Many people aspire to be business owners, but the high costs associated with ownership, not to mention the stresses of staff and stock management, can leave some people feeling like working as an employee for someone else is the best option.
Interestingly, eCommerce businesses are solving the majority of these problems, leading people to genuinely consider the industry as a viable self-employment option. If you’ve been thinking about launching your own eCommerce business, here are a few things you will need to do first.
Consider Products and Fulfillment Options
Before you start looking at eCommerce sales platforms, you’ll need to think about the type of products you’d like to sell and your 3PL fulfillment and eCommerce order processing options.
Learn about the companies offering the products you hope to stock, and find out more about their reputations. Once you confirm a stockist, third-party logistics companies should be next on your list. Such companies are crucial if you don’t have space to store stock, human resources to handle bulk orders, and time to worry about packing and shipping. Instead of managing these tasks yourself, your chosen order processing company will do it all for you.
Choose a Sales Platform
eCommerce platforms allow you to buy and sell goods over the internet seamlessly. They are easy to navigate, can link directly to your chosen 3PL fulfillment company, and are straightforward to maintain as your product range grows and evolves.
However, there are many different eCommerce platforms to choose from, and not all will be suitable for your needs. Take the time to review the most popular, such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and on-premises.
SaaS and PaaS provide internet-based services, while on-premises platforms are usually hosted by retailers. Many small and new eCommerce businesses opt for SaaS or PaaS, depending on whether they require software, hardware, or both.
Create a Business Plan
During the early stages of your eCommerce business venture, it’s essential to create a business plan that outlines what you stand for, what you sell, and your future business goals.
Your plan will be helpful to refer to during times of uncertainty and changes of direction. It’s also essential if you wish to apply for funding to take your business to the next level. Fortunately, many templates are available online to help you create a thorough and detailed business plan.
Research Your Competition
There are millions of eCommerce businesses in the world, so you’ll have competition no matter what you sell. However, the more you know about your competition, the easier it will be for you to create a point of difference that helps you stand out for all the right reasons.
Spend time in the lead up to your launch day figuring out what makes your competitors desirable to consumers. Then use their ideas to your advantage by offering something that hits a key need better.
Focus on Marketing
It’s easy to assume that if you create an eCommerce business with fantastic products, the customers will come. However, it’s rarely that easy. You need to market your brand in just the right way to build a following – and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Spend time and money on placing your business in the public eye. Social media, podcasts, and even influencers may be helpful avenues to explore. A brilliant creative design agency can also be your most powerful ally, helping you with everything from branding to packaging.
Launching an eCommerce business is ideal for those who have something unique to bring to the market. If that sounds like you, use the tips above to ensure you shine.