If you’re thinking about starting an online home décor retail shop to lure the rising number of indoor-shoppers who work from home, shop from home and will certainly continue after COVID-19 to operate away from their office building and physical desks, you’ve got to make sure that you have certain things in place before you build your e-commerce store and ensure that you have certain things in place before your can start luring some of Amazon and Wayfair shoppers.

Here are 8 useful tips to keep in mind as you build and strive to grow your online home décor shop:

1- Contract with suppliers early

One thing you don’t want to happen is for you to open your shop with no inventory. You also don’t want to delay opening because you have large shipments of inventory that have not been delivered. So you need to establish relationships with product vendors early on and let them know when you expect to open your shop. This factor is very critical as the chain-supply have been disrupted during the pandemic to a breaking point.

2- Just in Time dilemma

Leave enough room for receiving and warehousing your inventory so that you can begin fulfilling orders quickly and seamlessly.

3- Test your website before launch

Your website needs to be attractive, well organized, and easy to use. Make sure you leave nothing to chance. That means testing every element of your website before you launch, including your payment systems.

4- Have a good returns policy

It’s inevitable that you’ll have returns. Ensure that you have a customer-friendly returns policy, and be willing to honor every part of it.

5- Do the math before you launch

It’s hard to make budget and sales projects before you have any history, but you’ve got to have a reasonable defense of every projection. What kind of sales are your competitors seeing? What is a reasonable budget based on a startup home décor business in your geography? Do your homework and establish good figures based on reality.

6- Establish win-win partnerships

As you launch, plan your marketing strategy carefully. As a startup, you have a limited budget. Make use of bloggers and other influence marketers to help you get the word out about your home décor business. Strategic partnerships will save you a bundle on marketing.

7- Have the right digital mindset

Being agile means having a good understanding of what digital transformation entails in terms of gears, applications and tools to be implement seamless solutions with your supply-chain network.

8- Understand the customer journey from end-to-end

Companies like Ikea, Walmart, Booking, Trip Adviser and airports like Dubai have a great understanding of the Customer Journey Mapping; which means being able to follow the customer’s footprint from the minute they start searching for the right travel package till they finish or leave your online platform. Their impressions and comments are essential lead generators!

The home décor business is very competitive. Even online, your competition has a head start over you. Make sure you have realistic expectations and manage your operations accordingly. If you do, you’ll enjoy many successful and profitable years of business.