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Common Questions and Answers
There’re several top points to consider before starting an eCommerce business. That’s because of rampant competition that exists nowadays while selling something online. Obviously, there eCommerce industry is witnessing an unprecedented boom post-2020, as more people take to online shopping. As you’ll be aware, this is necessary due to the lasting impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on our lifestyles in 2021, as the virus shows no signs of abating.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of these top points you should consider before starting an eCommerce business in 2021 or later.
As the old axiom goes: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Therefore, these points could help you consider several factors that can decide the success of your eCommerce business. You can adapt these points to suit your specific needs and location, where necessary. However, some of these points would be similar for every eCommerce business in 2021 and beyond.
Defining the niche in which you wish to launch an eCommerce business. This is very important because people nowadays look for eCommerce stores that cater to a specific niche only instead of offering everything in every field.
The reason is that people look for various products in a specific niche since it saves them a lot of time. If we look at Amazon, for example, they list products under various categories. However, for smaller entrepreneurs, it’s not possible to list as many categories as the world’s single largest online retailer.
Therefore, start by defining your niche in which you wish to start your eCommerce business. That would help you shortlist products and cater to a select group of buyers. This helps focus your market efforts on the target clientele only.
Another major point to consider is whether you wish to launch an eCommerce business with an online marketplace or have your own eCommerce website. Generally, most entrepreneurs launch an eCommerce business through free platforms such as Facebook Marketplace. However, the flipside with Facebook Marketplace is that you’ll be able to sell products only within a range of 80km to 100km within your area.
Then we have Shopify, which is the most preferred resource to launch an eCommerce business. With Shopify, you can launch a marketplace within a few minutes. Shopify charges a small monthly subscription.
If you’re planning on selling exclusive handmade stuff or antiques and other rare items, consider Etsy, another excellent portal where you can set up a marketplace for a fee. Some entrepreneurs that wish to open an eCommerce business, also prefer setting up their own website.
Regardless of how you wish to sell the stuff, study pricing, commissions and cash transfer fees, among others, before deciding to go for a marketplace or own eCommerce website.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to promote your eCommerce business. In brief, affiliate marketing means you’ll offer an affiliate program for bloggers. They’ll include affiliate links on their blogs about your products and services on their websites. If any customer buys from these affiliate links, you’ve to pay the blogger a small commission.
The affiliate marketing industry worldwide is growing. By 2020, it was expected to cross the $8.2 billion mark. Because it allows eCommerce businesses to provide multiple channels of sales within and outside the country, furthermore, it’s also a free marketing resource of sorts: you don’t pay anything unless there’s a confirmed sale from any affiliate website.
Once again, I’ll cite the example of Amazon. Despite being the largest online store in the world, Amazon offers Amazon Associates, one of the biggest affiliate programs globally. Some 40 per cent of all revenues of Amazon come from affiliate sales, according to reports. Therefore, you could also boost sales for your eCommerce business by simply offering affiliate programs for bloggers and affiliate marketers.
It’s no secret that buyers of all kinds are now becoming researchers. Meaning, they’ll research well about various products or services that suit their needs and match their budgets before arriving at a final decision to place an order. About 87 per cent of all online buyers resort to researching blogs and reviews because they’re considered more trustworthy compared to company ads.
This means you should also consider opening a blog alongside your eCommerce business. An independent blog with honest reviews tends to impress prospective buyers and can convert as customers.
Furthermore, a blog also helps you develop an email list, necessary for email marketing. People will part with their email IDs if your blogs are relevant and interesting to them. And you can use this email list to generate leads and convert them as customers.
In 2021, we can expect fiercer competition in the eCommerce business. Therefore, considering these points I mention could define your success in the venture. As I mentioned earlier, adapt them according to your needs.
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