How to Start an Ecommerce Store
When people think about starting an eCommerce business, they have a visualization of selling a fantastic product that will enable them to work on something that they enjoy. But despite their enthusiasm, most of them end up not taking any concrete action. So, what then happens to these people; they have no idea of what they should sell, they constantly fear to fail thus preventing them from starting, or they have no idea of the next step to take. Does this seem to worry you? Relax, we shall show some actionable and meaty way of developing an eCommerce store.
Starting a successful eCommerce business is hard work with various steps and decisions to be made. You have to ensure that all these are done at the right time and in the right way. We shall explain how to research, develop, launch and grow a profitable venture.
Choose a product
Knowing what you intend to sell, how and to who is a fundamental aspect of your business plan. You need to identify your clients and the possible competitor’s way before launching. Once you have settled on the product, decide on the selling mode; will you sell the goods and you will be an affiliate. Selling as per this case means that you have included logistical issues such as storage, shipping and initial purchase of the product.
Deciding on the particular product or item to sell is the most difficult yet crucial task in any online business. Therefore, you, need to focus on how to get the various product opportunities and also explore the best product ideas. Evaluate all the ideas keenly to get the best product.
Once you select the product, specify the price. Which strategy will you use to access the market? A low price may attract some customers but may yield a lower return on investment. A higher price may scare away small scale traders. Understand your clients well before making this decision. Some of them will even require talking to one of your support teams before making the purchase. Ensure that all these factors are catered for even before you make the launch. Some services will require additional resources and time.
Decide on your margin; the cut on every sale made. Most products will have a margin of between 30-35%. These prices and mark-up are however bound to change depending on the economic conditions and the status of the industry. For instance, electronics will have a thinner margin, whereas mobile phones will have a margin of over 200%. Understand the sales margin before stocking the item. Where necessary, contact the distributor or even the manufacturer.
What is the availability of the product locally? Can you easily buy the same product in the local stores? Online stores are successful where the products cannot be found with ease in the local market. The reason is, since the products are not available in the physical market, only online market will save the situation.
Make a plan
Starting any venture requires a detailed plan. Without a plan, you will overspend, lack focus and struggle to manage curveballs associated with running and starting a business. Drafting a business plan will help you maneuver through various challenges.
In your plan, establish your expected suppliers, the time to payback and the various suppliers. They are very many ways of identifying the supplier. The common ones are the use of directories and Google shopping. Google shopping is a search engine that looks for any physical product sold online. It will also have information on the possible resellers. Enter your product onto the google shopping and pay close attention to the manufacturers who show up under the selection brand.
Once you have a sizeable list of manufacturers, start reaching out to them with hope of reselling their products. Keep in mind that not all the suppliers and manufacturers will want to start dealing with a starting person without any sales record. Start with the manufacturers and vendors who have the least requirements and intimidating application. Many of the large vendors will want to know the team that you are working with, so leverage your relationship with small manufacturers to attract the attention of bigger suppliers.
Fund your venture at an affordable rate
Starting an online business site need not be costly. The only point that you can consider taking a loan is when making a decision on what to buy and stock in your store. Otherwise, an online venture should cost you almost nothing. In the real sense, it is not practical to invest significant money into it until you have acquired hands-on experience and have a reliable income stream.
Also, focus on the size and weight of the product when making orders. Cumbersome and big products will have a higher shipping cost that can seriously affect sales negatively. Many retailers will combat this by adding the shipment fee on the price of the item. However, these shipping costs have the ability to make the products expensive thus sending the customer away.
Create a website
The major success factor is the creation and development of a website. You need to be aware that not all sites are created equally. You may invest a lot of funds on developing the site, and this may not translate into increased sales. For low-cost tips, you need to be aware of how to start a website at a low cost or for free. You will also require to learn how to start a merchant account.
Increase traffic to your new site
Drive traffic to your new site by increasing the search engine optimization. SEO is one of the essential but trickiest components in any online business. Remember that any given moment, you have at least 3 million potential customers that are going past your online store. They are and will not be aware of it unless you do some promotion. You can always hire some firms to do the same for you if you feel overwhelmed. It is recommended that you use Google Keyword tool; a tool that lets you see the number of persons searching for your respective product every month.
Choose an eCommerce platform
Select a platform that manages all the categories, products, checkout processes and any other aspect of a functional eCommerce website. There are various platforms available to choose from, most of which have same features and functionalities. Selecting a platform can mess some entrepreneurs. As such, take the “Ready, Fire, Aim” mindset rather than spending hours testing and researching various platforms.
Starting, developing and growing an eCommerce business comes with its myriad of challenges. Only those with the required intrinsic motivation to push through these challenges succeed. As such, search for your interests before joining this field. The best place to get such information is by looking at what you are enjoying, and hobbies. If you like farming, start an eCommerce website that deals with gardening equipment and planters.
It is time now to put what you have acquired and learned into practice. Equip yourself with this new information and aim for success, as you have all the required materials to start your won site. Remember that competition grows every day on the web. As such, today is the best time to venture into the eCommerce world.