Learn This Before Starting an E-commerce BusinessHexRowAdminLogin
E-commerce is a booming industry in the current digital world. It promises an ocean of opportunities for the newcomers. So, you have taken a great decision by choosing this field. Opening an online store requires minimal technical expertise and investment than a brick and mortar shop. You have the chance to sell your products to a vast community. Advertising is also easier as everyone has internet connectivity and access to digital platforms. The business allows you to work from home at your own comfort. Many people are earning a decent income by running their own e-commerce sites.
You see there are so many advantages of opening an online store. But to achieve faster results, you have to lay down a solid foundation for your website. That is possible through step by step planning. You have to consider some important points before initiating your venture. You need to decide which features are to be added in the website.
In this article, let us go through a questionnaire that will give you a clearer vision regarding the online store. And then we will discuss the pillars of an e-commerce site.
The 5 vital questions to ask yourself –
- Will you go for a third party integration?
There is high chance that you will be building your website on a self-hosted solution like WordPress, Magneto or Shopify. And these are very reasonable platforms for a beginner. But the problem is that the features will be limited. So, you have to consider third party integration for better operation of the store. Basically, these third parties are smart software designed for enhancing customer experience. For example, to assist you in accounting there are systems like Xero and Sage. For seamless email marketing, there is Mailchimp. To enhance your product content there is a service called Etilize. Similarly, there are many other third parties for analytical tools and social media campaigns. These applications reduce manual labour and enhance the quality of your site. So, decide wisely which one to opt for.
- Will you be selling a variety of products?
The number and categories of product you will sell should be decided first. You have two options –
- Sell only one niche based product
- Open a general store where you sell a variety of items.
The advantage with a general store is that you can run lucrative sales campaigns. You will have the chance to upsell related products and the customer will find many options.
- What about batch management?
While dealing with a large number of products in your store, you will require a batch management system. It is a software which stores data like category, colour, the expiry date of all the product batches. It helps you to accept multiple orders simultaneously, ensuring that all of them are delivered on time. The software cost-effectively tracks your delivery and billing process.
- Will you be selling physical goods or virtual products ?
For selling physical commodities, you will need to manage inventories. You can enable drop shipping too where you don’t have to store in bulk. Or if you are planning to market digital products, you will need certification and licenses. The products have to go through multiple tests. Virtual products don’t require storage space or delivery work.
- Will your customers have to subscribe to buy something from you?
Subscription e-commerce model is the latest trend now. The greatest example is Netflix. This system will allow consistent flow of revenue to your store. According to this, the customer has to become a premium member in your website to access the best services. The business model puts special focus on customer retention and personalised recommendations.
Now that you viewed the fundamental factors in e-commerce let us move on to the 4 essentials.
- Customer security-
The customers should have faith on the security of your site. Because, while ordering from you they have to fill their address, contact number and card details. These are really sensitive information which can be stolen by hackers. So, your responsibility is to protect the privacy of your consumers. You can do it by registering an SSL certificate with your website. It will encrypt the user data and save it from cyber theft. Additionally, you should use third party payment gateways to receive payments. There is a range of them like Google pay, Stripe, Square, Pay Pal. These sites protect the bank details of your buyers.
- Scalability of your store-
Scalability defines the ability of your store to adjust with growth. The software and hardware should be optimised to handle loads of customer interaction. Sometimes poor scalability may lead to crashing down of the server. So, you must have a strong database with a backup plan.
- Code quality of the software you are using –
Coding of a software has pretty much impact on the functioning of your site. Poor coding is like a roadblock to improvement. You can’t customize a software if the code quality is bad. You will even encounter bugs and hangs in system. Hence while developing code for your personal website, follow standards and keep reviewing. Choose the e-commerce platforms who offer robust code quality.
- Traffic channelling and SEO measures-
E-commerce is totally dependent upon the flow of traffic to convert leads and boost sales. Your store flourishes when you are successful in driving audience to the site. Fortunately, there are many paid and free ways of increasing traffic. Let us focus on unpaid tricks first. SEO definitely tops the list!
It is a must for e-commerce stores to attract organic views. It involves updating the content, blogs of the website with keywords. Even the URLs, tags, titles are to be optimised for getting noticed by Google. The regular creation of quality content can multiply your visitors. Email marketing is another efficient method to increase sales. The paid activities are social media advertisements, pay per click, Google Adwords etc.
So, in this article, we extensively discussed the building blocks of a successful e-commerce venture. Go through the points discussed and follow the tactics to reap best results.