With globalization increasing at a rapid pace and use of internet technology too, people prefer doing things quickly and easily without investing much of their time, money and energy.
If you consider today’s generation and ask them to go and buy some of their essentials like clothes, beauty products or even groceries from a supermarket or a mall, they simply avoid going out if the house and just sit on the comfortable couch with their smartphones and order it online. And you wonder how they do that?
It’s all because of e-commerce. And what exactly is e-commerce?
E-commerce is just the process of buying and selling product or services by electronic means such as by online website, mobile applications and the internet.
And considering the usage of internet in this 21st generation, e-commerce has hugely increased in popularity and in ways, it’s replacing traditional stores like malls, supermarket, normal stores, and shop. As the internet is becoming basic in our daily lives, acceptance of e-commerce continues to grow, and all the consumers and businesses are taking advantage of this.
Traditional stores have many limitations like not working for 24/7, not able to reach a wide area network, not many alternatives available, limited stocks and most importantly sometimes there are outdated stocks. But e-commerce has overcome all these limitations by enabling you to buy and sell products on a global scale, twenty-four hours a day without incurring the same overheads as you would with running a usual traditional brick.
So now even you wish to start an e-commerce business, right? Starting an e-commerce business store demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time and hence is hard work. But especially for you, to help you with how you can start an e-commerce business in 2019, we have put together a simple and complete step by step blueprint:
Research what E-commerce Business is all about:
The first important step before you start an e-commerce business is beginning your research. You need to carefully plan your steps and business as starting anything would require you to invest time, energy, money, and other potential investments. You even need to understand all the business models available out there before you and choose a one which suits best for you. But consider your business structure, budget, business idea, and customers demand before you decide on your business model.
If you plan to sell your goods in bulk, you could simply consider going for wholesaling or warehousing model; if you plan to sell customized products, you could consider going for personalization model and if you plan for selling a single product or give services, you could consider going for retail model.
Your second step is to reach what your customers desire. Answer the following questions to get through this stage:
What are you for the e-commerce market?
What type of business model are you opting for?
What customers are you targeting on?
What are the demands of your target customers?
Once you have the answers to these questions you need to plan about the product or services you plan to sell.
Once you have identified a business model and also know what your customers desire for, you need to select your business idea. In this step, you need to define the product or services you are willing to sell and see how much demand for that particular product and services is available in the market. Pen down all your ideas and evaluate it according to your budget, customers need and market demand and decide which product or services you would like to deal with.
Connect with Suppliers:
Decided with your product and services? The next thing is you need to connect with the suppliers and your input service providers who would provide you the product or services you would further sell in your e-commerce business. Make sure that you have enough backup from them when your business booms in the market
Establish your E-commerce Business and Brand:
You need a brand that would connect you with your customers and getting in the successful tag and building your credibility in the market. So how do you start your online store?
Step 1: Register your Business – Choose a business name which is unique and perfectly defines your store and register it with the legal authorities to gain legal protections and tax benefits.
Step 2: Choose a Brand Name – Your business name and brand name can be different but to have it same has its own benefits. Keep in mind that your brand name should fit your store and niche and is unique as you don’t want to pick a name which is already in use to avoid legal actions.
Step 3: Get a Logo for your Business – If you consider today’s trend each and every business even on small to large scale have their own logo. Hire a logo designer or design it yourself to give your brand and business a professional touch.
Step 4: Get your Business Licence – To start and deal in any business you need to have an authorized license. So check with your city, state or country’s authority to get all your business, tax and other needed licenses.
Step 5: Get Image and Visuals for your Business Websites – Once you have registered your business and have your logo designed, you need to get everything visualized to incorporate it with your business’s website
Step 6: Understanding Search Engine Optimisation – Once you are ready with your online store, you need to understand the basics of search engine optimization so that you can accordingly structure your website any search engine. If you aren’t good in SEO, I’d recommend using shopify to start your store and upgrading on the go.
Just starting an e-commerce store is not enough. You need to attract customers to it and how do you think that would happen? You definitely have to create a market for your e-commerce business and that happens only when you advertise your business. You can hire a marketing agency for that job if you have enough money but if you are limited to money source you should have good networking to spread words for your store.
Building your own e-commerce business is as challenging as it is exciting. Once started you will learn more about choosing a product, evaluating its marketability, figuring out how to get it produced, building an online store, and marketing and selling to new customers. The process sounds challenging but it’s rewarding at the same time.
If you have any questions or can think of any other recommendation for any steps we missed about starting an e-commerce business, feel free to post them in the comments below.