Are you considering starting your own online eCommerce business? Here’s How to Go About It.
With the emerging technology and easy availability of internet, consumers are shifting to the online scenario for fulfilling all their needs. In the earlier days, shopping online used to be a convenience and a luxury, but now it’s a necessity. Consumers in today’s society no longer desire to travel long distances, walk high streets and fuss around in the stores to buy a product or avail a service.
If everything is possible with a few clicks on your digital device, why would you want to get out of your comfort zone?
With this advancement in technology and consumer choices, it’s necessary for a business to take their store online.
With an e-commerce store, you can take your business to new heights. E-commerce store hold immense scope and potential.
Starting up an eCommerce store is no rocket science. With knowledge on few concepts, using the right techniques and strategies and marketing it the right way, you can have your e-commerce store ready and working in the best manner.
In this article, you will know how to begin your eCommerce business right from the scratch. Are you ready? Let’s go!
PERKS OF STARTING YOUR E COMMERCE STORE :
An e-commerce store is a store which functions through the mode of internet. Your can buy and sell products from any device with an internet connection.
Before we get on the process of starting your e-commerce store, you must know the reason behind starting one. Why is it that you should invest your time, energy and money on setting up an e-commerce store? Below are some excellent reasons which will make you realize that an e-commerce store is a must have in this era!
- Take your business global.
- No geographical and time constraints
- Reduced operating costs
- Enhanced marketing opportunities
- Easy and convenient
- Secured transactions
- Receive easy feedbacks on your products and services
Yes, these are the numerous benefits provided by an e-commerce website. You do not get these benefits in a brick and mortar store, of course!
So, now that we have some good reasons to begin our e-commerce store, let’s discover how we can build one.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO STARTING YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE :
There is nothing better than starting your e-commerce store and watching it grow over time. You will be happy to see how your time, money and efforts have rewarded you with a successful e-commerce store that you will own.
Starting your e-commerce the right way is the first step to make it a success. Below are the steps you must follow when you decide to build your online store.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH AND CHOOSE A NICHE
If you do know what exactly you want to do on your online store, what’s the point in starting it? You must know your area of expertise, the marketable knowledge and skills you possess, ways in which you can use those skills for your business, and what kind of products you plan on selling.
You must be aware of the type of business you want to run and look at other businesses of your sector to see how things work and know their tactics on various aspects such as their customer service, business model, their website design and development, etc.
Do proper research on e-commerce concept and the business you want to start, know your competitors and discover how will your business be different from the ones already existing.
Put your knowledge and skills to work in the right manner. You need to build strategies and techniques to set apart from other businesses already leading the market, otherwise your business would be lost in the enormous world of e-commerce.
- CHOOSE YOUR PRODUCT AND TARGET MARKET
Choose the product you want to sell in your e-commerce store. Your product should be something which is in trend or holds some value in the market for a long period of time. Know what kind of products holds a customer’s interest and what kind of products they like to buy. If you have decided on one product, do good research on what factors your customers take in consideration while buying that product.
Once you have decided on a product, the next step is to define your target market. It’s necessary to know who your ideal customer is and the characteristics they possess. Defining this will help you in predicting how they behave while buying a product and then you can make customizations in your product and service accordingly.
- VALIDATE YOUR PRODUCT :
Once you have decided the product and defined your target audience, you need to evaluate if your idea can actually be implemented or not. In simple words, you need to check if your business is viable or not. There are two primary criteria to evaluate your idea – Product based criteria and market based criteria.
Once you have evaluated your idea, you need to analyse your results. You need to check how much it would cost to run your online your online, your product’s potential in the market, and much more. After performing the evaluation and analysing the results, if all is positive, you can move to the next step of running your online store.
- DECIDE HOW YOU WILL GET YOUR PRODUCT
If you have decided to sell a physical product, you will have to figure a model to obtain it and shipping orders to your customers. The few models you can opt for are :
- Make it
- Manufacture it
- Drop-ship it
Another option is to sale your product in a digital mode. Digital products can even be a service such as writing, design, therapy, etc.
Digital downloads or services are convenient for customers and, depending on what you’re selling, they have a low overhead cost too. Offering products digitally is a good option if you’re starting out.
It’s good to experiment with different products until you find the best one for you4 business.
- PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN :
A business plan is a must once you have all the basics set out. A business plan define the process of your business and the goals attached to it. Your business plan would include the following :
- Executive summary
- Company overview
- Market analysis
- Products and services
- Marketing plan
- Logistics and operations plan
- Financial plan
The purpose of a business plan to provide you with a slightly clear idea on how your business will go about in the future. This will help you in making predictions and will save you from extreme uncertainties.
- SELECT A NAME FOR YOUR STORE AND PICK UP A LEGAL STRUCTURE
Of course, choosing the name of your online store is extremely important. That’s the name your business will be recognized from. Below are a few factors you must take into consideration when picking a name :
- Keep it simple and short
- Get creative
- Be original
- The name should define your business in one look
Once you’ve come up with your name and made sure that it is unique, you will have to register it as an online domain. You’ll use your domain name to build your online store, making it easy for people to find you online.
After selecting on a domain name, the next step is to register your business. The way you choose to register your business will affect you legally and financially in your business journey. The four legal structures are as follows :
- Sole proprietorship
- General partnership
Each structure has its own merits and demerits, so you must choose wisely or hire a legal expert to assist you in choosing.
- APPLY FOR EIN, LICENSES AND PERMITS
An employee identification number might not be necessary for your business but it’s good to have it since it will help you in keeping personal and business finances separate.
You might also require certain licenses or permits to operate your online store. Check which one is required for your business and work accordingly.
- BUILD YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE
Once everything is in place, you can get on the finsl step of setting up your business online. You need to build your e-commerce store on internet. For this purpose, you can hire e-commerce development professionals or you can use ready-made ecommerce websites platforms.
Hiring a professional is always the best option since they know everything which is necessary to set up an e-commerce store the right way. They will surely give you the right maintenance and support throughout.
- MARKET YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE
Nobody would know about your business, if you do not promote it. You need to optimise your business and market it efficiently.
Since you know your target audience, you will know where to run ads and what content you need to create for your customers.
You can market your business on various channels and discover tactics in your marketing strategy.
You must adhere to the SEO standards and perform efficient customer relationship management to bring in constant leads for your business.
Invest your time in researching about the right ways with which you can successfully market your business. It will be worth it.
Yes, that it all! With the right planning and right strategies, you are all set to begin your e-commerce journey. The process might seem intimidating at first, but take one step at a time and you will be good to go. You might make a few mistakes initially, but worry not! It takes experience to have perfection in a certain field. Try out things, and adapt as you go. With patience and dedication, your e-commerce store is sure to be a success.