What is eCommerce?
eCommerce stands for electronic commerce. It is selling a product or service online. That it is!
eCommerce has expanded exponentially in recent years and will only continue to do so. And the more it continues, the more it will continue. Small and medium sized businesses, along with corporations an even independent freelancers have benefited from eCommerce. Their products and services are so easy to discover and purchase at any hour of any day from almost anywhere in the world. The possibility to scale in this day and age, is like no other. eCommerce is the fastest-growing retail market. Why wouldn't you want to be part of that? There are loads of benefits:
- Global Market
- 24/7/365 availability
- Targeting customers
- Work from anywhere
- Reduced costs / lower investment
Who can start an ecommerce store?
Anyone! Literally anyone. Provided they have the few essentials to get started.
There essentials include:
- A product or service to sell
- A place to sell them
- A means to process payments
- A marketing strategy to attract customers
Let’s discuss each of these a little further.
Product or service to sell
Right off the bat, you’ll need a product or service to sell. You can either make this yourself or you can source it from someone or somewhere else.
Some things you want to keep in mind here, are:
- Who you will be selling your product or service
- Other businesses
- Other consumers
- Something unique / niche
- Something that solves a problem
- The cost of your goods and your selling price
- You want to price your products at a low enough rate that you remain competitive to similar products on the market.
- However, you don’t want to price yourself too low that you don’t make sufficient profit to continue operating.
- On the other hand, you don’t want to price yourself too high that no one purchases your products.
A place to sell
Next you’ll need to figure out where you will be selling your goods. The nature of eCommerce is selling online, so you’ll need a website and/or an ecommerce platform to sell your products from. Keep in mind that your website is essentially acting as your physical shop. This is where people come to interact with you and purchase your goods. This is where you influence them. This is where you impact how likely they are to convert from a visitor to a sale. And hopefully a repeat sale.
You can either build your own website or use a CMS - Content Management System. A CMS provides the basic framework for your website, and allows you to add and edit your products, accept payments, and manage your online store.
Some examples of these, which we recommend include:
Factors to keep in mind when choosing your CMS platform are:
- ease of use
Next, you'll need to think about transacting with your customers. This is a really important decision. Your payment provider is someone that needs to be credible and trustworthy. After all, they’re the ones handling your income.
Important points to keep in mind here are:
- Compatibility with your e-commerce platform
- Availability in the countries your business targets
- The ability to accept payment in different currencies if necessary
- Fees charged
- Reliability and Reporting
- Usability and Customer Support
We highly recommend are:
Lastly, you’ll need a good marketing strategy to attract your customers. Let’s face it - if you don’t attract customers to your online store, you aren’t going to make sales. It’s not like having a physical storefront where people may stumble upon you. You have to bring your customers to your online store.
This area will need a lot of work if you’re going to be successful. It’s also an area that constantly needs to be revisited, reviewed and adjusted based on what’s bringing you traffic and what is not.
There are a few areas of focus for this:
Social media has become a channel of digital influence and is a brilliant tool for building brand awareness. It’s almost impossible for new brands to be successful online without some sort of social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other networks can be used for almost everything. From specific targeting, and real-time engagement, to customer service and direct sales, it’s a no brainer to stay heavily active on these platforms. And the best part - they’re free!
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEO refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages. This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your product, or service can provide. Think how often you click onto Page 2 or 3 of a Google Search to find what you’re looking for. Hardly ever. We don’t want our websites to rank there, because most won't find us. The first page is where you want to be or aim to be.
Don’t underestimate the power of emails. It's a highly successful tool to keep your audience engaged. You will however, need to find a balance between keeping your audience educated and informed versus overwhelming them with too many emails.
There are some great, affordable tools out there that can help:
- Manage your email contacts
- Segment your email list
- Customize emails
- Create, save, edit, and manage email templates
- Detailed reporting
eCommerce is a playground of its own. But it’s a big playground that anyone can play on. Don’t be too intimidated.
Other eCommerce Resources:
IWD Agency offers online business solutions that help maximize the retailer’s consumer base with a professional website, online branding, marketing, and optimizing the overall customer retail experience. Discover the true value of your brand with professional solutions offered by experts in the online retail industry. IWD Agency YouTube channel is focused on providing quality content information, news, tips, tricks and much more.
At our YouTube channel, you’ll find all the necessary information that you need to maximize your eCommerce biz. So, make sure to follow our content, share these videos, give us a thumbs up, and leave a comment below.
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