Before starting your online business, here is an eCommerce industry overview for you to learn what eCommerce is and how to start your own eCommerce business.
What is eCommerce?
At its roots, an eCommerce business is a company that sells its products online and ships its customers their purchases. It’s remarkably simple, but is it too good to be true?
There are millions of eCommerce websites currently live. But don’t let that discourage you! Of the millions of eCommerce websites currently operating, it is estimated that fewer than 1 Million of them get more than $1,000 worth of sales a year.
Shopping online is easy and convenient for most people. With a few taps at a keyboard and a couple of clicks of the mouse, you can have anything delivered right to your door. A piece of art, a vintage chair, or even your favorite snacks!
Because of its convenience, it is something that will always be in demand so long as the internet still exists. If you are worried about your chances of success starting a successful eCommerce business, there is no better time to hop on the bandwagon than now!
Who Can Own an eCommerce Business?
The great thing about the internet is that anyone who can legally purchase a license for their business can own an eCommerce store. The question is not so much who can own one but who can create one that turns a sizable profit.
So long as you are following the business practices of your state, you have nothing to fear — unless you violate trademark laws. But that’s for another day.
How Do I Get Started with eCommerce?
The part you’re probably most interested in is how to start an eCommerce business. It’s surprisingly simple to create, own, and operate a profitable eCommerce business, and we have some of the best practices here.
- Find a Line of Products.
The first step in any business is discovering how you will make money. But don’t get so focused on money that you forget your target audience; forgetting your audience is a sure way to send your business spiraling.
Find a good niche where you can sell products that will help improve the quality of your customer’s lives. Finding unique products to market is often better, as the more pedestrian your products are, the likelier your customers will go elsewhere to buy them cheaper.
In the day of bargain hunting across the internet, it has never been easier or faster to search for better deals. Keep your prices competitive for your more common products and wisely mark up your unique products.
- Get a Business License.
To run a business, you need to be a business. Be sure you create a registered business with the state you are in. This can help protect your finances and assets should something go wrong.
All but a handful of states require eCommerce businesses to apply for a sales license so they can collect sales tax on goods. When you file your taxes, but you’ve been operating without a sales license, you will get slapped with a hefty fine from the IRS. Avoid this by knowing if your state requires a sales permit.
- Get an eCommerce Platform.
Next is to get started with your eCommerce website! There are a variety of affordable and user-friendly platforms you can use as your website for selling goods.
You will need to consider branding, your domain name, product prices, and the platform.
- Create a Fulfillment Plan.
Fulfillment will be the most labor-intensive part of your business after you get it up and running.
When you sell a product online, it will be on you — as the business owner — to ensure the order is fulfilled — or that the product is delivered to your customer. This means you need to find a way to package and ship your product in a reasonable amount of time.
What is a reasonable amount of time? Well, for Amazon customers, reasonable is two days.
The unfortunate reality of starting an eCommerce business is that you need to compete with online retailer giants who offer fast shipping. You may also want to consider outsourcing your fulfillment so you’re not overwhelmed with fulfilling purchases.
How Do I Attract Customers to my eCommerce Business Website?
Now that you’ve set up your website, it’s time to spread the word and attract customers. This is probably the most challenging part of the process. There are some easy things you can do with your website and marketing efforts to ensnare your target audience and get them to buy your products.
Some basic digital marketing tactics are to:
- Utilize SEO — SEO, short for search engine optimization, incorporates everything that goes into making your website appear at the top of organic search results. If you can harness the power of SEO, your website will be much more visible to your target audience.
- Market with Email Campaigns — Of all the different techniques for digital marketing, the one with the highest return on investment is email marketing. Find ways to grow your email list and create content your target audience is excited to receive. And do all this for what it costs to send an email.
- Make Use of Social Media — Another affordable and reliable way to find new customers is through social media. Social media can be particularly effective when you have unique products to sell. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are great sites for featuring products and their uses.
- Investigate Paid Advertising — If you are ready to spend a little money to get your eCommerce store to the top of search results, paid ads are a quick and easy way to do just that. Paid ads take less time top to optimize than SEO and email campaigns. You could start seeing results sooner than you’d think!
Revity Marketing — A Local eCommerce Expert
Starting an eCommerce business can be exciting and intimidating. You’re always wondering how you will be able to utilize best practices to get the highest return on your business.
Let the experts here help you out a little bit. Call us today to learn how our digital marketing services can help your business grow!