"How do I start an ecommerce business" is a common question in many business circles and among aspiring entrepreneurs too. Lucky for you, starting an ecommerce business has never been easier and startup costs have never been lower. A slew of technologies and websites have popped up in recent years. They all allow you to get an ecommerce website and business off the ground quickly and painlessly.
Before we get into the tech side of things, it’s important to think of what your goals are so you can better plan how to reach them. Although ecommerce is made easy by today's technology, there isn’t a quick and easy answer to the "how to sell products or services online" question. This is due to the innumerable types of online business you can set up. But let’s say you’ve been printing designs on t-shirts and you’ve really developed a knack for it. Now you’d like to see if you can sell them.
4 Steps To Get Started With Your Ecommerce Business
1. Setting up shop online. While the option exists to sell your products through another vendor, you probably would like to maximize profits from your diligent efforts. This will involve creating your own website as a type of virtual store where shoppers can find, browse, and purchase items.
In the past, most online retailers left the task of building a website to the experts. Today it's easy enough that most of us can do it ourselves. Services like Woocommerce, Squarespace and Wix have streamlined the process of website building. In many cases, no knowledge of coding is required. Simply choose from a number of pre-designed templates and options, ensuring that your website looks sleek, professional, and functional.
In addition to a website, you will need a web host and domain. Think of a web host as the "place" you will put your website and think of the domain name as the directions to get there. This enables potential customers to easily find and access your website on the internet. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer these and additional services so you can keep all of your subscriptions under one account. But there’s always the option to use different providers and separate accounts if it looks like a better way to go for your unique business.
2. Finding and attracting customers. Once your products, website, and web host are settled, you need customers. A study conducted by Forbes found that about two-thirds of shoppers today use social media as part of their shopping. So, use social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to advertise. Sign up for email campaigning apps like Mailchimp to keep customers informed about new products and sales that are about to happen.
It may also be helpful to form partnerships with other brands in your industry. Perhaps your shirt brand could partner with a brand of hats. This is known as cross-promotion and it will help your company, and theirs, reach a larger audience with little risk of lost sales. It can also be a lot cheaper than advertising on Google Ads and social media.
3. Protecting your new ecommerce business. Whether yours is a small business or a large one, you will need to protect it against risk. These days, many ecommerce businesses are faced with traditional risks from fire and theft. New risks from cybercrime—like phishing scams and ransomware—are a concern as well. Uncertainty abounds! It would be dangerous to begin a new business without at least some level of protection.
Hedging against risk with a good insurance plan (and adequate cyber insurance coverage) for your ecommerce business will help you overcome many of the obstacles you face in such uncertain times. Insurers like B2Z are working to help ecommerce startups (and established sellers) find the right coverage, avoid liability, and stay profitable into the future.
4. Keep at it. Don’t let the challenges that come with beginning an ecommerce business stop you. With many of the risks have come new opportunities. Pew Research found 90 percent of US adults say the internet has been important for them personally through the Coronavirus outbreak. This certainly applies to ecommerce retailers. Consumers are shopping online more than ever. You might be in a unique position to offer something a larger outlet can’t!
“Small companies can quickly adapt to new situations and new technologies, benefits that will help them become just as successful as big enterprises—all the while retaining their edge. Not only are small companies capable of widespread success, the odds of a startup succeeding are better now than ever,” according to Entrepreneur.com.
The time may be just right for you and your new ecommerce business. Keep your momentum going and you may find yourself at the head of the pack in a short amount of time. Ready to insure your ecommerce business? Start here at B2Z.