Building a business, whether it is an offline endeavor, or an online venture is full of challenges. That said, streamlining certain aspects of setting up a business is much easier now than it has ever been. E-commerce businesses, where entrepreneurs can sell goods, products and services have become increasingly commonplace over the last decade and this is due to the many supporting aspects that have helped them grow exponentially.
As per a U.S. Census Bureau report, U.S. e-commerce businesses brought in more than $150 billion in sales within a single quarter in 2019, which was more than 10% of all retail sales in the country. Other reports have estimated the total e-commerce sales across the world at more than $4.1 trillion in 2020 alone which is expected to grow to almost $7 trillion by 2023. This means the e-commerce sector will witness a growth of almost 400% for the period between 2014 to 2023 ($1.4 trillion in 2014 to $6.8 trillion in 2023).
An e-commerce presence offers tremendous flexibility and opportunities to businesses. We look at the important aspects to build a successful e-commerce venture.
Identify an ideal product
A very critical step is to understand the ideal product to sell online and identifying the best channel to sell it and maximize the probability of sales. An additional step is to identify the right price points to place the product in different markets as online acceptance could differ significantly from offline performance. The product or service should be one that adds value to a customer to ensure steady sales.
Exhaustive research on USP
Identifying a USP is a crucial step for any online business. Businesses can study possible competitors to understand what can be different, or what value can be added to an existing product or service. Typically, lack of competition means there are not many takers for that specific product or service, but there could be exceptions.
It is important to identify a USP that is also not too common and is not offered by an industry heavyweight. Businesses can partner with similar (but not the same) enterprises to cross-promote products and services that would be mutually beneficial.
Understand target audience
Think about the personalities that would connect deeply with your product or service. Some of the questions that business owners must ask at this stage are who, what and why? To elaborate, who are you selling to, what does the product offer and why will the customer choose you over others in the current market scenario. The answers could be as simple as price points that you provide which would be cheaper for customers as compared to your competitors, but it is important to go through this process.
Setup an online presence
Finalizing a name for your business, getting a related domain name, registering the business, creating a logo and building your e-commerce website are the next steps towards creating an online presence for the business. It is also important to factor in SEO best practices to drive traffic to your business along with exploring other strategies.
Partnering with a qualified vendor that provides professional e-commerce website development services with proven expertise is highly recommended.
Establish a business plan
Once you have finalized on the above aspects, it is important to determine the way to go about achieving the ideas that have been penned down. Financial planning is a critical aspect at this juncture, which must include break-even figures in terms of unit sales and time. Thrash out nitty-gritties such as sourcing, marketing strategies, inventory management and other logistical aspects along with a deep understanding of all available resources – financial and otherwise.
If you are looking to build an e-commerce website for your business, our experts can help with many ideas that can drive growth for your venture and provide affordable custom e-commerce website development services.