eCommerce includes all the online buying and selling of goods or services that involve the transfer of money and data to complete these transactions. This fast and effective system has made the business more efficient in reaching consumers and enhancing their products. It has also simplified the modern way of providing service to people in the most suitable way possible which is through their mobile devices.
These valuable eCommerce statistics mention that by 2040, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via eCommerce. Businesses are now considering and already shifting to it because it’s the fastest-growing market in today’s generation.
How Can You Start an eCommerce Business in 2021?
There is no doubt that today is the best time to start your eCommerce business. But just like any business, there are a few things to consider in starting an online shop. Below are the 8 steps to guide your entrepreneur journey.
1. Prepare Yourself to Stay Committed
As you start your journey to start an eCommerce business, do not expect easy sailing. There are tougher roads ahead of you, but the most important thing is you know what you are trying to get involved in.
In this industry, anticipate that competitions are tougher because almost all the businesses are turning online. You can try to focus on a unique business idea, but do not be discouraged even if businesses of the same product are already available in the same market; after all, as long as you are proving your product value in return for the customers’ money worth, you can definitely distinguish your business from the rest to help your business stands out among others.
You will also encounter bad and good customer experiences, overwhelming orders and the tension to settle order fulfillment as you try to avoid negative feedback, the threats of cyberattacks, and most especially, the mental and physical fatigue while managing all of these.
They say the beginning is always hard, and to continue is even harder. Don’t lose hope as you face some difficulties because it’s all part of the process. Once you get your hand on it, managing the business will surely get easier in time if you stay focused and committed.
2. Learn About eCommerce Legal Requirements and Business Laws
One of the common early mistakes of a start-up business is to not consider the importance of legal requirements and established law in running their business. Before anything, you should always make everything legitimate to avoid facing any legal problems in the future.
The first thing on your list is to confirm that your chosen business name is not yet used in the market to ensure that you are following the law on patent, trademark, and copyright. As a business owner, consulting state authorities or even visiting government websites for the necessary legal information can also help to obtain sufficient knowledge about the specific requirements needed for your eCommerce business.
It will take less time to do the right thing than fixing something because it has not been done. No entrepreneur will want to see a successful business failing just because of legal issues to settle, so better prioritize it first and foremost from the get-go.
3. Find a Product to Sell
Since you are planning to start a business, you might already have a product or service in mind; but if you are still figuring out the best product to offer the public, dig more into details to find the perfect match for your online store.
There are mainly two options to choose from, whether you want a commoditized product that everybody needs or a niche product to serve specific customers. It will be beneficial to venture into the things you are passionate about that can give you the extra drive and motivation. You can also capitalize on the latest trends and even those products that can satisfy customers’ guilty pleasures.
There will be other factors to keep your business up and running, but your product is the heart and soul of everything. Business success or failure will all boil down to the value of the product you will offer that the public will patronize.
4. Find a Place to Sell
Once you already have a potential product or service in mind, the next decision is to choose an online place to sell your goods. Do you want to have your own website or sell it to an established marketplace such as Etsy, Amazon, or eBay? Your chosen platform strategy is important because this is where the customers can reach you. Below are the pros and cons of both approaches to help your decision making.
Selling in an Established Marketplace
- The marketplace is already available and has already gained the customers’ trust and respect.
- It offers a complete package of a tested system, from the layout, the payment process until the handling of product shipment.
- It has already a guaranteed following and instant alliance among the other sellers.
- It may be a bit costly to list your product.
- A fixed percentage of each sale will also be automatically credited to the marketplace account.
- Marketplace’s rules and policies to follow that sometimes may be out of your control.
- You cannot freely use your desired online layout since you must use the marketplace’s default design.
Selling on Your Own eCommerce Business Site
- It is long term and sustainable.
- No competitors will distract customers because you are alone on your own page.
- All the revenue will go directly into your business account.
- You are the one who sets your own rules and policy and the one responsible for the whole system.
- You are free to choose whatever design and layout you want and the changes you might consider to reach more following.
- You will need to start from scratch and the inflow of revenue might take time.
- You need great marketing strategies to make your site popular and for people to be aware of your brand.
- You might not have a competitor inside your page, but the world of e-commerce is so huge that you are also in competition with an established marketplace.
After weighing the above pros and cons, the ball is already in your hands to choose whatever platform suits your preference. Just bear in mind the vital role of your chosen marketplace in the company’s growth and success.
