The world of eCommerce started booming, especially when the pandemic hit hard. It is said that this business module has geared up by 5 years due to the COVID-19 crisis. So, if you have had a retail store in the UK, it’s high time to plan your move into the eCommerce world!
This article is like a beginner’s guide, where you can find some necessary facts and advice on how to set up and launch a thriving eCommerce business.
A Guide On How To Start An eComerce Business
Setting up an eCommerce business is no big deal as long as you are well-informed about what it takes to call it a thriving success. Let’s get started!
Decide the type of products you want to sell
There are variants in a product that can be classified into two distinct categories. To be successful, you have to decide of selling one of the two types of merchandise –
- High-demand niche products – These are mainly one-of-a-kind or small-batch products like a crocheted shawl, handmade leather bags, hand-thrown pottery, or seasonal preserves. The niche products are generally popular among specific consumers. A targeted marketing strategy is developed for them, keeping in mind their exclusivity. The prices for these products are usually inelastic, and you can expect high-profit margins while selling.
- High-quality commoditized products – Essential physical items and digital goods with an extensive customer base- are termed commoditized products. To be said in other words, these are products that are primarily required by the mass. As they are common, the competition is fierce. That’s why eCommerce merchants are often found to adjust prices to retain a competitive edge. Kids accessories, groceries, daily household items, fashion apparels are some of the commoditized products.
Choose your business model
The next big responsibility is to choose the eCommerce business model. When you know what to sell, you have to decide where you want to put up your products for display. There are four main trading models in eCommerce businesses. They are –
- Business to consumer – The traditional retail system is where you sell your products to the consumers at retail price through online medium. In the B2C eCommerce model, the consumers are regular people, and it is comparatively lower stakes mark the short-sales cycle. However, it enables a greater number of sales despite lower average order values (AOVs).
- Business to business – B2B transactions basically highlight wholesale components, stocks, and raw materials. It is a trading model where businesses approach another business to sell products. Apparently, the sales cycles are longer as well as the stakes are higher as it may take up to months to get committee approval. If you have the patience, you can enjoy orders of high values along with recurring sales.
- Consumer to business – Although an obscure business model, it is as genuine as B2B and B2C models. In a consumer-to-business environment, consumers are subject to sell services and goods directly to the businesses. Freelancing sites are good examples of this, where companies hire self-employed freelancers to complete various projects within deadline.
- Consumer to consumer – This model builds a connection between consumers. If people charge subscription fees, transaction fees, or listing fees from other people, you can call it a consumer-to-consumer business model. You can see few examples of C2C transactions in free classified sites like Yell and online marketplace like eBay.
Arrange capital to start your business online
The lumpsum fund is what you need to set up and launch your eCommerce business. The capital requires site development, buying platform, filling up inventory, registering your business, and various other purposes.
Often, you may not have that much amount in hand. But does that mean an end to your dream? Of course not! You still have the option to borrow money from direct online lenders.
These are unsecured business loans where you won’t even need collateral or a cosigner. In fact, they offer bad credit personal loans, which means you don’t have to show a good credit score for securing the loan amount.
Validate your product idea through surveys
Now that you have a product idea to sell, it is time to validate that idea. It is a crucial stage before the grand opening of your eCommerce store. In fact, performing market research and creating one or two buyer personas is vital to building a laser-focused marketing strategy.
- Market Research – The objective of market research is to decide your target audience and validate your product idea by surveying them. Here are three practical ideas to learn more about your target consumers –
- Conduct consumer surveys and build an email list. You may use paid social media campaigns to drive more traffic and target a specific demographic.
- The one-to-one interview is another way to get specific answers to your survey questions. It is better to email the list of questions to the participants a few days before the actual interview. The participants will then get enough time to prepare their answers.
- Conducting group surveys often generate excellent ideas. If you have great consumer management skills, you can consider arranging a brainstorming session in person or over online chat apps like Skype.
- Create buyer personas – Now that you have gathered enough information through surveys and interviews, it’s now time to assemble all those data to weave a ‘real’ person. Buyer personas help you identify the ideal consumers, thereby making it easier to market your products. Here are some ideas to create a buyer persona –
- Give a nickname to each profile
- Add an image with each profile to make the personas more relatable
- Add a specific set of demographic to each particular profile
- Enrich the personas with psychographic tidbits
When you are done with all these, you can plan a soft launch of your eCommerce business, followed by a grand opening.
An Ending Remark
To set up a successful and thriving eCommerce business needs dedication and determination. If you have these traits, you are a born entrepreneur ready to rule the online commerce industry. The next things that you’ll need are:
- Best-quality products those are high in demand
- A stellar business plan
- A perfect eCommerce platform
- A carefully designed marketing strategy
And the output will be worth remembering!