It’s not hard to understand why e-commerce has become such a popular choice for several entrepreneurs and small business owners today. Setting up an online store gives access to a global market, where there is no opening and closing hours, and doesn’t demand anywhere nearby as much operating cost as running a traditional bricks-and-mortar process.
Before setting up an Ecommerce business, there are several things to consider what it actually will include. Ecommerce demands enough efforts, investment and time, not just from when the site is created but from a marketing perspective as well.
Ecommerce is more reliant on marketing than a traditional business, and your success will certainly be compared with your online traffic. However, though the upside of Ecommerce is attractive it’s crucial to remember that e-commerce isn’t as easy as merely making sales, generating revenue and shipping out orders.
Attention to details, hard work and a little bit of creativity is all that’s needed to turn your online store into a success.
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If you are serious about starting an e-commerce business, ensure to consider these six things first.
Analyze the market opportunity, and position your brand and product accordingly
The foremost thing is to find out the potential product with a good demand in the market and that too in the long-term.
Here are some of the ways to find out the size of the market and its success:
Use Keyword Planner Tool: Use this tool to know the search volume of your product keywords on Google. Higher search volume means higher demand and a bigger market.
Use Facebook ads manager: It can be used to know the actual size of the prospective audience related to specific products and services.
Google Trends: Using this you can know how the average search volume for product and service keywords has changed over time. With the assistance of this data, you can analyze if your potential market is decreasing, growing or staying steady.
Industry reports: Industry reports can help you to know which products have more demand and also you can get an idea of how to position yourself in the market.
Check your competitor: Check out the competition of the products you’re planning to sell on a new ecommerce store.
Once you analyze the market opportunity and find out right, profitable niche for your store, it’s time to position your brand.
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Today, there are lots of same products available on the internet. It’s your utter duty to make your products and services stand out from the crowd, or else you’re surely destined to fail!
Don’t try competing with others. People usually don’t remember more than 7 companies of the similar niche category and generally, the market leader is their priority. It’s better to build your ecommerce store in a new niche category, so that you can easily get into the mind of the target audience, rather than competing with several established companies. Positioning is the way to do it.
So, how to position your brand in a new niche category?
Ask yourself what part of customer’s need is extremely important to them— Speed, specific results, convenience or surety!
There are numerous things to consider, like— what kind of products you’ll sell, weight and size of products, the fragility of products, availability, seasonality, restrictions and regulations, shipping costs and others.
2. Customer Service
We at Tagove live chat, realized that customers look for an immediate answer to a query, and there are some who don’t even want to browse through your FAQ list.
Live chat, on desktop, tablet or mobile, gives customers with the human and personal touch that is mostly lacking on digital channels these days. The data collected through live chat – especially when integrated with staff insights and reasoning — can also assist your business in understanding the customer behavior and purchase decisions.
Before launching your ecommerce store make sure to answer these questions—
Do you have an efficient live chat module on your ecommerce website? Are you regularly responding to comments on your social profiles and pages? People like to speak with real people at your company, so offer them the attention they look for.
3. Plan your Logistics
An ecommerce site is your storefront. But, where actually is your warehouse? Where are you going to fulfill and store the inventory? Who will be managing the overall process? Inventory control has the power to make or break your business.
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One of the other logistical challenges that make a huge impact is shipping. It’s important to choose the right shipping carrier. According to the type of product and your target market, shipping charges must be determined.
Sometimes, based on the products, shipping charges may cost more than the actual product cost. That’s a tough part to accept by most of the customers. The last but crucial part of your logistical triangle is about accounting for everything. An efficient accounting system can significantly reduce the labor hours and efforts by eliminating the duplicate data entry and reducing the chances of human errors.
4. Plan Your Order Contentment
Proper Inventory management and order fulfillment are usually the common problems faced by most of the new ecommerce businesses.
There are many questions that may surround when opening a new ecommerce business. For instance— which products need to be stock in advance, how much quantities to stock, the size of boxes needed, the best shipping service provider, shipping cost and others.
Order fulfillment is the most crucial part of your customers’ experience. When a customer receives a parcel on time and in good condition with good packing, they’re more tended to order from your website again. However, too late delivery, and poorly packed parcels won’t encourage repeat business.
- When planning for proper order fulfillment, ask yourself—
- Is free shipping profitable on this product?
- Can I have this product drop shipped?
- Do I have adequate business to utilize an order fulfillment company?
- What can be the most cost-effective way to ship parcel internationally?
- What is the best way to send a parcel within nearby areas?
Eventually, a proper planning for order fulfillment before starting your online store can help you get to start with better footing.
5. Price your products
Pricing your products properly is one the hardest things to learn in any business. If you keep your prices too low, you’ll make no profits, and if you keep it too high, you’ll eventually lose revenues and customers as well.
Follow these simple steps to determine the right price for your products—
Calculate what the product costs you (buying product, acquiring customers, delivering the product, business expense.
Check out the prices of your competitors to offer better deals for your targets.
A/B test your product’s pricing to find out which price attracts more customers to buy it.
6. Leverage the right technologies for your business
If you want to get into business right, you have to be technically perfect. The drastic shift to cloud computing has made it affordable for small businesses to easily launch an ecommerce business.
Using the right technologies like ERP, inventory management system etc. can let you easily start new ecommerce business without having to invest huge bucks in systems. Today there are more opportunities than ever for people to kick-off their business because the innovations and technologies have torn down the traditional barriers to entry.
Time to take action
Starting a successful ecommerce business might look like rocket science for many, but in reality, it’s not. Consider the above-mentioned things, research lots of ideas and pick a niche you think will have the maximum potential. In the end, it doesn’t have to be perfect, only good enough to get you on track.