The internet has been a gamechanger in innumerable ways. From entertainment to design, to advertising, everything has changed over the past two decades. One of the biggest aspects of the internet is the rise of the eCommerce business industry.
Ecommerce businesses are typically lean and do not require a lot of investment on your part. But that in itself does not ensure success. You need to have a plan when you’re getting into E-commerce. That is exactly what this blog will help you with.
Building Your E-Commerce Business From Scratch
You don’t have to be a giant like Amazon or Alibaba to run an E-commerce business. You can just as easily be an online gift store or an online staffing agency. Many people run E-commerce businesses out of their homes to add a little extra income. The point is to sell products or services online using a website in place of a brick-and-mortar store.
Easier said than done? That’s right. Building an E-commerce business isn’t as easy as setting up a WordPress website. But it isn’t rocket science either. These tips are a great place to start building:
- Find a Profitable Niche
- Choose a Business Name that Works
- Meet the Legal Requirements in Your Area
- Choose a Platform and Develop a Website
- Find or Produce The Products You Want to Sell
- Market and Optimize Your Website
Let’s explore these in detail.
Find a Profitable Niche
The first step to setting up an E-Commerce business involves a lot of research. You need to find your area of business. But you have to take care that it isn’t too broad. Instead of a larger market, try to find a niche. This is a market with a small number of sellers and a sizeable audience. There are several advantages to choosing a niche for your business.
For one thing, there are fewer businesses to compete with. This gives you more freedom in pricing your products. For another thing, niches typically have a steady demand. This means you don’t have to worry about cycling demand as much. A small niche also means more chances for you to stand out from the competition.
Choose a Business Name that Works
Once you have identified the niche you want to operate in, it is time for the next step. Naming your business is an important step, and is a lot harder than it sounds. In choosing a name, there are several considerations. You need a name that gives an idea of what you are doing. At the same time, it needs to be something that your customers can remember.
Generic names are not going to cut it. In the 21st Century, shoppers have limited attention spans. That makes it important to grab their attention right from the start. This is where your business name can be extremely useful. You will also need to check if the name you choose is not already taken. Otherwise, you may be infringing on copyrights or trademarks.
Meet the Legal Requirements in Your Area
All countries have different requirements for setting up E-commerce businesses. In the US, it involves applying for an employee identification number. This will also include choosing the legal format of your business. That means a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
You may also need to obtain the necessary permits and business licenses for your niche. There may also be other requirements, such as health and safety certificates, sales tax permits, etc.
Choose a Platform and Develop a Website
Once you have all the legal formalities in order, things begin to take off. The next step is to choose a platform to build your E-Commerce website on. There are a number of popular platforms, including WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and several others. Each platform comes with its specific pros and cons. Do your research carefully before choosing a platform for your business. Once you have decided on the platform, the development phase begins.
Unless you are an experienced full-stack developer, you will likely need to hire a firm or individual for development services. This can be tricky, as you need to ensure you partner with the right firm. Pay special attention to milestones and deadlines. Make sure the developer understands the nature of your business and what you need. The development phase can take anywhere between two to six weeks.
Find or Produce The Products You Want to Sell
Once you the E-Commerce website ready, it’s time to stock it with products. But before you list your products on the website, make sure you have enough inventory. Depending on what you choose, you can either manufacture your product or source it from a third party. In either case, you will need enough inventory to sell to your potential audience. After you have sourced or manufactured the products, you can list them and start selling.
Market and Optimize Your Website
Of course, listing your products on an E-Commerce website is not enough. You need to constantly optimize and market your E-Commerce store. This will ensure that you can attract more customers to your website. More customers usually mean more sales.
Don’t have any experience in E-Commerce optimization or marketing? Don’t worry. One of the marketing staffing agencies can supply you with an individual who has the right skills. You can choose to hire them as a temp and keep them on. Or, you can always outsource to a digital marketing firm. Running your store will always be a continuous process. Hopefully, this blog will have prepared you for it.