Ecommerce is one of the fastest-growing business platforms in 2021. With many website platforms offering easy methods of creating ecommerce shops, more and more people have decided that it’s now the time to showcase their talents.
Whether you want to sell wholesale products or you have a talent to profit off of, there’s never been a better time to start your own ecommerce business. There are different types of ecommerce businesses, but whichever one you choose, you are going to have to invest in having a great website and a good point of sale system for customers to complete orders, but we will get into that later!
In this article, we will tell you all the basics of what you need to know to start your ecommerce business from scratch, from choosing the right business model to digital marketing methods.
1. Decide what you want to sell
First and foremost, you have to determine what you’re going to sell. This is a great time to conduct some market research and see what is popular. Remember, it might not always be a good idea to sell something you’re passionate about because that might not bring in the most revenue.
Commodities like phone chargers and clothes are extremely popular places to start. If you have a unique talent, such as crocheting or painting, that could turn into something easily marketable, too. Simply put, make sure you conduct a lot of research, find your competitors, and decide upon what you want to sell.
2. Choose your ecommerce model
Next, you have to decide how you want to sell your product, which involves choosing the right ecommerce model.
- Business-to-Business (B2B): As the name suggests, this involves selling to other businesses, such as furniture or office supplies. You may also end up selling wholesale products.
- Business-to-Customer (B2C): This is the most common form of ecommerce where you sell your products to everyday people at retail prices.
- Customer-to-Business (C2B): This is where customers sell products and services to businesses. The most common example is freelancers, who may sell a service like content writing to a business.
- Customer-to-Customer (C2C): Here, you will sell your products and services to other people. Some popular examples include Poshmark and eBay.
These are the four main ecommerce models to choose from, although there are others, including drop shipping and subscription services. With drop shipping, you sell products on your website, but you choose a supplier to handle shipping and order fulfillment.
With subscriptions, you will sell products or services at a special price for a recurring period. Overall, be sure to decide how you want to sell your product so that you can choose the appropriate model.
3. Find suppliers and manufacturers
Unless you will be making the products yourselves, now is a good time to find some suppliers. You can choose a wholesaler, manufacturer, or drop shipping supplier depending on what you want to sell.
Some of the most popular vendors come from websites like AliExpress and Alibaba. You want to check out company references and ask lots of questions, such as time estimates and cost estimates. Don’t sign contracts immediately; be sure to read them thoroughly.
4. Register your company and create the website
After you’ve decided upon what and how you want to sell, it’s time to get started. In this step, you’ll need to register your business. For the most part, you can choose to register the business as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or LLP. Once it is registered, you can start by creating the website.
Your website should consist of three basic elements: the website platform, domain name, and hosting provider. Many website platforms also have special plugins and programs for ecommerce shops.
5. Develop the website and make it easy to navigate
After you’ve made your website, it’s time to start turning it into an ecommerce platform. Most stores will choose SaaS (sales as a service) platforms because of their convenience.
One of the most important elements of an ecommerce website is having a seamless and easy point-of-sale system. Sites like Wix also offer templates, product galleries, SEO tools, secure checkout, 24/7 customer support, and multiple payment options. Shopify is another extremely popular platform for building ecommerce websites due to all the features it has to offer and how simple it is to use.
Remember, you want to make sure that your website is fast, secure, and easy to navigate; that way, your customers will be more likely to make a purchase, recommend it to their friends, and come back.
6. Get into digital marketing
Finally, you need to promote your business! The best way to do this in 2021 is to use social media. When you use websites such as Instagram and Facebook to promote your brand, people are more likely to hear about you and check out your shop. You can use special keywords in your product descriptions to place them at the top of a Google search, or, if your budget allows, you can choose paid advertising routes like affiliate marketing and social media ads.