How to start an eCommerce business?
The 21st century is all about being a step ahead of your competitors. The competition in every business and industrial sector is so high that it has become very difficult for startups to get success in their niche industry.
On the other hand, the internet has played a vital role in growing any business. In order to get tremendous ROI and gain new customers, a lot of business organizations have shifted their business online than doing it traditionally. eCommerce business also helps companies in gaining the trust of their potential customers.
A popular business tycoon Bill Gates once said, “if your business is not online, then it will be out of business.”
The eCommerce industry is growing to the next level of change for the economy of the nation. And if you are planning to start an eCommerce business, then the clock is ticking. It is the perfect time for starting an eCommerce business from scratch either yourself or with the help of a professional digital marketing company.
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Binny and Sachin Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart once addressed that, “we did not imagine about the number back then, but we knew something big could be built from an eCommerce sector.”
Jeff Bezos, one of the popular eCommerce business entrepreneurs always said that he had no exit plans when he started the Amazon. He was building a company for the long term basis. When he decided to grow his company, he hired business graduates to search for those products which are hard to find in stores but easy to sent through the mail. You too can use this technique to kick-start your eCommerce business.
According to Insider Intelligence, worldwide eCommerce sales is expected to reach $5 trillion in 2022 and $6 trillion by 2024.
Do you need free consultation on your eCommerce business startup? We are here to help you.
These stats are mentioned with the intention to wake you up from sleep and start an eCommerce business. A famous entrepreneur Jack Ma said that “your dedication and hard work is the key to starting an online business.”
His dream was to establish his own eCommerce company. In 1999, he gathered 18 people in his apartment and spoke to them for two hours about his vision. Every single person gave their contribution and gathered approximately $60000 to start Alibaba. He wanted to establish a global company, so he chose ‘Alibaba’ for the name of the company.
Starting an eCommerce business from scratch is one of the toughest and stressful tasks these days. eCommerce giants such as Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba, etc. have gained huge popularity in the industry that it is difficult for first-time-entrepreneurs to start an eCommerce business. Their continues discount providing strategy helped these eCommerce companies in gaining a lot of new customers to their business. If you Google “how to start an eCommerce business?” you will come across an ocean of results which will guide you in the same. But here in this blog, we have sorted and designed the easiest guide to starting an eCommerce business.
Here are some of the reasons why one should start an eCommerce business:
- According to a report by Statista, the sales of retail eCommerce businesses will reach up to $1.3 trillion by 2025.
- Approximately 71% of customers think that online stores give them more deals than traditional ones.
- 57% of Gen X and 67 millennials prefer online shopping.
- 57% of online shoppers have started trading with foreign sellers
The quote “with great power, comes great responsibilities” is indeed correct. How? Once you are a CEO of a startup, a lot of responsibilities automatically come on your shoulders, for which only you are eligible to complete it. Because of peer pressure and you have to juggle yourself from one position to another. This continues juggling sometimes lead to a thought of giving up on everything. Some of them do, whereas some of them fight all those difficulties and hardships and get successful. If you are planning to start an eCommerce business, then you should read the points given below. These points will guide you toward success.
How to start an eCommerce Business? – Step by Step Guide
- Have in-depth research on eCommerce business
- Find the great niche for your eCommerce business
- Choose your products and audiences carefully
- Establish your eCommerce business
- Build your eCommerce store
- Attract the right audience
- Advertise your products over the internet
A simple guide to starting an eCommerce business from scratch
1. Have in-depth research on eCommerce business
Starting an eCommerce business is one of the most crucial steps. Do not treat it as a guess based on intuition rather than fact. Treat your eCommerce business as an investment and grow it according. Today, there is not a single business structure that is made for everyone. A business based on services, selling products online, software, and physical products are only the part of eCommerce business. Before you figure out what type of product you will be selling online, you need to understand the various eCommerce business models.
These business models are hard to understand. In fact, they create a huge impact on your business’ structure. When you choose a business model, make sure you pick it after in-depth analysis. Here’s complete information about various eCommerce business models available today.
Basically, there are four types of eCommerce business models which you can select and include in your business:
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
Business to Business (B2B)
A model is called a business to business model when two or more corporations exchange goods or services instead of individuals. This model represents the transactions that are happening between a retailer or a wholesaler, or between wholesalers and manufacturers. Moreover, the transactions that are happening in B2B are higher than the B2C business model. Popular eCommerce giants such as Alibaba, Amazon, IBM, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Boeing are using the B2B business model in their company.
How to Launch Your B2B eCommerce Store and Start Selling Online?
Benefits of B2B business model:
- Encourages business online
- Products of import and export
- Determine buyers and suppliers
- Position trade guides
- A niche marketing strategy focused on trade channels
- More revenue per sale
Business to Customers (B2C)
The business to customers or B2C is one of the most common types of business models used these days. It is also considered a thickest eCommerce market. In this business model, the company is directly selling its products to its potential customers. This model renders organizations in interacting directly with their customers. This online model is used by marketers and retailers with the intention to sell their goods to internet users. Wal-mart, Target, REI, Staples, etc. use this model within their organization.
How to Launch Your B2C eCommerce Store and Start Selling Online?
Benefits of the B2C business model:
- Cheaper electronic transactions
- Greater customer loyalty
- Expansion of the marketplace to global proportions
- Development of niche marketing opportunities
- Mass/ consumer media marketing strategy
- Easy to understand
- Short sales cycle
Customers to Business (C2B)
The C2B of customers to business means if any customer is selling his product or service to any business organization than this type of business model refers to C2B model. There is a minor variation in this business model that the customer creates the value of any product. Google Adsense, Amazon, Commission Junction, Fotolia, etc. are using C2B business model in their company.