5. Build Your Store
Your brand will be the most important factor in starting up a business. In building your brand identity, you must stay consistent in every aspect of making your business recognizable while creating a lasting image in the marketplace.
Your brand identity includes your business name, logo, slogan, values, and all the other factors that determine the customer’s perception of your business. It is your business reputation so build a successful brand that represents your business purpose.
Study the current market as well as your competitors in identifying your target audience. Choose a unique name while considering your chosen logo, the business site domain, and even your marketing strategies. Design an identifiable logo that will be recognizable whenever it exists and use the best color and font that will best represent your brand.
Lastly, you need a good domain name to back up your decision. Choose a domain that is identical to your brand. Keep it short and avoid unnecessary characters that might confuse the customers. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) will also favor increasing your site visibility.
6. Find Right Services/People as Your Partners
Your field of expertise can be the proper management of a business, but you cannot build your company on your own. You will need extra hands to handle the other aspects of the business.
You will probably need the help of web developers, experienced designers, managers to handle your social media accounts, and free online services that can help develop your product photographs. There are also shipping partners that you need to rely upon your goods and a payment gateway responsible for the payment process.
Here are some useful resources to help you find the right people and services for your business without compromising your business budget plan:
- Outsource Designers – You can find designers to help you create visual content to showcase your business.
- Create Your Marketing Materials – If you don’t have enough budget to hire a designer, then you can use a free graphic design editing tool where you can DIY. You can simply drag and drop elements to create stunning images for your campaigns.
- Background Remover – If you are running a big eCommerce that requires bulk image editing, this free background remover run by an AI technology can process 1000’s images for you in just a matter of minutes.
- Product Photo Retouchers – If you require more professional images for your products, then hiring professional retouchers is always the best option. They can retouch 5000s of images daily ready and optimized for your eCommerce business.
- eCommerce Platforms – Get a safe and secure eCommerce website to sell your products. You can build an online shop in a few minutes using their system, without having designing or programming skills.
- Shipping Partners – Automate and manage your eCommerce orders and shipment processing with support from reliable shipping partners.
- Payment Gateways – When it comes to eCommerce, Security is always your top priority for your business and of course for your customers. So, choose a trusted and reliable payment system for your online shop.
There are multiple options to choose from in finding partners for your business, however, it is recommended that you conduct more research so you can choose the ones that will guarantee your business’s success.
7. Develop Your Product Listings
Develop your product into something that will catch customers’ attention. Ensure to use the highest available quality of the images in your listing. Show the customers the different product angles and all the necessary details.
A short video review of your product will also be advantageous. Never forget to add an informative product description as it helps increase the chance of a guaranteed sale. And make sure to add the product price because it is the second thing that customers will look for.
And if you will be into drop shipping, the product mockup will be of great use. It will provide customers a realistic preview of what your products will look like while allowing businesses to get feedback on how they can improve their products.
8. Market and Promote your Products
In every business, an effective marketing strategy is necessary to ensure that all your efforts and hard work will not be put to waste.
Let people know about your products through social media and other online communities. Launch your product in a way that your business will be the number one talk of the town. Offer introductory deals such as discounts, free coupons, and others to make customers interested and involved. Spread your new business through emails, invest in paid ads, and consider marketing your brand through SEO as it provides the highest return on your investment.
You have to maximize all the available options from numerous ways to promote your products that give the best result. Don’t just put it out there and wait for it to gain but make a constant effort so that your business will be able to reach more followers that you can turn into your potential customers.
You Should Take the First Step Now…
Starting a business is indeed a big risk to take. Outcomes may not be favorable for you as a business owner, but you should take every product’s success and failure as a learning experience to improve your business. Keep your spirit high as it will direct you towards your goals. Your business might be the next big thing in the e-commerce world.
It might take two to three tries to succeed, so in any case that you fail on your first attempt, keep on experimenting as you continue to search for market trends. Do not settle on what you already have. Keep expanding your horizon and engage with others in the business field to gather beneficial information.
The e-commerce business will continue to boom as the way of life keeps on evolving. Now that you are well equipped with the proper knowledge to start an online business, think no more because you’re on the right path.
The future looks bright for you, so best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey.
Yen is an eCommerce blogger and content writer and a contributor at Technoroll. She is currently managing customer operations and public relations for Removal.AI. A SaaS AI technology used to automate photo editing and image background removal for eCommerce product images. This background remover is designed & developed to help simplify eCommerce developers’ workflow to foster efficiency, productivity, and creativity.
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