Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic has broken out, a lot of physical stores have been forced to close. Some of these shops may never open again due to the losses they’ve incurred during the four to five months of being locked down.
This pandemic has opened doors for a lot of businesses, especially small to medium enterprises because online shopping has now become a necessity. This means that e-commerce has been growing exponentially all over the world.
If you have a great business idea and are looking to make lots of money out of it, then you should definitely launch your own e-commerce business now. As they say, you’ve got to strike the iron while it’s hot.
A step-by-step guide to e-commerce success
While business is booming online, a lot of newcomers don’t get enough traction. This is why it’s important that you start your e-commerce business journey on the right foot.
1 Choose a sellable product to sell.
If you already have a product in mind, the next step you need to take is to determine how to obtain it and sell it. How will you acquire your products? Will you make them yourself? Where will you find a manufacturer or supplier for your product ideas? How will you sell them?
2 Decide on an e-commerce business model.
Choosing the right business model will have an impact on your business structure. This is where you will decide on how to handle inventory management.
Drop shipping – simplest form; you set up a storefront and your supplier supplies the goods to your customers. This frees you from investing in a warehouse and dealing with packaging and delivery.
Wholesaling and warehousing – invest in a warehouse; manage inventory and stock, keep track of orders, and ensure delivery.
Private labeling and manufacturing – startup cost is minimal. You don’t have to invest in a factory. You only send a prototype or plan to a contracted manufacturer who will make the product and distribute it to consumers through a third-party.
White labeling – a lot like private labeling and is more common in beauty and wellness products. You buy products from another company, design your own package, and put your own label.
Subscription – you deliver a box of products at regular, scheduled intervals to customers.
3 Choose your niche.
Unless you’ll be able to invest in a lot of products, like what Best Buy and Amazon does, you have to pick a particular niche to run a successful online store. Keep in mind that the more specific your business niche is, the less competition you’ll face.
4 Validate your target market.
Before you start hunting or making products to sell, you need to first determine who you’ll be selling them to. You’ll also need to figure out your online persona. Make sure you are consistent with your brand image. That way your target audience will easily identify with your brand.
5 Register your business and brand name.
Choose an appropriate business name that’s not used by another company. Also, make sure that your business name or store name is consistent with your brand and niche. Obtain the required business licenses, as well as your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Apply for sales tax licenses and other permits. Pick a good logo that represents your brand, so make sure the colors, fonts, and other details are consistent.
6 Finalize your business plan.
This will help you determine your startup budget, as well as your company’s monthly expenses. Your business plan will also put into writing all the details of your business, including staff, logistics, marketing budget, product sourcing, and more.
Finally, you will need to create your online store starting out with registering a domain name. You will also need an awesome website that will attract more customers. Don’t forget to optimize your website to get more traffic.