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Jack Ma, arguably one of the greatest eCommerce entrepreneurs, famously said that all it takes to sell online is ‘vision’. No surprises then that every business, from your friendly neighbourhood store to the next unicorn, are all selling online. Although the early birds have had their advantage, it is never too late to start an eCommerce business of your own from scratch.
Information overdose, coupled with a deluge of marketplaces and eCommerce platforms, can mean decoding ways to start an eCommerce business for beginners may not be simple. The following checklist can help you with a definite roadmap when starting out on your e-commerce venture.
I: Research and prepare
When you think about how to start an eCommerce business from scratch, it all comes down to some heavy lifting in research and preparation. Have a business plan in place for eCommerce based on your products and services. These, in turn, depend on the market problem you’re trying to solve.
Shortlist your product or service line
An eCommerce business works for a vast array of offerings, ranging from service-based offerings to tangible product-based ones. Shortlist your product or service line as part of your research and planning.
For example, when selling a product, work out all modalities from its sourcing and supply chain logistics to store sourcing and campaign management. You may also look at drop shipping options if not keen on investing upfront to maintain a huge inventory.
Ensure regulatory compliance
Depending on your product line, ensure you have all licenses in place. If you plan to sell globally, research on compliance requirements of various countries as per your product line. Although it’s not mandatory, you may want to trademark your brand name or logo in order to preempt misuse.
II: Choose your sales channel funnel
You can sell online by getting your company listed in various marketplaces. However, selling on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart may not be too profitable.
Alternatively, you can also build your own eCommerce store. Although, driving sales from your own eCommerce website upfront can be a tough ask. Opting for a balanced approach is recommended as you slowly adopt the best sales channel as per your product line.
III: Set up your online presence
Build your eCommerce store
The first step in building your eCommerce store is to secure your product or company-related domain name and website. Once you have the domain, you can leverage various eCommerce enabling platforms to build your eCommerce store. WordPress-based WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, and Shopify are popular examples of such eCommerce enabling platforms.
Embrace the right underlying technology
Opt for the right eCommerce platform to build your online store and offer your customers a seamless shopping experience. For example, if most of your clients use mobile phones, it’s a great idea to convert your eCommerce store into a mobile application. For example, you can easily convert your WooCommerce-based online store to an Android/iOS app.
A dedicated mobile app can help your eCommerce business take the next giant leap into future online success. You can announce new product launches, secure your payments, and build your brand online.
When you start an eCommerce business from scratch, plan well and rely on superior technology for that X-factor in your business.
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