Things to keep in mind before starting an e-commerce business
As people all over the world are spending more time in the virtual domain, businesses are also making a vigorous digital shift. Other than cutting costs, e-commerce is giving businesses higher visibility than brick and mortar stores ever could.
The global e-commerce market is expected to equal $4.89 trillion in 2021. Two years ago, only 13.6% of sales were made from online purchases. Today, that number is projected to reach 19.5% in 2021, a 45.8% increase in e-commerce market share over two years. Growth is likely to continue, reaching 21.8% by 2024, which converts to an 8.2 percentage point increase in just five years.
This makes e-commerce an exciting opportunity for success. Still, it can be extremely difficult to know exactly how to start an e-commerce business that will do fairly enough to generate revenue. So, let’s have a look into the things that an entrepreneur has to keep in mind before starting an e-commerce business.
Find the gaps in the market
There are a lot of e-commerce platforms running in the market but most of them end up serving only a narrow range of customer demands. This is because they tend to miss out on their pain points. Customer pain points are a specific problem that customers or potential customers of your business are experiencing in the marketplace.
E-commerce businesses should note that for a particular product or service, even if the pain points for most customers are alike, the cause of these might be different for everyone. Thus, an initial qualitative research delivers proper insights using which one can tweak their business. This can help them focus on the gaps in the market.
Understating compliance and regulations
Every business has to look at a set of legal matters.
Apart from understanding different taxes for the sale of goods, or charging delivery, e-commerce businesses also have to comply with cyber laws. The latter includes an entire set of rules regarding online contracts, business software patenting, e-taxation, e-governance, and cyber-crimes.
It is needed to make note of website terms of service/vendor agreements to avoid any related problems that could possibly arise down the line.
Compare and choose the ideal e-commerce platform
Part and parcel of making your e-commerce business stand out from the crowd is selecting a platform that helps you stage your products and improve user experience.
So, the next useful step should be to compare e-commerce platforms and choose the ideal one. The best way to do that is check all the online demos of these platforms from the front end, admin, dashboard, and merchant view.
Effective marketing is vital
By knowing your audience, you can tailor your marketing strategy.
For example, the essential place to start is by identifying your target market – are you targeting teens or the older generation? Is it usually more likely to be purchased by men or women?
Like any mammoth task, designing a marketing strategy is made easier by breaking it down into smaller portions and working on it step by step.
Using SEO and web analytics support
SEO determines how well your web pages rank in search engines such as Google, and the goal is to be as near to the top as possible to get valuable clicks from potential customers.
Entrepreneurs can leverage SEO, SMM, SEM etc. to drive higher ROIs and gain advanced online visibility, which in turn would help create brand salience among their audience.
An independent business owner may feel like he/she is an island but it’s important to remember that there are millions of people chasing the same goal as you, and they’re not just competitors – you can network and learn with them.
Reaching out to fellow e-commerce business owners will help you to understand what makes a successful launch, as well as developing a network of people who may be able to guide you.
Last but certainly not least, every entrepreneur must keep in mind that:-
Success Takes Time
It is unlikely that your e-commerce business will become an overnight sensation. It will take hard work, dedication, commitment and obviously a few tweaks and tugs before you perfect it.
If you follow the steps outlined here, you will have a solid foundation to build upon over time.