HOW TO START AN E-COMMERCE BUSINESS
The future of business is digital. As a matter of fact, we can boldly say that the future is here, as evidenced by the explosion of the e-commerce industry in recent times. This has seen more and more business moving into the Digital space, while the brick and mortar stores are gradually becoming more irrelevant in the business market of today. To further highlight how urgent the e-commerce industry have become, online shopping or trading which most people initially thought to be a luxury has now become something of necessity.
The e-commerce industry have seen a rapid rise in popularity and use in the last couple of years as many businesses enjoy the more benefits attached to adapting to this new method of conducting business. The traditional way of doing business simply cannot catch up with the e-commerce industry today considering the unmatched interest in e-commerce.
Having seen the importance and advantages which e-commerce brings to many businesses around the world, many entrepreneurs have registered an interest on how to start an e-commerce business. For those business entities, entrepreneurs whose goals are on the short term i.e. to make a quick profit, it is important to create business goals that are scalable.
As booming and lucrative as the e-commerce industry may be today, it is important to note the presence of businesses that also struggle to maintain a strong grip. Through this article, you will learn a great deal about how to successfully start a profitable e-commerce business which will grow to meet your business objectives.
Research Ecommerce Business Models
Before thinking of creating a e-commerce business, it is quite important to conduct a thorough research about the business. Launching a business out of assumptions or a hunch is most likely detrimental to the success of such business. Like any other business you find around, e-commerce business is also an investment and it should be treated in that manner.
Different kinds of business structure is suitable for a variety of businesses. Essentially, what works for A might not work for B. Subsequent to setting up an e-commerce business of your choice, it is critical to have an understanding of the varieties of business models you can base your business on. Despite the simplicity of these business models, they can make a huge difference on your business structure.
For entrepreneurs who intend to turnover profits in their business without having to invest heavily in the initial stages of the business, choosing drop shipping or print on demand can be your smartest move. For entrepreneurs or business entities with an opposite idea, that is to invest heavily, going for a wholesale or retail model is a great choice.
Start Ecommerce Niche Research
Many businesses today are filled with a great deal of varieties in products, reaching hundreds and thousands in scores of categories. This can be a real problem for you because there certainly won’t be any real focus. Unless you have plans to become the next Amazon with a huge capital to set it up, it is not so advisable. For small or medium scale businesses, cutting down on the niches your products cover will do your business a lot of good in terms of profits and accountability.
Selecting a niche which your business will operate is also critical in e-commerce business. You can proceed by marking out already established and successful businesses striving in this niche. While doing that, ensure the presence of healthy competition because a niche without competition most likely points to an absence of a market. Be careful also not to select a niche which is overpopulated or a niche which a major brand dominates. Be sure of what you want to do, the more specific the lesser the competition.
Validate Target Market And Product Ideas
Following the identification of the ideal niche and model you want your business to operate, it is easy to get distracted by looking for products to sell. That is not advisable. While you will still have to do that, it is important to think about the people who you need to sell products to. It is a bit of a stretch to expect people to buy the products you offer without knowing the people that need them.
Important questions to answer are who you are, what you want your business to represent, the customers who need your products and so on. This is also where a consistent brand image comes in, starting with a unique brand name. A company known for selling baby products that starts selling makeup will definitely not stand the test of time.
One of the additional advantages of e-commerce is the ease of locating your target market through the different social networks. Look around you and you will see that we all are on one social network or more. This creates an opportunity to discover your target market, as well as asserting the amount of people your business can target. To be more effective, the persona of your business needs to correspond to the expectations of your target market and the products you offer.
Identify product ideas
After successfully pinning down the image you want to project and the kind of customer your business satisfies, you can then proceed to identify product ideas. When you identify a product to invest in, it is important to evaluate such products. Regardless of the model you want to base your business on, testing the product will help you find out potential issues with such product.
Determining the viability of a product idea is also a huge factor in validating such idea. Questions like “Will my suppliers match my pricing? Are there other options if my supplier fails?”. For a successful e-commerce enterprise, your brand needs to connect with your persona. Knowing your persona makes life more bearable in terms of creating an e-commerce brand. An example is avoiding féminine colors or graphics for a store selling products to official businessmen with interest in productive living.
Just before creating your own e-commerce business and building a brand, there are steps to take for a smooth running process. They include:
- Register Your Business.
This is quite important considering the legal protection and tax advantages your business will enjoy. First of all, select a unique business name before registering the business with government agencies like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and other bodies related to your business in your region.
- Pick Your Store’s Name
The name of your store and the legal name of your business does not necessarily have to be the same. However there is need for consistency. Make sure whatever you choose fits your niche and something people can easily relate to.
- Find The Right Vendors
E-commerce Business ensures there is a lot of competition regardless of your niche. Having said that, it is in the interest of your business to get the highest quality products and best prices for the products and services you offer. You can scout a lot of options until you find the one that is perfect, keeping the interest of your consumers and business in mind.
- Finalize Your Ecommerce Business Plan
At this point, you should have a better grip on how your e-commerce business will look like. You have identified your target market, ideal niche, as well as your brand name. Going to the drawing board and outlining your business plans is next up. Here, you will outline how you want to run the business, startup capital you intend to invest,, as well as operating costs.
Business is all about finances, and so you need to identify your break-even point, both in unit sales and duration. The business planning phase is also when you want to iron out details like your staff, product sourcing, logistics and marketing budget. Make sure you understand all the available financial resources available to you.
- Create/Join an Online Store
Once you have made the decision to finally go into the e-commerce business, it is important for you to create your online store. You will definitely need to consider lots of design information to finally build that ideal store for your business. This might prove to be a lot of work for most entrepreneurs.
However, Kusnap offer business owners and entrepreneurs à way out in many ways you can ever imagine. What if we tell you that you can own a ready made online store where all you just need to do is to put in the products and services you offer. Through Kusnap, entrepreneurs can easily set up their own e-commerce store without having to go through the capital intensive and strenuous process of creating an e-commerce site.
Numerous advantages and benefits are associated with launching your e-commerce business through Kusnap. Asides the low cost of setting up your own store and eliminating the stress of creating the perfect designs to match your business persona, Kusnap also takes care of the marketing aspects of your business. This way, your business is promoted through the top notch marketing strategy which ensures your products are visible to people who need your business and they are converted to customers that make purchase.
Without a doubt, Kusnap is the most effective, yet cheaper way to create your own e-commerce business in such an efficient online space which is equipped with everything your business needs to achieve the goals and projections set out.