In the current day and age of technology, anyone can easily set up an eCommerce website, but most overlook the intricate processes involved in building a successful eCommerce Business.
Creating a sustainable eCommerce Business involves a myriad of factors to be taken into consideration. Selecting just the best eCommerce platform isn’t enough to become a successful eCommerce business. Success requires in-depth knowledge of your competitors and the market. Having good financial decision-making skills is also needed to optimize your funds. So, here’s all you need to consider to build a successful eCommerce business.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting an eCommerce Business
Before entering into any market for business, you first need to study it. Market research involves studying the different factors that govern the market. Elements common to all markets include customer psychology, competition analysis, market trends, and much more. The research process helps to determine the viability of your business. Through market research, you can identify your core demographic and target them effectively.
The research takes place through interviews of the target customers over emails, online survey tools, face-to-face interviews, and phone calls. The objective of these interviews is to identify the following:
- Who to sell: This is to identify the core customers of your business.
- What to sell: This is the process of selecting what to sell to the customer. In this step, you have to choose what type of product you will be selling, a niche product or a more generic product.
- How to sell: This step involves identifying the process of how to sell the products. Selecting the most effective channel for selling your products is a crucial step in the market research process.
- How to manage inventory: Inventory management is a mandatory step of an eCommerce busy. Understanding how much stock to keep and where to keep it is crucial for a business that sells physical goods.
- How to fulfill orders: No customer will ever buy from you if they never receive their orders. Ensuring that the customer gets the product they have ordered at the right time is of utmost importance to sustain customers.
- The competitors: The competitors are the companies that are already operating in your target market. Understanding how they work and how you can differentiate yourself from them is necessary to run a successful business.
With the few steps needed to start an eCommerce Business online, many overlook the legalities associated with making one. Having a legally compliant business from the start ensures disruption-free operations in the future. If the company is not compliant with the local laws, it can get shut down by the authority. Ensuring that your company name is not the name of an existing brand and registering your unique business name are also crucial steps.
All business needs funds to run their operation. For a new eCommerce store that is just starting, it needs to secure a source of initial investments. The investments should cover all the costs associated with the initial business operations. All expenses of purchasing the products, logistical costs, inventory costs, etc., should be covered by the invested funds. There are several ways in which you can acquire your business funding.
The most common process to get your business funded is through investors, bank loans, or using your savings. Another way you can get investments for your business is through crowdfunding. With the rise of crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, etc., any company with a good idea can get their business funded through them.
In the current era of high market competition, creating a unique branding that makes your business stand out from the others is mandatory. Good branding is necessary as it not only creates a lasting impression on your customers but allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company as well.
Creating a brand is much more than creating a logo. Branding involves organizing every aspect of your business the customer interacts. There should be consistency in the logo, colors and fonts, website design, content, advertising, print or packaging, and more. People who are not efficient in design work can outsource this task to freelancers through websites like Fiverr.
To build your brand, you need to identify the following elements of your business:
- Identify your business purpose.
- Understand the type of customer you are engaging.
- Establish the mission of your brand.
- Identify qualities and benefits provided by your brand.
You need a steady source of materials to meet customer demands. Whether you choose to make your products or buy them from elsewhere, you need a steady stream of raw and finished products. How far your supplier is, the quality and cost of the products they are selling, and their reliability, all play a critical role in deciding how you source your materials. If you are going with a drop shipping model, then it’s mandatory to verify your supplier. Supplies for your products will also include packaging material and anything else you send to your customers. So you have to make sure that all of them are readily available whenever you need to fulfill deliveries.
The eCommerce Platform
If you are going to start an eCommerce store, you obviously need a robust eCommerce hosting platform. While many eCommerce platforms are readily available, selecting the right one requires understanding all the features provided by them. Factors such as uptime, price, scalability, and other additional features they provide are to be taken into consideration to identify the platform that best suits you. The platform you select also governs the design of your store. So choosing the platform comes even before even designing it.
With so many great eCommerce platforms out there, you require a proper guide to select the right one. Here is our definitive guide for the top eCommerce platforms of 2021 that will help you choose the right one.
A mediocre product with great marketing can still achieve successful sales. In today’s digital era, a simple advertisement doesn’t make the cut for good marketing. There are several different channels for engaging with your customers. Social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine marketing are new and upcoming marketing techniques used by the industry to market to their customers. Marketing goes hand-in-hand in building your brand identity, so make sure to have a robust marketing strategy that complements your branding.
Secure payment gateways
Having a secure payment gateway ensures the streamlined transfer of funds for you and data security for your customers. The secure payment gateway helps build trust for your business among your customers. Customers knowing that their details won’t be stolen and used against them helps create strong brand loyalty. New customers also feel more comfortable buying from you due to the additional security.
Having an integrated regional and international secure payment gateway also expands your market reach by enabling you to receive orders and payments from across the globe. If your team doesn’t have a developer to help integrate a secure payment gateway, it’s best to hire an external expert to do it.
Once you have all things set up for your eCommerce store and have integrated a robust, you have to set up the logistics network necessary to carry out shipments. A strong logistics network is required to ensure that all the raw materials you need get to you in time along with on-time customer order fulfillment. The decision revolves around selecting the type of delivery system to use for your business. Having an in-house logistics solution helps you maintain absolute control over the entire delivery process but is very expensive. On the other hand, outsourcing the logistics process cuts down on cost but, you lose control over the process.
Customer relationship management
Now that you have your customers to buy from you for the first time, it’s time to make sure that they keep coming back. Whether you are a B2C or a B2B company, maintaining a good relationship with your customers is necessary to ensure perpetual sales and business growth. User-friendly UI for your eCommerce store, a better understanding of your customer needs, an easy-to-use customer service portal, effectively resolving customer pain points, and implementing customer success strategies are a few ways to maintain a great customer relationship.
Once you have a successful business running, you cannot just stop there. A stagnant business is a dying business. You have to think about the future growth prospects for your business. What needs ideas to explore, what new technology to introduce, what markets to expand into, and many more. The short-term goals are temporary. A business becomes successful by following up on long-term goals.
And those were the ten things that you need to keep in mind to start your business. Thoroughly working through these steps will help you to establish a successful business. Starting a business takes time, so it’s best to take your time to build it.
Get started with your B2B eCommerce store and gain a competitive edge in the market! Also, connect all your business applications under one single platform to automate the business process!