Quite a few budding entrepreneurs ask this question, as they plan to make a living selling products online, and while it might sound easy, there are many pitfalls to watch out for. Like a fine meal, all of the ingredients must be used if you want to taste success, and with that in mind, here are the major aspects of setting up a successful e-commerce website.
- The Products – Obviously, whatever you choose should be in great demand – something you can discover with a little market research – and quality is another issue that you can’t afford to ignore. Don’t make the mistake of selling inferior products at a very cheap price, as this is the quickest way to closure, rather aim for high quality and a competitive price.
- Digital Marketing – Unless you happen to have a few million friends, you will need the help of a leading digital marketing agency, who will aggressively target the online consumer, using a range of strategies to drive traffic to your platform. There’s simply no way around this, so accept the fact that you need a monthly budget for SEO services, which must be ongoing, and by hooking up with a high-performer, you can expect to enjoy a large number of site visitors, which should result in sales.
- Fast Logistics – Having the best product in the world that takes a couple of weeks to deliver is rather pointless, and for an e-commerce business, outsourcing your picking, packing and delivery is the simplest option. This guarantees fast deliveries, anywhere in the world, and it leaves you free to focus on other aspects of the business. All you do is send your products and packaging to the logistics company, then forward orders as they come in and the logistics company will fulfil as requested. One thing you do need is cyber-security, and here is an article on how to protect your valuable data, which is a must-read for any entrepreneur.
- Firm Direction & Leadership – If you took the time to create a comprehensive business plan, your business will have firm direction, and you will encounter many obstacles, which you will overcome. As your business grows, you will need to hire people, which brings with it many responsibilities, so you might want to outsource, rather than employ people directly, as this offers you more flexibility.
- Controlled Expansion – While you might start with just a few products, you need to devote time to sourcing new and innovative products, which will develop a following, and perhaps set yourself a target to introduce a new product every month. When a customer buys one of your products, they no longer have a need for that particular item, and by adding products, you are encouraging people to make further purchases.
Aside from all of the above, you will need to be enthusiastic and very customer focused, spending time finding ways to improve the customer experience, and there are no such things as days off when you are starting a new enterprise, rather you will find yourself living and breathing the business, at least for the first year.