If you can read this, you have access to the internet, and since you have access to the internet, you must have thought about buying something from an e-store. Today, we live in a time very contrasting from the past; where technology has marked almost every aspect of our lives. In this era, the masses are gaining quick awareness. The desire to be his / her own boss is arising amongst many and the digital times of today have made it possible and easy.
All thanks to the e-commerce web development, the increased user accessibility and ease of doing business have made e-commerce the ultimate resort for expanding any business. However, at times it can be time-consuming to learn on the tools and procedures that are catalytic for one’s growth in the e-commerce industry.
With its booming success in the past couple of decades, there is just so much information to sift through that it becomes tremendously difficult to pinpoint an exact starting point. Hence, it is necessary to create a plan to prioritize your resources.
To help you set up an effective e-commerce business, we have compiled a guide that offers a streamlined approach to e-commerce, what to do and how it works!
How to Set-up a Prosperous E-commerce Business
1 – Starting Off
While it is incredible to embark on your new e-commerce venture with great ideas in mind, we advise you to put your ambitions aside for a moment and dedicate your time and efforts to more practical steps of your business plan.
For example, think of a medium you wish to showcase your products for starters. A basic but attractive store template paired with a reputable online platform such as Amazon or Shopify will kick start your business in its very initial days. The more attention you pay to the elementary steps, the better the chances of your e-commerce business to succeed.
2 – Finding Products
You are here on this guide probably because you are a newbie in the e-commerce world. With no experience, you must be confused about what exactly should you sell. Most entrepreneurs find themselves stuck in the middle of their journey due to this particular reason.
One has to be strategic in identifying the group of products they want to display on their e-shelves. A strategic approach would be to opt for something which is not only common in the global online market trend but is trendy at the same time. Going down the generic route and selling clothes and jewelry would most probably lead to a dead-end.
Instead, choose a route not taken by the online vendors yet. It could either be a single product catering to a particular type of audience group, or it could be a range of products that are in trend but hard to find.
Start by creating a list of the potential products you think might sell-out well. You can do that by thinking of what you, your friends or family members once liked but could not find it online. You can also explore other e-markets such as Etsy, Pinterest, and Instagram to get a gist of the best-selling and most-in-demand products.
3 – Sourcing Your Products
The next step is sourcing your product. You might be wondering how to execute that. And this is where the ‘drop shipping’ is introduced, as it is a viable option for an e-commerce business plan.
Drop shipping is a very popular business model in the e-commerce arena, due to the reason that it offers substantially low upfront investment costs. It also serves as an alternative with lower risk to conventional e-business models that usually require one to search for suppliers and fill up the inventory himself.
Here is how drop shipping works; you find a product supplier that supplies you with your desired products to be imported into your e-store. When a client purchases those items, you use an exceptional supplier to place the order, who then ships the order directly to the client. This way, you can reserve your energy for the more important tasks. In addition, you would not have to worry about merchandise or setting the products according to their trendiness and demand.
4 – Researching the Online E-Market
Research is a very vital element that ensures the success of every business or procedure. Bearing this in mind, while beginning with an e-commerce venture, make sure you have carried-out reasonable research regarding your plan. This can help you a lot and save you from many ‘if only’ and ‘I wish’ in the future.
Before launching your brand, look around the buzzing e-commerce bazaar and see what your competitors are doing. Look for hindrances, barriers, and cost of entry into this seemingly free world. Are your competitors investing a fortune into advertising their name? How is that working out in their favor?
Thorough research can lead you to identify the pros and cons of selling a product better and also provide you a good understanding of how to start and earn successfully from the beginning.
Starting an e-commerce business right from scratch is tremendously tedious and overwhelming. Hence, investing in research can be highly gainful in improving the probability of your early success. Dig for clues like what aspects are fundamental in a business model? Is selling a single product worth it? How to run an effective social media campaign for your business? Single or multiple target markets? How do they push sales or engage their audience etc…
5 – Setting-Up an E-Store
The next step is to set up an e-store. Setting up a store in the online market is almost the same as building up a store. Seek the help of CMS e-commerce tools such as Shopify to make the process convenient and easy. They have a broad range of templates and do not require any technical skills. Select a theme that compliments your target market and the prices to reflect your vision. A good slogan or a memorable name will ensure that people remember your name. The same goes for the logo and the colors.
Once your website is set-up, do not start its operation right away, instead of test the orders yourself to guarantee a smooth experience for the audience. Eliminate any hindrances and alleviate additional steps in the process since make purchasing a hassle for the customer.
Succeeding In E-Commerce: What Is Next?
Once you have vindicated your store’s vision and obtained a steady stream of sales, it is important to keep up with optimization and marketing strategies along the way, for instance, customer service, self-help content, SEO, store optimization, inventory setup and making sure your order fulfillment process is up to scratch. This will guarantee your business success throughout its existence.
Many people have been successful while being consistent in a particular niche of products. On the contrary, you might find hundreds of stores that never receive a sale. But do not let that scare you, for failure indicates you missed something on the way of establishing your brand up. A considerably small number of e-commerce businesses get off the ground within the initial few years of their birth. You might know now why it is crucial to take each step with great care.
To summarize, when developing a business plan, do not make sales your sole intent. Start lean and set-up other things, because if you do not experiment, you will be stuck at one point for the entire time.