The future of business is digital. E-commerce has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years. According to cumulative data, digital sales are expected to increase by 276.9% in the next three years. This has encouraged several business-minded individuals to take the leap into the digital space to build their brand.
But starting an e-commerce business can be challenging, especially when you are unfamiliar with the steps involved. Learn about the process—from your initial business idea to the website launch—to give yourself enough time to prepare for this lucrative business endeavor.
The first step to starting any business is knowing what product you want to sell online. Considered by many as the most challenging part, getting over this hurdle will guide you for the rest of the process.
Step 1: Think of a problem you want to address. Then, identify the possible solutions for it. Alternatively, you can opt for a product that is uniquely yours, such as homemade cookies or handmade jewelry.
Step 2: Once you’ve decided on the product you want to sell, validate its potential performance in the market. If the product you come up with already exists, consider how your iteration of it is better.
Step 3: After finalizing your product, figure out how you will obtain it. You can choose from: (1) making it on your own, (2) hiring a manufacturer, (3) buying it in wholesale, or (4) having it dropshipped to customers.
The next step to setting up your e-commerce business is building its website. In addition to this, you will have to look into what you need to populate your web pages.
Step 1: Review your competitions’ websites and make a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of them. This will guide you in developing your business plan.
Step 2: Hire the necessary professionals to build your website. This includes a web developer, content writers, professional photo retouching services, and digital marketing services.
As your storefront, your website should be able to generate leads and convert them into customers. Investing the necessary time and money into building and managing it is essential to your e-commerce business’s success.
The last step is preparing for the launch. Make sure you start off on the right foot by developing a good shipping strategy.
Step 1: Look at your inventory and determine your shipping and fulfilling strategy. You want to avoid situations where you run out of a popular product or you have an excess of unpopular products.
Step 2: When determining your prices, don’t forget to include the production cost and shipping cost. Your goal is to make a profit while establishing a loyal customer base.
Step 3: Set realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) for the first six months after the launch. Revisit these every month to identify issues and to implement the necessary solutions.
The digital landscape has made starting a business more accessible to individuals. Make the most out of this opportunity by educating yourself on what you need to do to start an e-commerce business. By familiarizing yourself with the process, you can prepare for potential hiccups along the way.