Why and When You Should Seek Professional Help for Your eCommerce Start-up
eCommerce has grown tremendously in recent years. With the pandemic, online businesses flourished. People opted to buy and sell online while being restricted to remote locations, social distancing, and the trend of working from home. The democratization of eCommerce technology has enabled all sorts of businesses, whether small start-ups or large-scale established companies, to expand their outreach, customer base, and revenue.
Why e-commerce is the future
eCommerce has grown tremendously in recent years. With the pandemic, online businesses flourished. People opted to buy and sell online while being restricted to remote locations, social distancing, and the trend of working from home. The democratization of eCommerce technology has enabled all sorts of businesses, whether small start-ups or large-scale established companies, to expand their outreach, customer base, and revenue. The convenience of online business, selling goods and services in real time, is a significant advantage of eCommerce.
Before eCommerce, starting and owning a business was limited to only a privileged few. Substantial capital and funding are not easy to obtain, which is one of the biggest drivers for growing a new business. But with rise eCommerce, the landscape has changed dramatically.
Today, anyone can start their own online business, regardless of experience or background, and people can start selling their goods and services, digital or physical.
Ecommerce start-up ideas
With an eCommerce business, you can sell and buy anything, anywhere online. People sell goods like furniture, clothing, eye wares, cosmetics, medicines, dinnerware, kitchen and bath products, food, candies, toys, e-learning courses, services, and skills like writing, editing, videos and audios, games, you name it. There is no limitation to goods and services sold online. You only need to find the product or skill you want to sell online. It sounds simple, but it can be difficult to finalize your product.
You may be wondering why eCommerce is considered the future of the business world. Let’s have a look at some advantages of starting an online business.
Inexpensive to start
A business start-up always needs capital and investment. Most of the money is spent on leasing, purchasing inventory, and paying employee salaries. With an online business, you only need three things initially:
- A computer and internet connection.
- A domain name that costs less than $10/year.
- Website builders available on the internet with monthly plans usually starting as low as $29/month.
You do not need to risk your life savings or get loans from a bank to start an online business. You can launch an e-commerce start-up for a few hundred dollars. As you begin to scale and grow, you can bootstrap your growth with your new cashflow and also raise more capital to expand now that you’ve validated your business!
Potential and growth
Real-world business consisting of brick and mortar physical locations have their limitations. Renting and leasing locations are expensive, and the local population may not create enough traffic. On the other hand, with an online business, these physical limitations do not apply. The online world is ever-expanding, and there is always traffic from all over the world. People can buy and sell goods and services no matter where they live. The number of internet users is growing with every passing year, and e-commerce is also growing. By the end of 2023, e-commerce will reach 23% of world retail sales. Online business is increasing its potential and growth with every passing year.
24/7 business model
With a physical store, it is impossible to run the business 24/7. But with online stores, you can buy and sell 24/7 in any weather, pandemic, and distribute to anywhere in the world. Buyers can buy from your website 24/7 without any disruption. You don’t need to monitor your store 24/7 but rest easy in the knowing that your store is still making sales as you sleep.
To launch a successful and scalable business, you should know some crucial steps to follow. Getting help and training from professionals while launching your online business will minimize your chances of failure. Here are a few essential steps and information to know before launching your e-commerce start-up.
Ecommerce start-up business plan
It has become comparatively easy to launch your e-commerce start-up over the past few years. Still, there are barriers to entry, granted they have gotten much lower. Before starting an online business, you need to map out a viable business plan (or at the very least, a high level go to market strategy), find a product with minimum chances of failure, and figure out your sourcing strategy and sales model. When you have decided to start an online business, you should follow this checklist:
- Determine your business niche, industry and plan.
- Conduct product research, find a viable product to sell and a reliable supplier or manufacturer where you will source your products.
- Find online business platforms, such as Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Amazon, or any other platform to build your eCommerce storefront.
- Learn about business laws regarding e-commerce
- Find your target audience, define your target customers, conduct market research and know how you will market to them.
- Define and create your brand, image, logo, colours, etc…
- Evaluate the samples and viability of the product
- Launch your e-commerce business with an online store
- Execute your go to market strategy to scale and expand your business
Start-up eCommerce companies
In the U.S., e-commerce accounts for more than $1 trillion in retail sales. Some leading e-commerce companies like Amazon, Shopify, e-bay, Etsy, and Facebook marketplace all serve as channels for you to start selling your product directly to consumers. You can also sell through personal blogs and many other social media platforms. Each eCommerce business has its own different omnichannel eCommerce approach.
To maintain ultimate control over your business, your brand and customer base, you should create your own online store with an eCommerce platform like Shopify to act as the central online hub of your business. You can use the aforementioned channels like Amazon, e-Bay, Etsy , Google Shopping and Facebook marketplace to showcase your products to already established markets, but your ultimate goal should be to direct people towards your own domain to build authority and maintain the highest margins possible for your business.
For businesses selling digital products, services, and skills, you should look to platforms like Udemy and Coursera to gain additional exposure and distribution.
Why you may need professional help with e-commerce start-up
The steps mentioned earlier, and the checklist are helpful if you follow them to launch your start-up. But with the online world getting more competitive, it can be challenging to make the right decision, to find your footing with no help or guideline. That’s why there are professionals out there to help.
You can get professional help for your entire eCommerce startup journey, or just the areas you need additional expertise in. From product sourcing, to the UX Design of your store, to Conversion Rate Optimization, to launching and marketing your business, there are numerous ways for you to seek expertise and professional help for taking your eCommerce business to the next level.
At Aztech, we help build, optimize and scale high converting digital experiences for eCommerce brands. If you want to learn more about any of our services, you can check out our services page, or book in a consultation with us here.