separate half-done ideas, maybe a lack of thrive …  now what?

Whatever You Do, Keep Pushing

Whatever you do, finish the job as good as it gets.
It would be a shame to stop your half-done ideas,
unless they really were an act of excitement,
with no intentional focus on acquisition or retention.

You need to prioritize your actions.

What to Keep in Mind to Prioritize Actions

You clearly need to make a difference between the types of actions you’re planning to do.
In this early stage of your e-commerce site, you need to focus on profit! No matter what.

Along the way, you’ll notice that not all visits turn into a sales.
There are many steps between that purchase as a customer.
That’s important too. You’ll need a way to make sure people aren’t leaving your site without making a purchase.

Another essential part of your e-commerce channel will be acquisition.
You’ll want more people to visit your website. You’ll need to give people a reason to get interested in your platform.

Simply put,
you need to do this:

  1. Earn money
  2. Fix problems
  3. Increase users

If you’re already thinking about RFM models, don’t!
Make sure you get the basics right.
In this article,
I show you how to get the basics right
& how to detect when you’re ready for RFM models (scaling your business).

Is This Idea Good Enough?

Ask these questions to yourself, for every idea you have,
no matter how much time it will cost me to execute:

  1. Will I earn money with this idea?
  2. What problems could occur & how can I fix them?
  3. How can I invite more users or grow my audience?

Depending on the idea & the resources you have (money, ’cause money can buy resources & time),
you’ll have to prioritize in order to establish growth,
depending on the type of growth your focussing on: profit, revenue or users.

If you’re not good at prioritizing, or you’re just getting started with your online channel and don’t know what to do exactly to change an action into a profit-driven action, You can always get some help. Would LOVE to help out!

Some extra advice, with limit budget in mind:

1. Earn money

Since you’re starting of with a new website, making money with that website in the first few weeks will be hard.
Don’t be shy to use the offline channel to get you started making money. Go out, to an event, book your place at the even, take folders & products with you and start selling. That money goes straight into your website as an investment.

You’ll learn a lot talking to your potential customers and will know exactly what you’ll need to tell as a story on your website.
With the money you made, you can buy some Adwords traffic to test your adjusted website.

If that doesn’t work out, you have two options that are fairly cheap:

  1. Send some Adwords traffic to an inquiry online, directly, asking the right questions
  2. Get out of the building & talk to people that already buy something from you in your brick-mortar shop

If you have some cash left, you might reconsider booking another place at an event again.
Maybe you didn’t pick the right one. Note that down to, so you’ll know what events were interesting and which ones weren’t.

My brother and I started a small pure online niche last year.
We didn’t get much orders in with online traffic, but we found an event where we could have a free place to show our products.
We sold more on that event (with only 200 people), than we did in the last quarter all together & got a lot of extra information just by talking to people, about their choice, their problems, etc.

2. Fix problems

If you’re just starting as a new online retailer, you’ll have a set of problems.
A few of them are easy to fix over time. One of the hardest challenges is to bridge the knowledge an full grown retailer has about his products, and you still know zip about it.

It’s cheap & easy to say, but it’s true: get to know your product.

  • Research online
  • Buy one & test it yourself
  • Read reviews
  • Ask a friend

One of the common challenges retailers have, no matter what size they are, is making people convert into clients.
It’s a process. Now, in this stage, you need to think about the quick gain: sell – as fast as you can. So your conversion funnel needs to be at its best!

Fix that first!

  • When people left their email address & didn’t purchase, send them an e-mail.
  • Use a chat box on your site to help customers pick the right product
  • Give a coupon & do a few user tests to see where people exit the order process (!)

Pro tip:
If your a nitwit with code, a simple email could also be a good way to order. People don’t need to use the cart all the time. Give them options!

3. Increase users

Easy as pie.
Use 10% of your earned money and put it back into your marketing!

Some channels you can use:

  • Google Adwords (don’t forget remarketing!)
  • Facebook
  • Print some old school flyers to give away at events
  • Business cards
  • Content Marketing (very time consuming if done properly – you need to do it properly)
  • Coupon sites

Remember: if the competition is everywhere where you look, there is probably a lot of money to make, or they don’t know what their doing. To get a good sense of what works, check what events they host or being part of as a sponsor. There’s a real good change your audience is there where they advertise, mainly offline!


Still got some questions?
Need a second opinion?
You can always get some help.

Get in touch

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