Planning Your Ecommerce Budget For 2015
The ability to make your unique eCommerce concept become a reality requires a variety of elements: time, technology and design skills, and the sheer mental fortitude to translate your initial ideas into an actual business. And, of course, you need to plan and allocate your financial resources accordingly - you need to make a budget. So if you are planning on launching and/or marketing an eCommerce business, now is the perfect time to start preparing how to best utilize your financial resources.
Planning Your Ecommerce Budget: Where To Start
There are a multitude of resources for building your eCommerce budget - and learning about the various aspects of the process is the first step. Finding templates and example budget outlines or plans online is a good first step - learn how others have put together and executed a successful financial plan for their eCommerce site and use that as a starting point and learning experience going forward.
You’ll also need to make certain that you identify your target market before you even begin the process. After all, understanding their needs, desires and goals can help you determine your company’s real aspirations and path to success. Plus, performing some basic market research can help you get outside of your own head and see what your audience really wants - and that can help you allocate your dollars accordingly.
It’s All About The Details
When you are building an eCommerce website, there are some things that are obvious - you’ll need an exciting and compelling homepage, helpful product pages and ways for your current and potential customers to contact you. Moreover, you’ll need a flexible content management system (CMS) to make changes, add new products, update the site with new deals and special offers and more. So be sure to include the costs of a CMS and a hosting solution that offers quality support in your budget - and this is not the time to skimp!
There are plenty of ways to estimate the cost of an eCommerce project beforehand. And make sure you do your own research along with getting costs and answers to any questions from web development company(s), digital marketers, copywriters, designers and other professionals you may be working with.
Be Prepared For The Unexpected
You never know what will happen during the website development or marketing process, so perhaps include room for miscellaneous expenses in your eCommerce site budget.
There are plenty of other things to consider that will come up during the website development and launch process, from other basics such as securing appropriate photography, copywriting, and smaller details like the thank you page, FAQs and the terms and conditions. Also, think about how you’ll deal with data entry for all your products and offers - is that worth your time, or, will you hire someone to literally fill in the blanks?
You’ll also want to consider the launch process and how you’ll advertise your new site. Paid search, display ads, social media advertising or similar promotions, organic SEO or, other perhaps more traditional methods? Or maybe all of the above? Include the costs and the time needed for these efforts in your future financial plans for 2015 and beyond. After all, eCommerce isn’t a field of dreams where if you build it, they will come.
It’s Never Too Early To Create A Budget (Or A Marketing Plan)
If you are considering launching an eCommerce site, start planning early and often! The budget should be one of the first things you consider after you hash out your original idea. Not only will it be important to you as a business owner or marketer, any potential investors will want to see how you’ve set up your budget for 2015 and beyond.
Megan Ritter is an online business journalist and guest
author based in Southern California. In addition to covering the many aspects
of eCommerce, her writing also covers social media marketing, business
communications, and finance management. Follow her on Twitter to find more of her