Setting up an ecommerce website has become an increasingly popular way of earning money online. With the coronavirus pandemic still affecting a lot of countries around the world, the ecommerce industry has been attracting a lot of attention as a more sustainable way of obtaining goods and services in the new normal. If you’re looking to ride the trend and set up your own online venture, now’s a good time as any to explore various strategies for earning an income from the web.
Fortunately, you don’t have to learn web development or programming language or learn how to build an ecommerce website from scratch. All you need is a great idea for a product and the best ecommerce website builder to set up your own online business. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.
1. Research different ecommerce business models
The most successful businesses are backed by constant and rigorous research. You can’t just open a business on the fly and hope it will turn out well. An ecommerce website is an investment and you have to treat it as such from the get go. Having said that, it’s important to identify the business structure that will work best for you. There are so many ways of running an ecommerce business and generating income from it. There’s dropshipping where you set up an online storefront and act as a middleman between your suppliers and consumers. There’s also the more conventional wholesaling and warehousing where you manage and keep track of your inventory, customer orders and shipping from a single company. And then there’s also private labeling and white labeling where you take a product and redesign the label with your own branding. Learn more about the intricacies of these ecommerce business models and decide on one that best fits your situation.
2. Identify your niche market
The next step is to identify your market and learn more about your potential customers. Most ecommerce websites are filled with hundreds of random products with no real focus and without specifically targeting a niche. Unless you have a massive budget, it wouldn’t make sense to create another Amazon. Choose a niche that is not overly crowded or dominated by major brands. Be more specific to make it easier for you to craft a marketing strategy and design your website to /90p the taste and needs of your target market. Validate your target market by identifying the demographic you want to sell to. Create personas of your potential consumer - his needs, challenges, characteristics and interests. Evaluate and test your product on this market group and identify potential challenges that your product might face along the way.
3. Source products
Now that you have identified your target market and conducted the relevant research, the next step is to develop your product or source suppliers depending on your chosen business model. Alibaba is a good place to start looking for suppliers on a wide range of products. Contact a few of the ones you have shortlisted and start obtaining quotations from them. You should also conduct due diligence on the seller as well as discuss payment terms and product samples. Once you have this detail sorted out, you can now start building your ecommerce website.
4. Select an ecommerce store builder
If you do not have the technical capability to create your own ecommerce website from scratch, you can use a good ecommerce website builder to set up your online store. There are a lot of platforms in the market today, offering aspiring entrepreneurs a solid starting point, providing them with ecommerce website templates and payment gateway integrations to allow them to start selling right away.
For those who are looking to dip their toes into online selling and are not too keen on investing for a trial ecommerce store, the best free ecommerce website builder is an appropriate and cost-effective solution.
As the best ecommerce website builder for small business, Strikingly lets you create a single-product online store free of charge so you can grow your business with ease. All you need to do is add the Simple Store section to your website to convert it into an ecommerce site.
5. Devise and implement a marketing strategy
Work doesn’t end after you have published your online shop. The next step is to make your website known and attract targeted traffic that will generate conversions. Explore different marketing strategies including SEO, social media marketing, paid ads and influencer marketing to promote your product and your brand.