Having an e-commerce business, or incorporating e-commerce into an existing business can be an excellent way to expand your opportunities. E-commerce technically encompasses all of those business transactions that send or receive information across the internet.
Whether it’s money, goods, or business dealings, if it’s conducted via the internet, it’s e-commerce. The value of conducting business this way is difficult to overstate. Conducting business without being affected by distance or time is extremely useful for those who are already up to their eyes in work.
It’s clear that having an e-commerce site is a smart move. But how do you set up an e-commerce site?
How to Start an E-commerce Site
To start, it’ll be useful to mention a few things. First, don’t think that it will be extremely easy to happen upon an e-commerce business that brings financial freedom.
Thinking that the process will be overly simple is a common mistake among people. While e-commerce holds the opportunity for you to become very successful, you will need to have a thought out plan.
Second, have confidence that you can actually do it! People often refuse the opportunity to start something because they’re afraid that they’ll fail. If you have the wherewithal to start up an e-commerce business and stick to it, it’s likely that you’ll do just fine.
Finally, make sure you’re informed. Getting started is the easy part, but make sure to keep on things after you’re store is running. That means watching videos, reading relevant blogs, and keeping a finger on the pulse of the best business practices.
Just like everything on the internet, e-commerce is changing all the time. It doesn’t show signs of slowing, either, so make sure you keep up with it. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about how you can get started.
1. Know What You’re Going to Sell
Again, you can’t just jump into the process without an idea of what to do or what you’re selling. It’s a tough thing to determine, though, because what you sell will ultimately determine how successful you are.
Shop around online for products to sell. That is if you don’t already have a definitive product of your own. There is a lot of research and testimony about specific products that are profitable to sell online.
Your decision should depend on a combination of your values and what is trending online right now. If you’re using a method like dropshipping, remember that what is trending right now won’t be trending forever. That means you should plan to change up your inventory as things develop.
How Are You Going to Approach the Product?
Do you want to make your own product? Remember that you don’t need to be an expert in something to create a viable product. There’s a lot of information online that explains product creation in detail.
You also have the option of partnering with a manufacturer if you’re looking to sell on a large scale. You can also buy wholesale and sell that product on your own site. That option is a little more limiting, as you are working under the determinations of the brand that created the product in the first place.
Things like price and resale value are not going to be under your control if you buy wholesale. Finally, you can choose to dropship.
Dropshipping is a surprisingly easy way to have a product shipped without ever seeing it. Essentially, you sell a product on your site and when you make a sale, it is shipped from the location of the original manufacturer.
You get a small cut of the profits, but there’s literally nothing that you have to do to ship the product.
2. Make Sure Your Idea is Worthwhile
If you make a quick decision on your product, you risk wasting a lot of time, money, and mental space. Choosing a product is the biggest decision that you make with your e-commerce site.
Consider the demand for that particular product, the market competition, and the idea that it may not be so in-demand later on.
3. Write Out a Business Plan
A business plan should detail the operations and procedure that you expect to use in every area of your business. Depending on the scope of your business venture, this could get pretty lengthy.
This plan should include the progression of your business and how you hope to proceed financially.
4. Start Preparing Your Site, Brand, and Accounts
Think up a name for your business and whip up a logo. There are a lot of free logo design sites that provide you with the tools you need to create a quality design.
One thing that will require your attention is the optimization of your page. You may have a great product and business plan, but no one will ever see it if you’re not optimized.
Do some SEO research to determine ways to boost your Google ranking, but if that sounds like too much work, you can always hire an SEO professional to optimize for you. The professionals will keep your site finely-tuned, keeping up with the changes that Google’s algorithm throws your way.
Additionally, you should utilize PPC advertising. This is a service that places your advertisements in front of the people that you want to see them. On top of that, you’re only charged for the results you get.
Finally, you’ll have to start considering which avenues you want to sell through. Do you want an account with Shopify or Etsy? Maybe a lesser known channel?
The decision of which site to use will depend on the nature of your product and the benefits that the site poses. If you have difficulty affording the product that you intend to ship, this service offers inventory lines of credit to get you off your feet.
5. Launch Your E-commerce Site
Once you’re optimized and organized, it’s time to get started! Make sure that your shipping processes are in order, you have a strategy in place to handle returned orders, and you’re willing to adjust if there are difficulties.
The first few months will likely require more attention than the rest. That means you might have to spend some long nights hashing out a procedural difficulty or dealing with technical issues.
After that, you’ll be on your way to E-commerce success!
Need Help on the Business End?
Running an e-commerce business can be a challenge. As you progress, your need for business knowledge will grow too.
If you’re in need of any assistance in growing your business knowledge and taking the e-commerce world by storm, we have the information for you.