With the growing popularity of the online market place, E-commerce has been one of the fastest expanding sectors of the trade industry. Hundreds of thousands of online stores exist around the World Wide Web. According to a survey, approximately 20,000 new e-commerce websites are opened every week. It has become essential for every business to have an online presence these days. The increasing demand for quick and convenient availability of products and services gives rise to the necessity of selling on the web. E-commerce website helps you make the most of this online global market in terms of saving time, energy and money. There are a number of varied options you can choose from, to develop an e-commerce site – You can hire web professionals, e-commerce platform providers or even create an e-commerce website on your own using easy-to-use tools.
Whether you are new to the ecommerce business or plan to expand the existing one, the operating costs of running an online store are very low compared to running a physical store. Furthermore, with ecommerce website, you can choose from interesting options of tools and features that add appealing effects to your business website; which ensures quick, convenient, rich and happy shopping experience to your customers. This ultimately promotes sales and increases the profits.
Before you set up your own Ecommerce business, it is important to have strong business objectives. Below are listed a number of things you need to know while setting up an Ecommerce business:
1. Know your product/ service
Whether you have information and experience of working in a specific industry sector or you are new to the world of ecommerce business, it is important to understand what your product/ service offers that can set it apart from your competitors, how can you appeal to the needs of your target market and whether there is a need of your product in the market or not. Carry out extensive survey with successful companies and individuals. Know your market positioning, target customers, and business values and objectives; as your Ecommerce website operates based on the above mentioned factors.
2. Know your competitors
Before you set up your own online shop, make sure you carry out a research on your competitors and understand which ones aim to direct the same market that you plan to target. As there are uncountable niches out there, it might take time to define yours in the online business world. The key to successful ecommerce business is to stand out from your competitors.
3. Make a proper business plan
A business plan is a vital roadmap for the prosperity and success of a business. It documents your business goals and provides you an outline or plan of action for achieving those goals. Business plan outlines the pathway a company plans to take to increase the profits and grow the revenues. As Lee McQueen, 2008 winner of The Apprentice quotes, “Business Planning is important to making the right decisions for your business what ever the size and it should not just focus on financial aspects; staffing, structures and key competitor analysis also plays a big part. It shouldn’t need to be complicated, but need to be effective so it can be followed and tweaked along the way – The fact is if you fail to plan you plan to fail.”
Think about how you’re going to market your product/service on your E-commerce business website. There are different approaches to market your product/service online; direct mail, networking, social media, pay per click campaign and above all, Search engine Optimization. However, it also depends on what you’re selling and what your business goals are. If you are dubious about a certain internet marketing approach, find out what methods do your competitors employ. Go ahead with whatever approaches result fruitful for them.
5. Business name
Since your business name is going to be the title of your website, you must come up with a great online store/shop/service name. A good online business has a very simple yet memorable name that reflects the quality of your business and defines you as a brand. But before you settle on one, make sure no other online business has it registered already.
6. Define business structure
There are different forms of structuring your business; as a sole trader, limited liability partnership, Limited company and just partnerships. However, most of the small one owner online businesses are registered as sole traders for the sake of easy registration method. However, experts recommend that you set up a limited liability partnership instead of launching as a sole trader. With limited liability partnership, you are able to limit your individual liabilities and are free of carrying the risks personally.
7. Site design
A poorly designed website can make many potential customers leave, resulting in poor sales and low profits. A well designed website is essential for the success of any online business. A website should be designed keeping the user’s comfort and interests in mind.
Any online business is incomplete without having quality content on its site. Quality content implies that it grabs user’s attention, guides them conveniently through the products/service and convinces them to perform the desired action. In other words, it increases the conversion rate and ultimately the profits of the Ecommerce business. Use compelling text and catchy images to draw the user’s attention.
Ensure security for you and your customers when setting up an Ecommerce website. Ecommerce businesses usually involve personal information, confidential business information and online transactions, so security is essential to maintain the business credibility with customers.
10. The right technology
With the advancement in technology, it has become possible to work from anywhere at any time. After every activity, such as making a transaction, make sure to maintain a backup database and configure your computer. There are a number of software and tools available online that can be deployed to provide technologically better user experience.
More informative articles are coming soon regarding the E-commerce SEO, Designing and Marketing. Wait Please..:)