Offering a service through online freelancing can be the quickest way to earn a good amount of income on the internet. But, let’s face it. Not everyone can and should offer a service.
If you’ve been dreaming of building a business by selling products you’ve made or outsourced, this post is for you.
First off, what is e-commerce?
According to Oberlo:
E-commerce refers to any form of business transactions conducted online. The most popular example of e-commerce is online shopping, which is defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device.
There are many types of e-commerce business models but we’ll be covering the basics. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of how to build a strong foundation for your e-commerce business.
Choose your niche and target market
You hear this business advice often. And that’s because there is wisdom on it. Choosing your niche and target market will help you find or create products that are profitable.
You don’t want to make the rookie mistake of manufacturing a ton of inventories only to find out there is no demand for it.
So choose your niche. Select products your target market is searching for.
Design your brand
Branding isn’t just about the physical appearance of your website like your logo, colors, and fonts of your site. Branding is about you, your company, and what you stand for.
For example, is your branding badass and edgy? Or feminine and sultry? Perhaps friendly and family oriented? Luxurious or affordable for the masses?
Knowing these will make it easier for you to create an effective marketing campaign.
Also, if you have more than one e-commerce store, branding will differentiate your one brand from the others.
Don’t try to cater to everyone. If you’re selling car accessories and want to start selling baby essentials, don’t cram them under one brand.
Create a different brand for the latter so that your customers won’t get confused.
As for your brand name, remember to come up with a domain name (we’ll talk more later about your website) that is catchy, memorable and appealing to your audience. If your brand name is easy to remember, repeat customers and retention is much possible.
There are some who create their own products. For example, if you sell specialty items like home-baked goods, personalized candles, or crafts then it makes sense to make these yourself.
But you can also find suppliers so that you can cater to a bigger demand. Finding suppliers is also crucial if you’re into dropshipping.
Many people choose dropshipping because it requires less capital. Here, you won’t have physical products at hand. Instead, the sale will be through your online store and deliveries are handled by your suppliers. In this model, you rely on your supplier heavily. So look for trustworthy suppliers who can provide deliveries within the least possible time but also provide quality products.
You may check Alibaba, Amazon, and Salehoo for a wide variety of products to choose from. If you have enough capital, you can hold stocks. The advantage of doing this is, you have full control over your sales and deliveries.
Price your product
Do your research. Compare your prices with your competitors. I’m not saying you have to sell cheaper than them. But make sure your prices are competitive enough. If your prices are too expensive, your products may not sell well.
So give your best effort to find the supplier that offers the best quality and best price for your business.
Build your store
Choose the right platform for your business. You can always sell through eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. Newbies in the industry usually start here to test the saleability of their products. But the challenge is, it’s hard to stand out since you have thousands of competitors. Another alternative would be using your own hosted online store.
Even if you’re not a techie person, you can customize or design your store by using user-friendly platforms like Shopify, Wix, Woocommerce, and Bigcommerce to name a few. Make sure to check their features such as loading speed, payment gateways, SEO, user-friendliness among others. But if you have enough budget, hire someone who will create a website for you from scratch.
Not all who tried and started e-commerce completed a sale.
How do you establish an online presence? How do you reach potential buyers?
This is where your knowledge in digital marketing will be put to the test. Learn SEO or Search Engine Optimization so that you can drive traffic to your site and make your store appear on the first page of Google.
Social media marketing is also important. Depending on your products, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest marketing will play a huge role in your marketing.
Also, consider the fact that you may need to invest in ads. Monitor your campaigns and evaluate what’s working.
Blogging is also beneficial. Especially if you have your own webstore. Your blog can drive traffic to your site and help boost your SEO.
Digital marketing is challenging. And learning the ins and outs can be overwhelming. But when people start to buy and love your products, the word of mouth will be the best and effective promotion for your business.
Just like with any business, starting an e-commerce business is hard.
People who succeeded in the e-Commerce industry have their own share of challenges. Some failed on their first, second or even third tries, some even more! They have tried varieties of product to sell until they found their niche and finally succeeded. If you fail, don’t be afraid to get back up and try again.