Are you a business owner of a local flower shop that is struggling to find customers? Do you have a bakery that makes amazing treats, but you don’t get the number of customers your business truly deserves? Do you feel as though you’re doing everything for your business, but still come short? Or what if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to make a fresh start in the e-commerce sphere? Well, for those who weren’t able to guess, the answer to all the previous questions lies in the last question.
Ecommerce! Online market place! Online business store! Call it what you want, but the pudding is all the same! Small business owner and people who want to start afresh are more than often struggling to get a grasp of what it is that really needs to be done. Well, we were nice to include all the key points you are to keep in mind to make sure that your business sails through the rough and uncertain seas of entrepreneurship, and comes out on top!
As they say, your business is like your child made of flesh and blood; Nothing more rewarding to watch it grow from the size of your palm to something bigger and bigger…
Before we learn what is needed for creating an online market place, let us understand what it is.
What Is E-commerce?
Electronic commerce as the name suggests is the buying and selling of your product or service using the power and connectivity of the internet. The global e-commerce market is estimated to be around $27Trillion! That is a big number. A very big number! What stops you from getting a piece of that?
What Do I Need To Do To Get Started And Move Ahead?
Well before you can start a full-fledged ecommerce store, ask yourself: What do I see myself selling?
How To Select My Niche?
Selecting a product or service is secondary. First, get a grasp of what niche you want to operate in. It could be that you like to bake, or that you like making craft, or shoes or literally anything under the sun! But before you get ahead, sit down and thoroughly analyse your market. See what is within your realm of expertise, and tweak around to find a goldmine of an idea that is both unique and manageable by you.
Who Are Your Potential Customers? Who Are My Target Audiences?
Once you have a niche and a product or service in mind that you would like to extend to the world, next is to find out who can humour you! Who would need it? Why would they need it? How will they get to you? For starters:
- Understand the age groups you want to focus on. Are they teens, young parents, toddlers, the elderly etc. as well as the race, gender, income etc. All this come under what is called “Customer Demographic”
- Understand what their preferences are?
- Where do you want to sell your service/product? Geography?
- Are your services/Products applicable to only a particular culture?
Once you have the answers to these questions, 2/3rd of your research work is done! Now moving to your rivals!
Who Are Your Competitors?
Study thoroughly the services and quirks that make their services in demand and wanted by their customers. Knowing this helps you mould and incorporate important elements into your business, which could include streamlining the processes, the production, or the purchasing experience for the customer, marketing so on and so forth!
What Is My Cap? How Much Should I Invest In This Venture?
This estimation of the buying capacities of your prospective clients depends on many things. If yours is a regional business then it’s easy to compute using the local data from trade centres that are available. The real fun starts, when you’re envisioning is to take this global! You can make use of confidential resources from your networking to find out how much to sell and invest in your business.
You can arrange the financial requirements accordingly and register your business as a partnership, LLC, Sole proprietor or a Corporation to pave way for future expansion and growth.
How Should I Get The Word Out? How To Market Myself?
Your customers, their needs and the market are all ever evolving. For this reason, it is paramount to adapt to these changes! You will have to make up new marketing strategies to reach out to your prospective clients. What is the point of an amazing product/service if nobody knows about it? You can either go for a natural SEO as a long-term strategy, or apply for paid searches on search engines and even social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter among many other! You may need to create incentives like gifts, vouchers discounts, daily deals to keep drawing customer in. You may also need to hire seasoned online marketers to do the heavy lifting, so that you can concentrate on the rest.
This makes up the chunk on how to get started in your ecommerce journey. Always be prepared and open-minded to learn new technologies and strategies. Be the living embodiment of what Steve Jobs once said: “Be hungry, Be foolish”…