Advances in technology and the democratization of the Internet have made e-commerce a necessity for marketers today. As a result, traditional physical businesses are now required to have an online presence as well. Indeed, even if a business has a store or an office, its online presence is essential to prosper.
Running a successful online business requires more involvement than just having a website or posting items for sale on an electronic platform. It is necessary to learn the codes of a new profession, the essential secrets and the key points.
Critical Elements of e-commerce
There are many elements that are essential to being successful in selling a product or service online. Your time and your money are the two investments that make it possible to start an online business. It is important to determine whether selling online will work for you in the long run or not.
Here are some elements of online selling to analyze to determine whether an online business is worth pursuing or not.
If your business is only online, you can have a flexible schedule to suit your needs. Whether you are selling a service or a product, having a business entirely online saves you time and money on commuting and allows flexible working hours.
A successful online business will generate sales even while you sleep.
Ecommerce platforms make it easy for you as a business owner to offer your services or products online. Moreover, these platforms usually come with built-in marketing apps and many other add-ons that can help you promote your products or services or manage your inventory.
If your business is completely online, you don't have to worry about the layout of the physical storefronts. The extra expense that you would traditionally spend on setting up a store can be redirected towards growing your business online.
The competition can be tougher and it can be difficult to stand out on the internet, which can force you to differentiate your product.
Many ecommerce platforms allow your customers to rate you and your products. So when a customer is looking for a particular product, they are likely to go for the product with the most positive reviews available on the site with the highest rated service quality.
Selling products online means logistics, customer service, inquiries, etc. should be dealt with as quickly as possible and in an organized manner. Responsiveness is the key to successful online business.
How to choose the right eCommerce Business Model?
Before embarking on an ecommerce business, it is imperative to study the different possible ecommerce business models and assess the pros and cons of each. Once you have selected a template, it will allow you to determine the structure of your business.
Speak to an experienced professional accountant who specializes in e-commerce to help you choose the e-commerce business model that is best for your project. It will provide you with helpful advice as it walks you through the pros and cons of each business model to help you determine which one is right for you.
Here are the different e-commerce business models.
Dropshipping works in 3 steps:
- Step 1: Your customer places an order online on your website or online store.
- Step 2: The order for this product is automatically placed with your supplier.
- Step 3: The supplier receives and prepares the order on your behalf and sends it directly to your customer.
Dropshipping is more and more popular for online businesses. However, not all products can be delivered directly, and you do not control the logistics.
Another possible e-commerce business model is to acquire products from a wholesaler. This model is quite close to the traditional retail model.
How does wholesale sourcing work?
- Step 1: Select the products you will sell
- Step 2: Contact wholesalers who can supply the product to you
- Step 3: List the product on your website
- Step 4: The customer places the order
- Step 5: You process the order and ship it directly to the customer
The biggest advantage of sourcing from wholesalers is that you can buy a larger amount of product for a relatively lower price than what you would pay through the dropshipping model. You are in charge of stock and shipping to the customer. You can also use third-party fulfillment services like Amazon FBA to ensure quality packaging and hassle-free delivery of your products. But then you will have to cede part of your share of the profits to the third party to pay for their fulfillment services.
More time-consuming, this model allows you to make more profits than dropshipping.
Sourcing from manufacturers
Sourcing from manufacturers is quite similar to the wholesalers business model, but instead of purchasing a large portion of the products from the wholesaler, sellers work with a manufacturer to create custom products.
This is the model that requires the largest initial financial investment because you have to create a product from scratch. This model allows sellers to create their own brand and sell their own unique product.
Adopting this business model and developing products requires the management of several factors such as packaging, testing, design and more. It is therefore the most engaging. Sourcing from manufacturers may be the ideal option for you if you plan to build your business into a big player in the market for the long term.
How to select the best products to sell online?
Selecting which products to sell online can seem like a daunting task, which is why we have provided a list of items to help you navigate the vast amount of options that selling online can offer.
- Identify or develop a product that fills a gap in the market. You can set yourself apart by offering improved and advanced features for existing products, identifying a new target market that has yet to be achieved by competitors, or adopting unique product positioning and marketing.
- Select products that excite you as much as your target market
- Look for products with strong brand potential
- Adopt a trendy approach
- Identify and develop products for niche segments
- Keep looking for growth opportunities
After carrying out your product research and selecting the range of products you want to sell, you must conduct an in-depth market study, identify your customers and segment your audiences, define the places where your products will be for sale on the web, typical platform Amazon, websites, etc. Then you will have to establish your marketing strategy and take care of the description of your products, videos, photos, descriptions, in order to optimize your sales.