5 Skills You Should Learn If You Want to Start a Successful Ecommerce Business

by mt1sn Posted on 221 views

Starting an ecommerce business is pretty simple and there are tons of different business models to choose from. Succeeding in ecommerce is another story, however.  The low barrier of entry fools many newcomers into believing that they don’t need to have special skills or technical knowledge to start a successful ecommerce business. This may be true if you want to start a small eBay store or a small t-shirt site on Shopify, but not if you’re trying to build something serious. You also can’t be too dependent on the skills of others as you’ll eventually be at their mercy. Let’s take a look at some skills all aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs should consider integrating.

Digital Marketing

This is probably the single most important skill that you’ll need as an ecommerce entrepreneur. You can always hire a third party to handle digital marketing, but if you don’t understand it, you could easily get taken advantage of.

You have to know which marketing methods would be the best for your business and be able to gauge the success of your campaigns. If you don’t understand what makes a campaign successful and what kind of returns you’re getting on your investment, your efforts will be unfocused and you’ll eventually lose money.

This is why you should consider getting some sort of formal education on the subject before you start. Getting a degree in digital marketing analytics, for example, will give you all the tools that you need to analyse campaigns and craft your message based on your audience and which marketing methods you’re using.

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Aston University has a digital marketing analytics programme that you can follow from the comfort of your home that will give you a set of skills very few of your competitors will have. This alone could give you the edge needed to create more powerful campaigns for less, increase your margins, and have a much easier time establishing your brand.

Content Creation

Content creation is another skill that you should try working on if you want to succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur. Again, you could easily hand this over to a freelancer or agency, but being able to create your own content will allow you to imprint your personality on it better and save on costs.

You can start by learning how to create written and video content. These are two of the most powerful tools you can use to build authority and brand recognition. There are several courses and boot camps that will show you the ins and outs of content creation and you’ll develop a lot of your skills through practice. So, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t wait for your content to be perfect before you start publishing. Learn, be ready to make errors, and use feedback to refine your craft.


Another very valuable skill to have as an ecommerce entrepreneur is copywriting. A skilled copywriter will know exactly which words to use on their website sales copy to boost conversion. They understand the power of calls to action, and building powerful CTAs is second nature to them. Great copywriters can also extract the most value from methods like email marketing. They know how to sell without being too obvious and craft messages that will convert into sales and visits.

Copywriters often charge very high prices for their services, especially those who have built a reputation. So, if you are thinking of hiring someone for this, think about the amount of money you’ll be able to save by doing the work yourself. You may also be underestimating how much you’ll need their services and how this could affect your bottom line.

Graphic Design

Understanding the basics of graphic design will make you less reliant on outsiders and allow you to be more involved in the creation process. You’ll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t and avoid making stylistic errors. Plenty of new ecommerce entrepreneurs don’t understand the difference between pretty and effective design. Someone with extensive experience in graphic design will know how to create graphics that deliver their message clearly and result in more sales.

Knowing how to do basic graphic design can help you in the content creation process as well. You won’t have to hire people to create infographic pieces for you, for instance. You could also design print material on your own or work on some of your products’ packaging designs. This is an invaluable skill that you’ll be able to apply at different levels in your organisation, and one you should consider learning right now.

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Web Design

You should also have a basic understanding of web design if you want to increase your chances of being successful in ecommerce. Again, a lot of people may assume that they know what a good website should look like but have no idea. Not only that, but web design and user experience now play a very important role in how much visibility you’ll have on search engines, and one mistake could be enough to sink your results.

Knowing how to build a good website will give you more control over the design process. You’ll always have the option of hiring someone to build your site, but you’ll also be able to make some modifications or design it entirely yourself. You won’t have to be dependent on someone else for maintenance either, which can get costly over time.

You’ll be able to fix bugs if you notice any, or make some tweaks that will improve your conversion rates. You’ll know how to test different site elements through A/B testing, for instance, and have a better idea of why your site isn’t converting. You’ll also be able to improve things like navigation or how fast your site loads. These are all things that will directly influence how many sales you’ll make, so don’t overlook the importance of having a solid web design background.

These are all skills aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs should consider adding to their toolboxes if they haven’t already. These will allow you to get better results, save money, and avoid some of the common mistakes that sink so many businesses in this space.