Pre-planning For E-commerce Store


Case study: I am planning to open an online store, the target market is both west and east Malaysia, what is the suitable marketing strategy?

Before answering the question, you need to ask yourself “why people must buy at my store instead of other big stores e.g. Lazada, Mudah, Rakuten, 11street, Lelong, Zalora?” If you don’t have a good answer for this question, you may be in danger to continue the business.

Pre-planning strategy:

Self-manage, Hiring or Outsource?
Who’s going to run the online store? The skill requires to run a successful retail store including website design and development, search engine marketing, social media, content marketing, customer service, human resources, information technology, accounting, operations and supply chain. Manpower is the highest operation cost for an online business. For startup business with low revenue, it must carefully decide what are job scope that can be self-managed and what for hiring or outsource.

Priority to sell unique product
What to sell? If you are selling products that people cannot buy from other places, there is a reason for people to visit and buy at your store. The risk of selling common products is high when too many competitors target the same group of buyers, they often giving the discount to get buyers attention.

Cost is King
Be sensitive to product price, costing has a big deal with the product selling price, profit and promotion. Buy low, sell high is the core principle to make the profit. To lower down the cost, the volume of products to be purchased is another issue.

Suppliers Management
Evaluating single source vs multiple sources of suppliers, single source good for increase bargain power on bulk purchase, while multiple sources help to safeguard against supply uncertainties and reduce the buying company’s reliance on one supplier

Know Your Customer
Some users active in digital activity e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blog and forum. While non-digital users prefer books and newspaper reading. Therefore, it is important to identify customers behavior and demographic. Run all multi-channel promotion to target the different audiences. E.g. Google display ads to reach new audiences, social media ads for post engagement and remarketing, newspaper and taxi ads for offline awareness.

Promotion Activity
12 months or 52 weeks marketing promotion plan e.g. Christmas promotion for December, 20% discount for weekend sale, RM20 voucher with minimum purchase, double point for selective products, friends referral program, bundle products and set deal.