How To Start Your E-commerce Store With No Money
Updated: May 5
Starting your own e-commerce store with no money can be pretty daunting. However, with today’s technology, women entrepreneurs find it much easier to launch a business even with practically no capital. It’s these incredible stories that we hear time and time again on Female Startup Club. The key is to utilize various aspects of the modern information superhighway that is the internet to market your e-commerce store and get your message to the right audience.
Grassroots marketing is one of the most effective ways to convey your message to your target market, and you can unleash your creativity by posting relevant videos and reels on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
In this article, I'll be spilling all the tea on how you can successfully introduce your e-commerce store to your target market, without breaking the bank. From the benefits of grassroots marketing to boosting your organic reach, and creating eye-catching videos and reels to make your business more visible in cyberspace, I've got you covered.
Initial actions for starting an e-commerce store with no money
1. Formulate Effective Online Marketing Strategies
Savvy women in the business see the internet as an entrepreneurship ally. It is an accessible, versatile, and effective tool that can help startups gain a strong foothold quicker within their industry. Powerful marketing strategies will allow your e-commerce store to make its mark and bring it closer to your target market.
Engage in Grassroots marketing
Grassroots marketing involves the creation of content targeted at a particular audience. The goal here is to tap into their emotions and inspire them to pass on your content to their family, friends, and colleagues.
It’s great for startups since you’ll need practically no capital to do this, except perhaps enough money to pay for your internet connection bill. It’s like free online marketing for your business!
Unlike traditional marketing campaigns, where your objective is to reach as many people as possible, grassroots marketing is aimed at a specific niche. You have to make sure that your content is relevant and stirring enough to rouse your audience into sharing it with others.
Here are some pointers for coming up with an effective grassroots marketing strategy:
Pinpoint your niche
The success of your grassroots campaign will be anchored heavily on how well you know your target audience. The only way they’ll share your content is if you inspire them and relate to them on an almost personal level.
Here are some aspects you should be familiar with about your target audience:
Their needs and wants
What motivates them
What they care about
The people they regularly interact with
What they aspire to
Tell your story
Create content that features experiences your audience can relate to. Play to their emotions and trigger strong sentiments in them. Tug at their heartstrings. Make them think back on their own experiences.
Doing this inspires your audience to share your content on their social media pages, or send it to their friends and family, simply because they feel like it’s also their story being told. This is a great way to tap into whole new markets — those you were not even targeting in the first place.
Include a call to action
Be specific about what you want your target audience to do. Let them know exactly how they can be of help to you. If you succeeded in relating to them and made them feel seen and heard, chances are they’ll be more than willing to respond to your call to action.
Do you want your audience to share your content on their social media page? Would you appreciate it if they tagged their friends in the comment section? You could also ask them to give your content a thumbs-up to let you know they agree with the sentiments you just shared.
2. Create Relevant Videos
The booming e-commerce industry has made it much simpler for startups to gain a foothold and flourish even in highly competitive scenes. It has also paved the way to leveling the field in online marketing. These days, entrepreneurs no longer have to spend a large amount of money on marketing and advertising — they can do it themselves!
Video content marketing is a great way to boost your e-commerce store’s SEO. It is also an effective way to increase traffic to your site and encourage visitors to spend more time on your page, allowing them to see more of what you offer.
Here are some ways you can market your e-commerce store through videos:
YouTube. Your YouTube channel will allow you to share informative, relevant, and stirring content. Moreover, if your videos get shared, your channel will rank higher and be highly visible to a broader market.
TikTok. Want to reach a younger audience? TikTok is the place to be! With its fun and quirky format, you can showcase your products in a unique and engaging way.
Reels. This is a fun and creative way to convey your message to your target market. Come up with engaging content and eye-catching captions. Use trending music/sound effects and utilize hashtags to help the algorithm present your reels to the right audience.
Female Founded DTC Businesses To Observe
The manufacturing industry is highly competitive. Entrepreneurs typically have to be highly skilled and knowledgeable in their specific fields to create their niche in the industry successfully. Furthermore, capital is a significant factor in allowing a business to make its mark and reach the right audience. That’s why I make such a point to dive into the money piece of each and every founder interviewed on Female Startup Club.
DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) businesses are quickly becoming the go-to for savvy entrepreneurs who want to serve their customers in more innovative and practical ways. DTC allows you to market, sell, and deliver the goods and services you have to offer with significantly favorable effects on your profit margin.
The good news is that more and more women entrepreneurs are jumping on the DTC bandwagon and getting ahead of the game.
Here are some successful businesses headed by female founders we’ve had the chance to chat with on the podcast that is well worth observing:
Alexandra Fine is one of the women behind Dame. Dame is leading a sexual wellness revolution as a women-powered resource for game-changing products for pleasure and supportive content. Through in-depth research, smart design, community input, and plenty of empathy, the Dame team has designed a line of exceptional tools to enhance sexual wellness for vulva-havers and their partners everywhere.
-> Catch Alexandra’s episode on Female Startup Club
Nadya Okamoto is one of those women that is impossible not to be impressed by and excited about, she’s a Harvard grad, author, speaker, NGO founder, gen z marketing agency founder, and now August as well as a Tiktoker that’s grown to 2.4 million followers. Crazy stuff. She’s also the founder of the DTC period-care brand August, which just launched into Target.
-> Catch Nadya’s episode on Female Startup Club
Kiramoon is founded by Lindsey Martin, and the skincare brand challenged the way effective skincare can be delivered. Inspired by the fun and whimsy of Y2K pink aesthetics, they create holy-grail, science-backed formulas and deliver them in a cute and user-friendly package.
-> Catch Lindsey’s episode on Female Startup Club
Ceremonia was founded by Latina founder Babba Rivera. It launched in October 2020 with a mission to celebrate the richness of Latinx culture through clean, sustainable hair products powered by natural ingredients, and the power of a strong community. Ceremonia is now the first Latina-owned haircare brand at Sephora, a huge step for the Latinx community as a whole.
-> Catch Babba’s episode on Female Startup Club
The e-commerce industry is quickly becoming a dominant force in the world of small business, and we love that women entrepreneurs are playing a significant role in this field. With the convenience of online shopping, it's no wonder that more and more people are turning to e-commerce stores to get their retail fix.
And with the power of social media, you can effectively convey your message to the right market in more relevant, efficient, and cost-effective ways than ever before. From killer marketing strategies to eye-catching videos and reels, social media is the ultimate tool for getting your business noticed and growing your brand.
So, if you're ready to join the e-commerce revolution and make your mark in the world of small business, then it's time to harness the power of social media and take your business to the next level. One resource that is guaranteed to help you along, is our weekly newsletter which goes out every Monday. It is packed with actionable insights and advice from entrepreneurs who have been there are done that in the e-commerce space.