If you have already thought about building an e-commerce business, then this article is for you. We’ll tell you how to start it from scratch, creating a solid base so that your business grows and develops.
E-commerce is electronic commerce, in other words, purchase and sale of goods on the Internet. Despite the huge growing market and existing competition, it’s easiest to start a business here. You don’t need a big capital and you won’t meet any special obstacles. The main players in this market are online stores.
Business is actively going online and this trend is only increasing. You’ll get a wide target audience coverage globally, and, accordingly, potential buyers. Advertising and promotion costs are low. You can quickly bring the product to the market and easily establish a supply chain. Electronic interaction with banks simplifies the document flow process. The cost of distributing digital products is quite low. In short, this sector has many advantages, and that’s why you are here.
There are various platforms for the implementation of commercial relations, but the most extensive and promising are online stores. So how can you create your online store?
This is a crucial stage, therefore, everything should be weighed up and considered. You can choose a popular area that guarantees profit. But here you’ll bump up against a legion of competitors who have settled in the market a long time ago. There is a risk of being lost in the market ocean, like a boat among large ships, and end up going to the bottom. There will be almost no competitors in a little-known or new sector of the market. But at the same time, there will be no demand, so you’ll have to invest in advertising and promotion to popularize your product. What to do?
There is always a way out. You can enter a large sector with your own narrow subject area. For example, to offer not just clothes, but specific ones, and not ordinary, but special. That’s the whole point: to become special and find your customers. You create a unique selling proposition. If your budget doesn’t include advertising costs, you need to use social networks, a system of bonuses for information distribution, and every opportunity to make people talk about your store by themselves.
In fact, you can sell everything, even air. You just need to know how to offer! We will tell you how to do it. However, this is merely a brief instruction, and in order to succeed, each clause should be studied more thoroughly than described here.
This means researching the target audience and competitors. Knowing only in general terms who will buy your product is equal to ignorance. This step is pretty time-consuming, but your success depends on it more than on the choice of wares. You’ll need “pictures” of all your potential buyers, their gender, age, financial capabilities, as well as their needs, which you can satisfy. Psychological portraits will also be useful to understand how to create the “need” of these people for your product.
Competitor analysis is also an important part of preparation. You can conduct it yourself, give an assignment to specialists or entrust it to the developers of your future site.
You need to find suppliers of goods with whom you plan to work together. To find isn’t a problem, the search service will give you numerous catalogs of suppliers. The problem is to find a good and reliable supplier, with affordable prices. Your choice will affect whether you can establish a competitive price and provide high-quality products.
A store on the Internet is remembered by its web address (domain name). A domain is the address of your website on the network. It has to be short and memorable. You can purchase a vacant domain name with a trustworthy “history”. It’s good if it belonged to an online store with similar goods and certain positions in search engines. Later, the site will be easier to promote. However, there is a risk of acquiring a domain under the sanctions of search engines. A domain with good performance is quite expensive and you can search for it for a long time. The new domain will be “clean” and inexpensive, but it will require promotion costs. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect in the world!
Everything that you did previously, you would have to do for an offline store, except that instead of a domain you would choose a place for commerce. However, the online business has its own game rules, and now they take effect.
You have successfully completed the previous 4 steps and believe that there’s little left to do: to create a site. What’s the big deal, an online store website can be made in 15 minutes, you have seen the offer with your own eyes! (Well so be it, you are ready to spend one day on this rubbish.)
We would like to tell you that you are cruelly deceived, but this is not entirely true. In real life, you can build a house in one day too. But will it be good to live in it and how soon will it fall apart?
This is a special thing about business on the Internet: there is everything here, in particular — trusting or impatient people who want to get a house in one day or a website in three clicks. Exactly this step — the creation of the site — will become either the launch platform of your success or the sad field of your defeat.
An online store site is a virtual analog of an offline store. If it looks like a warehouse built in haste and chaotically packed with goods, don’t expect profit. It’s unclear how to go through the store and where to find things you need, the service is poor, and the wares don’t look good! The first visitors will look around with sour faces, turn back and leave to talk friends and acquaintances out of going to this place.
This is the fate of a site made by a template using a constructor, or the result of “miracles” in one day. Common sense tells us that for a good store you need a good place, good room and good service, and for a virtual store you need a good website. Therefore, your task as a businessman is to take care of this and not build an internet-hut.
Building an online store is a job that cannot be done alone. But for this there are website developers, web designers, and advertising specialists. This is a responsible task, and it’s very risky to delegate website development to just anyone. The functioning of the amateur site will disappoint you in the long run, so you should seriously approach the choice of a task performer. Analyze their portfolio, find out the average cost and terms of development, inquire about the functionality and the possibility of its expanding, learn, whether technical support, SEO optimization, and further promotion of the online store are provided. Your site should be a place where visitors will want to return again and again. An online store isn’t a one-time project, where it’s enough to create a virtual “warehouse” and then only replenish it. It requires continuous development and improvement of usability. A good online store should be dynamic and meet the changing requirements of the target audience.
The Outcrowd team has many years of experience in the design and development of websites and online stores. We are contacted by beginners who have only the idea of a startup as well as by experienced owners of sites and online stores. Old sites need to be redesigned, and their owners know that this is as important as renovating a room. However, the selling site is more than a show window. An effective website is a guarantee of the financial success of its owner, convenience and pleasure for customers, and the reputation of your business. On the Internet, as in real life, there are beautiful shops as well as stick huts. We, like few others, know that creating a good site is a big responsibility, and how much its quality affects sales and promotion on the Internet.
You can have a look at the cases of our clients, which prove that success depends on the quality of the site more than on the subject. You can sell everything if you know how to do it. We’ll be happy to help you build a strategically thought-out, attractive, and effective online store that brings profit and is useful for people.
To organize a profitable business in the area of electronic commerce, it’s necessary to engage in its development and optimization of business processes constantly. Opening an online store is only the first step on a long journey of entrepreneurship. To become one of the leaders, you need to make your online store the best one.