February 15, 2017 8:39 am
Nowadays, many people want to start an e-commerce business because it looks easy and not much to invest in. However, in order to succeed, the business should have proper planning and preparation to avoid failure. Now we like to introduce nine things that you should prepare before opening an online shop/business.
1. Shop / Business Name
A business name is very important because this is your business’ identity and how customers identify with you easily with your products or services. When coming up with a name, most people get creative and think out-of-the-box but you need to consider that the name has to be something that customers can easily pronounce and spell.
Also, your shop name should be related to the product that you want to sell, for example, if you sell watches, your shop name should have the word ‘Time’ or ‘Watch’. Then your customers will remember it easily and also helps them to search for your business again in the future.
When starting a new online business, the product that you want to sell should be part of your interest. This makes the product easier to be sold because you put in effort to boost your knowledge about the product making it easy to be explained to your customers when inquired. Besides that, selling something you like will make you happy.
But if you don’t have a specific item to sell, only want to have your own shop maybe you should start from conducting a research about what is trending now in the market, which could generate good income. For example, nowadays more and more people owns a smartphone, so maybe you can consider selling a portable charger or phone cases. In the end, whatever you want to sell, you should consider investing at lower cost and earning a higher profit because competition between online shops is frequent and high. Best if you start with a product that has low-cost price.
The money invested for your e-commerce shop should cover more than the products you sell by including other costs and expenditure such as advertising expenses, fair reserved space, etc., which involves strategic marketing planning. Proper research and planning helps generate proper capital for the shop without needing to borrow from other parties
4. Type of Business
Now that you’ve decided on your product, it’s time for you to decide whether you want to sell your product as a wholesaler or retailer. Sometimes you’ll find that selling directly to consumers may not be your forte and you might want to consider moving up the supply chain and start distributing your own products (or even other products from other companies) to other retailers. Usually, due to the increased volume you’ll be selling, your revenues will grow much faster, but it is a different kind of business and it takes some getting used to.
5. Sales Channels
Sales channels is another factor that affects your success. If you want to open an online shop, the easiest way is through Facebook page because you can advertise to a wider range of customers compared to other platforms. Furthermore, using the right website allows advertisement to properly target customers and easy update of new information
6. Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is an important component in determining the fate of your business. This is because, even though you have a good quality product but nobody knows it, it is poorly marketed. So, you should have a good plan on how to ensure consistent awareness from customer regarding your shop. This includes how to attract customers and strategies to overcome competition from other shops just from being a start-up online shop. You might want to start your market plan as follows:
- Outline your goals clearly
- Define clear steps to achieve each goal such as after open page on Facebook, how to generate awareness from customers?
- Budget (realistically) on how you can reach your goals
- Make a schedule that enables smooth monitoring and update your plans accordingly when necessary
7. Payment Method
Paying online should be made easy for customers. You should use a payment gateway that allows easy online banking options for customers that is secure when customers purchase from you. Besides that, if you plan to sell your products to international customers, you should have account that allows international transfer such as Paypal as it is safe platform and easy to sign up.
8. Patience and Commitment
Lots of people start their business thinking they want to get rich quick. They hope to gain profit since the first day of their business. That would be the dream because when you start the shop, it is possible that you wouldn’t have any customer for the first week (don’t count your cousin and friends), some customer might be interested in your product but have no intention to purchase. That will make you question what have you done wrong and want to quit till by lowering the price of your product. Don’t do that! You need to be confident and always update your market plan. Explore new things to attract customer and NEVER GIVE UP!
If you are committed to having an online career then it’s good. But if you are still working and have a permanent job, you need to manage your time well because the “covetousness” from a customer who is not patient. You will lose your customers if you cannot accommodate to them in time.
These are our recommendations for sellers/merchants who hope to start an online business in the future. Even if after you finished reading and you still feel unsure, you can start with our FREE Trial
and let us help you grow from there.
Categorised in: Announcement, How-to
This post was written by Rina Chandra Kumar