Steps To Take To Start An eCommerce Business
There is a long list of reasons why starting an eCommerce business is a great idea in this day and age. First of all, without needing to build a brick-and-mortar store, it’s much easier, faster, and less expensive to get your store up-and-running. And recently, technology has been catching up with how fast online shopping is increasing, so the tools for building your eCommerce store are better than ever.
The eCommerce market is expected to peak at over 1 trillion by the end of the 2017 fiscal year, and then over 2 billion by the end of 2018, so the time to take advantage of this booming industry is now. So, where do you start? Follow this article to learn how to start an eCommerce business.
Find Your Product
Finding your product is one of the most important steps to take if you want to start an eCommerce business, and can often be the most difficult. It also has a huge impact on the success of your eCommerce business, so there are a few things to keep in mind for this step. First, you need to find products that you’re passionate about. If you are selling something you don’t believe in, this will eventually come through to your customers, even over the internet. Second, you need to determine how much your product is going to cost. Too low and it will affect your ROI, and too high your customers will be unsure of purchasing without additional customer support.
The next step is to determine what your margin of profit will be; this can vary depending on what industry you are planning to go into because some products will be marked up more than others. Generally, eCommerce products have a margin of about 30%, but it’s important to discuss this with a manufacturer or distributor throughout the process of choosing your product. With your product, you should choose something that can’t be easily purchased locally for the customer. What do you do when you know you can’t drive somewhere and buy it? You go online! So, when you want to start an eCommerce business, first think of a product that will attract customers to online shopping rather than a physical storefront.
Always Do Your Research
Always do your research if you plan to start an eCommerce business. The world wide web has an almost infinite amount of products, and you want to know what you are getting yourself into as well as learn about your competition. This stage of starting an eCommerce business is fairly simple, all you need to do is take advantage of your friendly Google search. Start searching variations of your product and the industry you want to break into and see what (and how) your competitors are selling. Check out their social media, their website, and try to determine how the successful ones are advertising to the market niche they’re selling to. This will not only give you ideas for what you want to do with your own business, but it will make you more prepared when starting the development and marketing process for yourself. Other great resources to scope out your competitors are eBay and Amazon.
Set Up Your Business
You have determined what your product is, and you’ve done your research on the industry and the market niche you want to fit into. Now it’s time for the nuts and bolts of building your eCommerce business foundation. First things first, choose your business name. You want to make sure it’s something memorable and concise. When you want to start an eCommerce business, you don’t want a name that is too long or too wordy is too difficult to remember, and a name that isn’t interesting won’t be worth remembering to the customer. A good tip is to come up with a few different names, and then using a corporate name search to see if another company is already using it. Once you have picked your name, register it! When you register, you can determine whether you want to be your business structure to be as a sole proprietor, a partner, an LLC, or a corporation.
Next, comes your EIN, business licensing and permits, and manufacturing vendors. Your EIN or your Employer Identification Number is used for opening business bank accounts as well as filing taxes for your business. The best way to think about your EIN is as your business’s social security number. Business licensing and permits are still necessary even if you don’t have a physical store front; an easy check with your city and state can tell you what sort of home business licenses and permits you will need, and then you can go from there once they’re approved. Once your eCommerce business has been properly set up, it’s time to pick the right vendors to manufacture your products. The best part about shopping online for customers is the hardest part about selling online for eCommerce business owners: there are a lot of options. This means there is a lot of competition, so to keep yourself ahead you want to use the best quality at materials at the best price. This is easier said than done, so take your time shopping for the right vendor.
Technology and eCommerce go hand-in-hand, and there are a plethora of options for eCommerce software that can make your life much easier when you want to start an eCommerce business. Take advantage of free project management software (Kanbanchi, Trello, etc.), social media and email marketing software (MailChimp, Hootsuite, etc.), as well as eCommerce platform software. There are so many different platform options that can help you create your eCommerce website, some of the industry leaders are Volusion, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify, while there are also open cart options like osCommerce, and 3D cart. If you aren’t tech savvy or are worried you would be overwhelmed with designing an entire website, there are eCommerce design and developers that can help create it with you, like 1 Digital Agency.
Your Business Is Launched, Now What?
Once your business is set up, licensed, and ready to sell, it’s important to market it so that potential customers can actually find out about it! One of the advantages you can take advantage of when you start an eCommerce business is that there is a lot of different ways to market your online store, and they can flow more seamlessly together than they would for a physical storefront. One way is to target your market by sending out email campaigns advertising your products or specific deals or promotions. You can drive traffic to your website through content creation with a website blog, which can also utilize search engine optimization to make sure your keywords and content throughout your website are being used properly to get more traffic. A design and development agency like 1 Digital Agency can also help you start an eCommerce business with social media, SEO, and content marketing.
Follow these steps for how to start an eCommerce business and you will be all good to go. By building a solid and well-researched foundation for your online store and properly marketing it to your target audience, you will find the recipe for success. Do you need a professional website developer to help you start an eCommerce business? Contact email@example.com and get a professional recommendation!