How to Start an eCommerce Business
eCommerce as forecasted is growing by leaps and bounds with more and more people shopping online, eCommerce is set to change the phase of retail industry with the revolution it brought into people’s life. According to statista, global B2C e-commerce sales are expected to reach 2.35 trillion U.S. dollars by 2018. If you are an entrepreneur or a wantrepreneur, this is the right time for you to enter the market and get into action to boost your bottom lines.
It is no more in the hands of a business to have an online presence or not. Today’s customer is online and wants to shop online, they don’t have time to search for products around the market, they want to get it done in a click. Considering these factors, it has become mandatory for a business to have an online presence. Before you make your decision whether to take your business online or not, let us understand why it is necessary to take your business online.
Why take your business online?
The first and the foremost advantage of online business is that you cut down the geographical barrier. You get exposed to a huge customer base which you cannot get in a brick and mortar store. Now you are not limited to the area around you, the whole world is your market. Secondly, an online store is always open; shoppers can shop as per their convenience. Whereas a brick and mortar store is open for around 8-10 hours. Being able to make sales anywhere in the world at any time is big advantage of online business.Online business can also lead to a lot of cost saving. You can save on rent as you don’t require a physical location, you don’t have to pay to employees as they are not needed, you save on inventory costs as you don’t need everything on hand. Shopper’s also gets various benefits if they shop online. They save time, it makes comparison of price easy for them, it is easy to choose from a wide variety of products, they don’t have to fight through crowd to get their product. In short, having an online store is beneficial to both, businesses and shoppers.
How to start an eCommerce business?
Kudos to your decision to start an eCommerce business. While starting an eCommerce business can be relatively easy, you should keep a lot of things in mind before getting into action. Here is an outline of everything an entrepreneur must have to open an e-commerce business.
A product is what that sells, that brings revenue and profits. No marketing or advertising strategy will work if you don’t have a product that sells. In factproduct is the most important factor of your marketing mix. The good news is that you are dealing on the internet and anything can be sold on it. It can be big or small, expensive or cheap, it can be anything. Focus on what is trending in the market or what is needed by the people, give your creativity some wings or use Google trends to know what is trending and find out the best product for you where you can give your personal best and stand out from your competitors.
2. Domain registration
Your domain is your unique address on the Internet. It is a part of your intellectual property; it is how your potential customers will reach out to you. Domain name should match either the product or brand or it should be the business name which makes it easy for customers to reach out. Most of the people use .com or .net at the end, while country codes like .fr .au .in etc. are also used to show relevance of the domain. There are a lot of registrars of domains like Go Daddy, Bluehost etc. select your best fit and move on to the next step. Domain registration don’t take much time, it should be done as soon as the product is decided.
3. eCommerce Web Hosting
Web Hosting is as important as your domain. A web host is a company which will rent you space in their servers for hosting your website. You will need web hosting services to publish your online website for visitors to see and use data you provide. Web host will store your data that make up your website which will be used by the visitors. Some of the important factors to consider while choosing a good eCommerce host are :
- Level of security
- Uptime Percentage
- Dedicated Server
- Integration with eCommerce apps and marketing tools
4. Making a Website
A website should be made in such a way that it reflects the company’s culture keeping in mind the current designing trends. A website is your virtual store, a customer judges you by the design of your website. Having a website design makes a lasting impression in the minds of your visitors and it is sure shot to boost your conversion rate.
Making a website is not as difficult as it sounds. You have got 2 options :
1. Build it yourself. To keep your customers satisfied, it’s important to know them. And although good marketing research will give you great insight into what they want, having actual customer feedback is the the best way to ensure you're using the right strategy. Surveys allow you to get your customer's specific point of view and opinions - that is, if you can get them to actually complete the survey. And writing a survey that customers will take the time to fill in is a hard task.
2. Hire a professional to build it for you. The website design should encourage shoppers to stay, engage and make purchases. It should reflect positivity with correct blend of colors. It should have proper internal linking to make it more navigable, it should include links to make people reach you socially as well as personally. In short, it should be IMPECCABLE!
5. Shopping cart software
Every eCommerce store requires an eCommerce shopping cart software so that a customer can make a purchase and browse for the merchant’s inventory. On the backend, shopping cart software is useful to manage products and inventory. It will not matter if you have the coolest design till your shopping cart software is not configured. A shopping cart software plays a major role in management of your eCommerce store. It has features from designing to marketing your online store.
Today, innumerable shopping cart softwares are available to develop eCommerce websites, but Magento holds peak position among all due to its various remarkable features. Magento is a powerful CMS holding peak position in eCommerce market that has attracted more than 240,000 merchants all over the globe for building their websites in Magento. Due to its leading open source nature and presence of all the features needed to attract customers, Magento has been widely accepted by more than 50,000 community members. Each day, millions of shopping transactions are taking place and if the eCommerce platform is not efficient enough to handle such bundles of transactions, then surely it would degrade the eCommerce business organizations. This vast platform is well architected, designed & flexible enough to be used in any scale business, no matter, what the size of business it is! Magento community members and partners can share their modules, design interfaces, themes, language packs, add-ons and many more contributions at Magento Connect marketplace.
6. Payment Gateway
When you say online shop, you should also have an online payment gateway to process your payment. The days of printing and mailing an order form or mailing a cheque are long gone. Of course you can say COD (cash on delivery), but mate who has the time? It is better to use an online payment gateway to process your eCommerce receipts and payments. Online payment acceptance is the foundation of online business.
Now the question is which payment gateway to select and how to assess that it is THE BEST. There is a whole list of payment gateways you can select from. There is no specific payment gateway which is the best. All of them have different USP’s to choose from. Select the one that best fits your need. Be sure to check the required features and their terms. Some of the payment gateways have a fixed minimum fee which is not suitable for a startup, select your payment gateway in such a way that it allows growth and does not add to the overheads.
eCommerce just does not follow the traditional ‘Build it and they will come’ theory. Marketing an online shop is totally different from marketing a brick and mortar store. With an online store, you face competition from each and every store present on the web. You have got various options to market your store like as follows :
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Ads
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
Other Business Considerations
- Legal Formalities
We, eCommerce eminents can take care of all your eCommerce business needs from developing and designing your online store to marketing and research. We have a long list of happy customers who took their businesses to the next level with Emipro. Feel free to contact us any time. We always crave for a healthy conversations and new ideas.
Being an emerging leader in IT market since 2011, Emipro Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has been providing a wide range of business solutions in Odoo & Magento. We are pleased to have a large pool of contented customers with our meticulous work in the domain of ERP & e-Commerce. Our customers are companies of all sizes ranging from startups to large enterprises who realize that they need a professional internet solution to generate revenue streams, establish proper communication channels, to achieve desired goals and streamline business operations. [....] Read More