How to start E-commerce Business
E-commerce is the need of todays consumer. It is evolving at superfast rate. The Growth which online businesses have seen since last 5 years is awesome. If you have product then e-commerce is what gets you to more customers. People are getting more comfortable to buy things online than spending hours to search it in retail shops. Your products can reach to more consumers online than in any physical store. Instead of waiting for customers to get to you, be proactive & reach out to large consumer base online. You can see here some statistics of E-commerce business in India. Do you want to know How to start ecommerce Business? There are some basic steps to start your e-commerce business given below. Obviously its little bit more complicated when you actually go thoroughly.
1. What do you want to sell online?
The most important thing before beginning any other is to decide which products do you want to sell online, how you want to sell them & to whom you are considering as your consumer. You should be very specific about your target consumer segment. You need to find your niche segment & focus on it, where you can expect the least competition. If you already have your own products then its different situation. Give some time to think about this important thing which will decide your complete business strategy.
2. Everything should be planned
In business, its all about uncertainties & predictions always. If you plan your strategy then you can limit those uncertainties. Ofcourse the plan should be flexible to accommodate all situations. But when you lay a plan, then you can discover & solve some of the problems before you could even face them. Planning about inventory, finances & marketing will give you idea of how your business will evolve. Create a business plan for your startup considering Objective, Brand positioning, Financial plan, Services, Products, Operations, Logistics, Sales & Marketing Strategy, Competition, Business Model etc. Once you spend some time thinking over all these points, it will give you more insights of real situation of market & e-commerce business. Find a right partner for your deliveries. Remember, its not finished once your sale is done, timely delivery to client is also very important.
3. Building your online shop
You can spend lots of money on just designing & building your e-commerce website but do not forget about performance also. The main issue behind online shop is consumer can’t feel, touch or experience product online. He can only experience your website & that definitely effects on his purchasing decision. There are 2 types of solutions available – hosted e-commerce platforms or open source e-commerce applications. I am mentioning some of the top e-commerce solution providers, you should go through their features list & demo to find out right solution for your business. I will explain them in future with more details.
4. How much will it cost?
Well, the initial required funds are mostly for stock you want to have in inventory. Startup will cost for registration, online shop design & development (which is negligible), rest of the cost is for inventory & marketing budget. Many times, people do not allocate enough budget for marketing, which is big mistake. E-commerce is all about marketing. You need to drive large traffic to your website which later turn into your consumers. Also, You need to identify how much your target sales & how much stock you should carry. This could be different for everyone, when you make your business plan, you can get more idea about your initial financial needs.
5. Marketing mantra – How to increase traffic to your website?
Yes. Finally it all comes down to only Marketing. Online Marketing is always changing & evolving. Once your site is all set, All you need is driving visitors to your site. SEO plays very important role in this. You need to find keywords for your niche market to target right audience. Also Facebook is now turning as one of the biggest traffic provider for e-commerce companies. Do not expect money from start, try building a community to follow your products & site. Google adwords, Facebook advertising, twitter & SEO are major marketing tools for you. Spend some quality time to understand your google analytics. This can give you idea about traffic to your site. Use google keyword tool to find right keywords. You can also refer to some of my other article to get more insights & join my facebook page to keep updated about new articles.
6. Finally some things to keep eye on
- Do not forget to comply all legal requirements.
- Customers Online security & trust is important.
- Do not ignore Analytics report – this is mirror of all your marketing strategies.
- Understand your Audience & build a community of consumers.
- Use social networking sites extensively.
- key to convertion- Personalize consumers experience.
- Collect reviews & feedbacks to get to know what your customers feel about you & your product.
- On Time delivery is one of customers satisfaction criteria.
- Concentrate on niche now & expand later.
If you are planning to start an E-commerce website & looking for some assistance in planning, strategy, marketing , Website design & development, feel free to contact me. If you want to discuss any issues about your current E-commerce website or marketing strategy or want to increase traffic or just need an advice on something, get in touch.