Starting e-commerce can be a great way to make money online, increase the turnover of your existing retail business, or be a starting point for growing your online retail business. But starting an e-commerce company is by no means easy and takes a lot of work. There are many steps required to get your online store up and running. This can often seem daunting, but in this article we'll walk you through all the steps you need to follow to get started with e-commerce .
How E-commerce Works
E-commerce is very similar to the physical purchase of products. Apart from buying and selling, these transactions take place through various systems. One of them is called electronic funds transfer, which relates to the actual act of online money transfer.
Digital commerce is divided into four key areas:
B2B: Business to Business,
C2B: Consumer to Business,
B2C: Business to Consumer ,
C2C: Consumer to Consumer
Business to Business or B2B – This type of commerce simply means businesses sell to each other. See. What is B2B? B2B vs. B2C vs. What are the Differences Between C2C?
Consumer to Business or C2B – C2B means a consumer sells something to a business.
Business to Consumer or B2C – B2C means that a company sells its products or services to the consumer.
Consumer-to-Consumer or C2C – Online forums and consumer-managed marketplaces are examples of the C2C e-commerce model. C2C is ideal for a customer to sell their stuff digitally.
E-commerce powered by electronic commerce is widely considered an "advanced" version of business transactions.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting E-commerce?
You can earn money working from home.
You don't need a physical store.
The initial cost is low.
It is easy to install.It can help you make high profits.
You can review the table of advantages and disadvantages of starting e-commerce below:
There is high competition.
Brand awareness will likely be low.
If you do not manufacture the products yourself, you have no control over the stock.
How to Start E-Commerce?
Thinking of launching your e-commerce business quickly? You can follow the steps below to get started:
1. Find your niche
The first step to launching a successful online store is to choose a niche category related to the product you are going to sell. You can browse through Amazon's product categories for ideas . If you only want to do e-commerce in UK ; You can also browse the product categories of marketplaces.
Related Content: What is Shopify? How Do You Create Your E-Commerce Website?
Then you can search trends to find a business idea for niches you find suitable .
Google Trends can help you with this, which you can use to identify trends over time . This tool shows how often people search for certain keywords on Google over time. This way you can see which terms are trending more or less. Your goal is to find trends that have been stable or increasing over the past 12 months.
For example, the search trends for “stress wheel” on Google Trends in the last 12 months in UK are as follows:
2. Do market research to learn about your customers and competitors
Let's say you come up with one or more product ideas for your e-commerce business. Now is the time to see the competition in these products. In this process, you can determine whether you can actually sell the products you have chosen.
For example, if a big brand sells the same products you choose, you may not be able to cope with them. Unless there are many small businesses with products in this space, it can be difficult to get in.
So how will you find out who sells the products you choose?
The easiest way to find out is to type the keyword into Google and see who's on the first page. This is good news if there are several vendors associated with the product. But if the product is dominated by one or two big brands, the situation may not be very encouraging for you.
For example, if you do a Google search for “stress wheel”; You can see that the product is dominated by leading brands such as Hepsiburada, Trendyol, N11 and Aliexpress and these brands fill the first page.
3. Create your value proposition
If you're serious about building a sustainable e-commerce business , being generic isn't enough. The key to increasing your sales is to offer consumers something original. This is where your unique value proposition (UVP) comes into play.
A unique value proposition is basically “Why should I buy from you?” is your answer to the question. The answer to this question is cheapness according to Walmart, and offering a wide variety of options compared to Amazon. But bottoming out the price or flooding your online store with too many products (that most people won't buy) is not a sustainable solution. That's why you need to analyze the competition to find your value proposition. In this way, you can see what your competitors are offering, and most importantly, what they are not. In this way, you can create a better product for buyers.
There are three basic ways to make your product better than your competitors:
Packages: Instead of selling just one bottle, you can turn it into a three-pack or add a wash brush and carrying case.
Improve quality: Search reviews on Amazon, Google, and social media sites to find out what buyers don't like about a product, then improve your own to make it even better.
Add more/better features: Does a competitor have limited color options? Maybe they lack the functionality that people want? See what you can and cannot add to make your product better.
4. Find a supplier or manufacturer for your product
If you work with manufacturers like Alibaba, be sure to find a supplier with a gold star and a certain reputation. This way you can avoid ordering from an unreliable supplier.
Next, order a sample and test the product. Make a bulk order after you confirm the product.
Tips for working with manufacturers on Alibaba:
Look for verified and gold suppliers.
Look for positive feedback (at least 90%).
Look at the minimum order quantity (MOQ) and rate to make sure it's within your price range.
Find affordable yet high quality suppliers.
Make sure your instructions are clear, as many manufacturers are not native speakers.
Pay attention to the reaction speed. Less than 24 hours is fine, but less than 8 hours is even better.
Related Content: What is Product Photography? How to Shoot a Product?
5. Build your brand
A brand is much more than just finding a business name and a logo. For example, after determining your business name, you should check whether your brand's domain name is available on Hosting.com.tr . This will ensure that you can use your brand name on your website as well.
6. Set up your E-commerce Store
Both of these tools come with a variety of templates to choose from and require no designer or coding knowledge.
If you're going to sell a single product, you don't have to worry about creating a bunch of listings and product descriptions. You can review competitor sites in your niche to get an idea of how to build your homepage and product pages.
Other e-commerce platforms to consider include:
If you do not want to work with a platform where you can design ready-made, you can strengthen your e-commerce infrastructure with WooCommerce, which is the choice of many e-commerce sites. Of course, in this case you will need to purchase a hosting plan.
7. Market your products
Now we can get to the fun part, getting your new brand to people.
So what can you do for this?
You can generate traffic to your website by focusing on the following tips:
SEO: SEO is a strategy businesses use to get their web pages on the first page of Google and other search engines. It helps increase traffic to your site.
Search and social media ads: Using PPC ads is a paid way to drive more traffic to your website. This includes paying for the keywords your target buyers use to search for your products.
Influencer marketing: Find people in your niche with a follower base of between 2,000 and 15,000 followers. Then, offer to cooperate. These people promote your product for a certain budget.
In summary, we can say that you are not just starting e-commerce by establishing an e-commerce site. You have to constantly experiment to see what works. But it all starts by following the steps above. The rest is up to effective digital marketing and advertising.