How to Launch Your C2B eCommerce Store and Start Selling Online?
Other types of business revenue models are as follows:
- Subscription model
- Wholesaling and Warehousing
- Private Labeling and Manufacturing.
The C2C or customers to customers’ business model means transactions that are happening between two customers. It is also called citizen to citizen. A simple example of the C2C business model could be an online auction. Here, a customer or visitor post an item for sale, and the highest bidder gets the item. Popular websites such as OLX, Craigslist, eBay, etc. are using this type of business model within their organization.
How to Launch Your C2C eCommerce Store and Start Selling Online?
Benefits of the C2C business model:
- Low transaction cost
- No intermediary
- Wide Reach
- Round the clock availability
- Potential for emotional and purchases based on needs
- Negotiable market-based price
2. Find the great niche for your eCommerce business
One mistake which a lot of startups make when they are starting an eCommerce business is they fail to choose the right niche for their business. There are hundreds and thousands of products available globally. Still, nobody focuses on them. If you have a huge budget, you can be the next Amazon. And if you don’t have a huge budget, you have to be niche-specific to run a successful eCommerce store.
When you’re starting an eCommerce business, it’s essential to be niche-oriented. Selling everything and gaining a huge profit is indeed a bad idea. Various eCommerce business organizations offer numerous products and services but fail to concentrate on any of them. You can not be the next Amazon or expect overnight success unless you have a lot of investment. Until then, it would be perfect if you are niche-oriented in order to run a startup eCommerce business.
You can start by acknowledging other successful online business corporations that are presently working in your favored industry; to assure you to have healthy competition. If there are no competitors in any of the niches, then your products and services will not get market in that industry. Most importantly, avoid choosing an overly-crowded niche.
3. Choose your products and audiences carefully
After identifying the niche and business models, the next thing you need to do is hunt for the product you will sell on your eCommerce platform. When you are searching for the products to sell, also think about the audience you are planning to target. It is worthless to expect people to purchase your product until you don’t know who you are selling to. When you are performing this step, ask yourself below listed questions:
- What your brand is?
- What does your eCommerce store represent?
- Who can be your potential customers?
4. Establish your eCommerce business
Now since you know your niche and business strategy, here’s the way to start an eCommerce business. To do so, you need to perceive your brand’s persona. You have to transform into a brand that connects with its customer’s personas. Classification of customer personas makes the launching of eCommerce business easier.
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For example, if your product is for professional women, you need to stay away from the “girly colors,” as you’re targeting a mature audience. Understanding your buyer persona is essential.
Register your business
Find the name of your business and register your company. There are a lot of protection benefits and tax benefits you need to take care of. Make sure you don’t skip it.
Figure your store’s name
When you have a name for your business, it is time to register it. There are various legitimate protections and benefits for doing so. Make sure you don’t miss this.
License your business
If you are unaware of this process, the Small Business Association will make your task easy and convenient when you are starting an eCommerce business. Try to find a mentor who will guide you in licensing your business.
Get your Employer Identification Number
In order to open a business bank account and file your business taxes, Employer Identification Number (EIN) is the most important thing. The EIN is similar to your business’ social security number.
Get a business logo
A logo for the business acts as a face to the company. Once your business is successfully established, your logo design becomes an identity of your business. Based on your logo, your target audience will identify your company.
5. Build your eCommerce store
Once your eCommerce business is legally registered and start working on designing your eCommerce store. Besides, you need to register a domain name of your business. After domain name registration, you need to develop your eCommerce store. When you are designing your eCommerce store, make sure it is compatible with all size of devices.
When building an eCommerce store, make sure you use the latest technologies. Same like logo, your eCommerce app or website will become a core identity of your online business. While developing your online portal, you need to take care of factors such as speed, features, compatibility with various payment options & business models, SEO-friendliness, and a lot more.
6. Attract the right audience
A lot of people think that once they have set up their eCommerce business, they will start getting profit. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.
In order to get a huge amount of revenue from your eCommerce business, all you need to do is market your store.
To do so, marketing plays a vital role in the same. When you are developing your eCommerce website or application, all you need to do is design in an user-friendly manner. Search Engines like Google, Bing always love user-friendly website or application.
You should start SEO for your store from day one. The keywords over-stuffing are gone now, but the SEO technique is still alive. You need to select those keywords by keeping the search terms in mind. If you are running an eCommerce application also then you should also focus on ASO (app store optimization).
Most of the eCommerce businesses invest massively in online advertising and marketing. If you haven’t allocated fund for marketing, you better get it done ASAP. Also, subscribe to various marketing newsletters or watch digital marketing podcasts to keep up with the latest marketing strategies.
7. Advertise your products over the internet
Apart from your website and application, the products you choose also need to be included in your marketing strategy. Your mission shouldn’t be driving traffic to your site. Instead, it should be selling your products. In order to increase the sales of your eCommerce business, you need to think out of the box. It doesn’t matter how you planned to sell your products; the first and foremost thing you need to do is create an email list. To gain subscribers, you need to launch a social media campaign.
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Hosting a giveaway is the perfect marketing tactic to generate traffic and subscriber in no time. Giveaway helps your business in boosting your brand presence and product visibility. You can email users and let them know about new products and why they should buy them. This will enhance your brand visibility over the internet.
This was a simple guide to inaugurating an eCommerce business. If you are a startup and planning to start an eCommerce business, go through the points mentioned above. In any online business, eCommerce platform plays a vital role in its success. It acts as the face of your company. In order to build an eCommerce website or app, popular web & mobile app development company can help you in the same. They have hired the industry’s best programmers and developers who are aware of all the latest trends of the website and mobile app development.