With the introduction of smartphones, you may now shop from anywhere and at any time using a wireless device connected to the internet. This revolution began the Ecommerce trend globally and is now taking over the world. However, establishing an e-commerce business may be intimidating and frustrating at times. In India, the trend is still new, and people are yet not aware of the term, E-commerce. Today, in this article, we will know everything about starting an e-commerce business.
Ecommerce Business: Introduction
Ecommerce, often known as online or electronic commerce, is the purchasing and selling of products/services through the internet. Ecommerce is frequently used to refer to the online sale of tangible goods, but it can also refer to any type of economic transaction made possible by the internet. While e-business encompasses all aspects of running an online firm, e-commerce focuses on the exchange of goods and services as well as the data & money transfers required for completing these transactions.
“In the next three years, Ecommerce sales are expected to account for 15.5% of retail sales worldwide.”- Oberlo.in
3 Types of Products for Ecommerce Selling
- Tangible Products These are material products that must be created, stored in a warehouse, and distributed to clients, as the name implies. Physical items can be profitable, but if you don’t manage your operational costs properly, your profit margins will be minimal.
- Digital Products You can also sell digital products, including ebooks, audio courses, online courses, and other items that a buyer can download to their device. Profit margins for digital products are higher (compared to physical goods). However, because they are typically seen as having a lower value than actual things, pricing them can be difficult.
- Online Services Virtually every service that can be provided remotely can be sold online & the quickest approach to establish an online business is to sell services (and turning a profit). However, it is a business model in which you sell your time. Because you only have a certain number of hours each day, your earning potential is limited.
Step 1: Finding Your Ideal Product/Idea
The first step for starting your profitable E-commerce business is finding an ideal product or niche for selling. You must be smart in locating products difficult to locate in stores or on famous e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.
Make sure to focus on more specific things that appeal to a particular demographic. Making a list of potential things to sell in your store is an excellent place to start. Consider what you, your friends, coworkers, or family members would be interested in.
Platforms for Finding Business Ideas:
Step 2: Testing Product Potential
It is necessary to test your product’s viability before launching it in the market. If your product doesn’t hold much potential and you launch it, all your money would go to waste.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is Anybody Selling it Successfully Online Yet?
- Is there a long-term need for this product? Is it a one-time thing?
- How many customers may be willing to sell for your product?
It doesn’t matter how cool the product appears to be. It should be viable from a business standpoint!
Step 3: Sourcing Your Products
The third step is to source the product you intend to sell. When you did your research in Step 1, you should have already thought about how you’re going to approach this process. You can produce your products, purchase them from wholesalers, or — if you’re offering your services, such as a consultant — just describe and list them on your business website.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- How much inventory do I need to start?
- What would be the initial investment?
- How would the process from warehouse to customer look like?
Step 4: Research the Market & Competitors
Competitor analysis can help you find better things to market and offer you a better idea of starting an online business. You’ve identified your product, assessed its potential, and identified a vendor. Now, have a look at what your competitors are doing. When conducting a competitor analysis, keep the following points in mind:
- Understand their business model
- Get an idea about the number of products & categories they are selling
- Know their social media presence
- Know their target audience
- Evaluate all their marketing channels, like SMO, PPC, & SEO.
Step 5: Building Your Ecommerce Shop
The next step is to build your Ecommerce website or get it ready from a professional developer. There are hundreds of e-commerce shopping cart platforms to choose from & all of them serve a different purpose. Things like loading speed, functionality, compatibility with various payment channels, your web developer capabilities, SEO-friendly features, and compatibility with your business structure all be carefully considered.
Some Top Ecommerce Platforms
Step 6: Marketing & Promotion
The finest e-commerce sites spend a significant amount of money on online marketing. You can use various marketing tactics, including Google AdWords, social media ads, word-of-mouth marketing, email marketing, SEO, and more. At the most basic level, you’ll want to optimize your business website for SEO and use any online marketing tools that your e-commerce platform provides.
Marketing Tip: Retargeting
You’ll want to keep track of which marketing methods are working and which aren’t after your e-commerce firm is up and running and you start receiving orders — primarily if you’re investing money in them. You’ll be able to tweak and adapt your marketing plan as time goes on to see what works best for your company.
3 Best Ecommerce Platforms India
Choose a platform that offers all required capabilities at an affordable price. The best Ecommerce platforms in India are:
- WooCommerce It is an open-source platform that you may customize to create any kind of website you want. You can add hundreds of WooCommerce extensions to help with shipping, bookkeeping, marketing, and much more. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting as well as a developer to set up and design your store.
- Shopify Shopify is a SaaS platform with over 4,100 integrated apps and a wide range of native functionality (separate subscription fees apply). It also comes with over 70 professional and responsive themes for you to choose from while creating your website.
- BigCommerce It is an open-source software-as-a-service platform with a wide range of native commerce functionality and no restrictions on extensions or modification. Compared to Shopify, BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box capability can save companies between $5,800 and $30,000 per year in-app subscription costs.
Things to Keep in Mind while Making Ecommerce Websites
- Product Pictures: Photographs of the product must provide high-definition visuals.
- Product Description: Instead of lining up features, concentrate on the benefits that the consumer wants to read.
- Shipping Method: Fast and free shipping is the most crucial factor in completing an online purchase. Ascertain that all of your products are delivered on time to your customers. You can use a variety of shipping methods to do this:
- Mobile-Friendly: Ensure that your website is mobile friendly and all pages look great on every device.