Ask anyone, and you are bound to hear that “the eCommerce industry is exploding like never before,” and Stores that temporarily closed due to the pandemic may never open again.
And all that is thanks to the internet. Look at what is happening around us, online payment via NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, Apps, UPI, etc. And to boost their usage eCommerce is growing fast ! Today, you could launch an online eCommerce Business website in less than a week. I am walking the talk; recently, we wrapped up a Shopify eCommerce Business website customization in a zip.
Just a few years ago, Shopping online used to be about convenience and qualified as a luxury for some, but today it is a necessity for everyone. It is true that the interest in eCommerce right now is at unprecedented levels. And that has led to many people, aspiring businessmen and women, startups, and even existing business owners wanting to know “how to start an eCommerce business” with minimum hassles and investment.
Online retail is a booming business, and there is no doubting that, but, but it’s not without its struggles. Finance, Marketing, Selling, Customer Service, Managing Returns, and there is more. Not to forget choosing a brand name, sub-brands, product categories, and subcategories, writing product listings, etc. And the BIG ONE ensuring a happy customer base.
So, where do you begin? I mean, how do you get to start an eCommerce business?
- Before you can decide on the product you intend to sell online, why not spend some time studying some business models.
For e.g., Dropshipping would be an ideal choice for those who want to profit without investing heavily when starting their eCommerce venture.
But if you see value in buying brands bulk at super low rates and then selling for a high margin initially and still have room to discount the last phase of stock, you are going to need warehousing. Here you could make your own product sets and drive a gifting or subscription-driven business model too.
How about starting your Brand? That’s a possibility too. Just get in touch with manufacturers and buy products to be sold under your Brand. You could control product specs, and a lot more customization is possible.
One, Two, Three – how many products are ideal to get started with an ecommerce business website?
You will make profits when your products sell, and the business will make sense when you trade in volumes. So if you have a considerable investment planned, you could start on the lines of an Amazon or Flipkart with loads of products & lots of product categories. That’s not bad, but if your budget is low and still want to start an eCommerce business, you need to focus on products and product categories. This means you need to go niche or be choosy but don’t go with one product only.
If there is an absence of competition in a particular product category, it’s probably because there’s no consumer demand.
Couple of ways to find the right products to sell is search volumes and market intelligence. Check with tools and speak to affiliates, and you will have a world of information in your hands.
Attend to the necessary legalities – Business & Brand Name Registration
It is best to have the business formation legalities and brand copyright/trademark documentation in place. Starting without the right compliances can only lead to trouble, and its best to avoid it. Maybe you don’t want to spend big money on the company formation piece, go ahead and start a proprietary concern from home and you are good to go with a valid bank account and tax registration. It would be ideal to hire services of a financial consultant and a tax consultant to save on time.
So, you need a name for your eCommerce business registration, and a brand name for your store, your products, etc., could be the same. *Do ensure you check your choice domain name availability when choosing a brand or company name.
Creativity is integral to eCommerce Business Success
When Business model, Products, Business name, and Brand are taken care of, its time to start working on the image that the people will see.
It’s time to start working on the Brand Identity. Logo, Letterheads, Business Cards, and so on. This will take you into the world of colors, fonts, images, etc. that will finally make your Brand visually appealing. My suggestion, don’t waste much time trying this on your own; hire a professional design company. You will be glad you sought professional help when you start with brand storytelling .
A Business Plan is important for your ecommerce business website success
With all that in place and business all set to start, you need a clear business plan, like a clear view of budgets & expenses.
A business plan will ensure you have a less tumultuous journey towards setting up your eCommerce store. This stage will have you speaking with many people, understanding cost, and returning on investment possibilities, all leading to numbers and excel sheets. You will be able to forecast possible revenue situations and related investments and thus come up with multiple plan scenarios.
Create Your Online Ecommerce Business Website and start digital marketing
It’s time to set up your eCommerce store, start selling in the real world to real customers. You could begin low cost with a small product set and go with woocommerce as a platform for your store, or you could go with a ready to use eCommerce platform like Shopify. There are fully customizable store development options with Magento and the like. Whatever you go with will have already been planned for in your business plan.
Scale is critical when setting up an eCommerce business and with scale come technological challenges. This requires that the eCommerce platform be scalable and integrate with popular marketplaces if needed. The Shopify Ecommerce Business Website Solutions we offer with store management support is most ideally suited for those starting an ecommerce store but would like to focus on the business and product side.
With the store, you need to set up a host of systems and processes that will aid your marketing efforts. Setting up some automation will go a long way towards improving ROI.
Automated emails, coupon codes, loyalty mails, cross-sell emails, and customer service are essential elements of a successful marketing campaign that get you a better investment return. You should check out the benefits of shopify ecommerce business websites.
And then you fire away with Digital Marketing to grab attention and sell, sell, sell. This part I will explain in a separate blog post in detail, but here is the list of what you are going to need :
- SEO – to drive organic traffic and reduce your cost of overall customer acquisition
- Google ads – to make sure your store is found when a prospect is searching to purchase
- Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are all the places where you will showcase your Brand and products to gain visibility and influence people to talk about you.
- Affiliate Marketing – to start driving sales as soon as possible
- Content Marketing – To build credibility, authority and engage prospects and customers
- Remarketing – to ensure you are visible once a customer has started the journey towards a product purchase.
See you soon. We are around in case you need any assistance. [email protected]