One of the most important decisions you’ll be deciding on as an entrepreneur would be deciding on what to sell. In order to become successful in choosing your product, stick to things that you know while addressing the issues people go through in the real world. Think about life hacks, simple solutions and services that you could offer, those are good places to start with.
There are already a lot of available platforms for eCommerce that can help you in getting started without having to put in too much technical effort, and most of the time it’s support is flexible enough to help your business grow. When choosing a platform, always make sure that you could test it first, if it doesn’t allow free trial then that’s a big red flag. Once you’ve chosen a platform, remember that their support would be more than willing to help you out.
In the start it’s more ideal to start with a platform that’s already full-service, it’s way cheaper and you’d be able to learn from your audience more. That would eventually result in more conversions and more money in your pocket.
Having your shop on sites like Ebay or Etsy makes it more easier, but you don’t get to have full control of your products, pricing, marketing, which doesn’t makes you unable to scale your business. You’d profit more if you have your own shop because sites like them take a cut from your sales.
It’s given that not everyone would want to buy your product. It’s a must that you look for your target audience and also make sure that your products are available whenever you say that it is. Focus on who needs your products and what your products can solve to find your target.
On average, in order to start your business you’d need at least $30,000, and it could be challenging to look for that funding. But it isn’t impossible and three ways to get that funding is by crowdfunding, bank loans, and securing cash from investors.
Average order value, aka AOV is a very important benchmark in eCommerce, aside from that repeat revenue and customer lifetime value also play an important part. In order to be able to crush these benchmarks, make sure that you get comfortable with customer data’s regarding purchases. And to get more people to add your products to your cart, aim to get more reviews about your products. Word of mouth is the strongest available marketing strategy today.
As years gone by eCommerce made how people buy and sell online different. The effort of having to visit a shop to buy something is not necessary anymore, thanks to online shop’s people in different places are reachable. People who doesn’t have the luxury to maintain a physical shop now has the ability to sell online. Music, Movies and other digital media and services can be easily bought and delivered instantly. Thanks to eCommerce, online shops are becoming more and more popular and accessible. There are a lot of different types of eCommerce companies, but before getting into one it’s important to make sure that you choose the one that’ll help your shop flourish and grow.
All of the factors are being taken by these companies in account in order to be able to provide the best for your websites. A lot of programs are made in order to accommodate both downloadable and physical products. And because everything is evolving, online business are too. As of now steeper discounts, shipping options, flat-rate shipping, programs for loyal customers, and other perks are available. And don’t worry if you think it’ll just complicate thing because eCommerce site builders and platforms make it easy for you to run those perks just so you can make your customers happier. And since we all know that it isn’t always good and there will always be scammers waiting for their next target, site-builders offer top of the line payment security and protection features to make the market as safe as possible.
There are three S’s that eCommerce site builders make sure they have in order to make security anf protection of every customer protected.
Storage Space: There are a lot of eCommerce sites that try their best to give you more options and data storage in order to fit your needs. You’ll know you have the best eCommerce platform when it allows you to sell without any limit.
Safety Protocols: SSL encryption (secure socket Layer and other fraud protection programs should be available in all types of business online. That’s not just for your customer’s protection but yours too. SSL encryption allows payments to be sent online securely, so it’s important for every online shop to have it.
Site Design: Your customers are probably very busy people so making sure that your interface doesn’t have a learning curve is important. Your interface should be easy and your tools functions should be clear to make it easier for your customers to get where they want to be quickly. Making your website organized, having menus and having options sorted well would make it quicker for your customers to make a purchase.
Basically it’s a software available in a retailers store to facilitate purchases, it’s the software that organizes the distribution of information to the merchant and accepts the payment.
Navigation is very important in a shop’s design. If your customer can’t navigate through your website then they won’t be able to find what they need. If they get frustrated with your navigation, that’ll make them leave your store.
Not everyone is on their laptops or PCs all the time. There’s even a rise in mobile shoppers already so you have to make sure your website is compatible with different screen sizes.
It’s a given fact that if your website is slow people will abandon it and look for a faster one. It doesn’t matter if your website is beautiful if it takes too long nobody will be willing to wait. So to avoid losing your customer always test that your website loads all its designs quickly. Aim for a design that’s beautiful but at the same time takes little time to load. But remember that your design should match your store’s industry and customer needs. Even if your theme functions well but doesn’t fit your company it won’t be giving you what you really deserve.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): this means that your shop is hosted in another company’s server and that they are the ones who manage the technical part of running your shop. An example for this would be Shopify.
Open Source: this means you are on your own. You install the platform into a server, you manage technical details, hosting, securing, running and everything regarding your shop.
Now let’s talk about the PROS and CONS of both.
Less Technical Work- All technical details are already being handled for you, so you won’t have to worry about hosting, managing security and others.
Faster Set Up- You don’t have to download or install. Just simply create an account and start building your store online. If you’re good then it’s possible to go live within a few minutes.
It’s easier to use- Saas is basically made to remove all the complexity of running an online shop. So if you aren’t technical then it makes it so much easier for you.
Open Source PROS
Complete Control- you have the ability to give your customers a customized shopping experience. You’ll have the ability to code, so you can control almost everything that you can’t on Saas.
Less Control- You can’t code so you don’t have that much access to customize it the way you want it to be. You have to adjust to the available tools and options.
Hidden Costs- This is very common. When you review it, it’ll be inexpensive but when you start using it, hidden costs would come out. Most of the time it happens when you only get basic features and would have to pay more in order to access other features.
Open Source CONS
Difficult to Use- If you aren’t techy then it would really be hard for you. This are made for developers and not normal entrepreneurs. There would be technical jargons that’ll require hiring another staff such as a developer to successfully launch your website (Unless you’re techy).
Lots of Maintenance- It’s important to stay on top of everything. So you have to make sure that everything is maintained, hosted, there are also security and software updates that you’d have to regularly do, so you’d have to be working more on it.
Expensive- Depending on the platform it could get as expensive as $15,000 just to go live. The price increases as you add application fees, cost of hosting, and if you can’t maintain it you’ll need a maintenance retainer, so that’ll cost you several thousands per month.
Saas Solutions normally provide their merchants with the tools that they would need, but it’s given that there isn’t any shopping cart that has all the features that you that’s already built-in. So email marketing, external shipping, and others would have to come in. So basically, yes integrations would eventually be needed.
It will all depend on how big your business is and what your needs would be. In a SaaS platform you could already start with $10 a month but it could also reach more than $300 per month. It all depends on the features you want to access and how many products you want to list.
In Open source platforms, downloading it could be free but operating it could become expensive. Web hosting, domain name, security of your site, and other add-ons would have to be paid for. And if you aren’t techy, especially when a rough patch comes, you’d have to hire a developer.
Most SaaS provide free trials for as long as 2 weeks. And most of the time credit cards aren’t needed to start the trial, but they’ll need your email address, name and phone number. Before putting in any amount in a platform make sure that you get to test it, nowadays reviews can’t be fully trusted. Your vendors tech support should also be tested if they can give you answers to problems.
So there go everything you have to know in order to successfully start your online shop. eCommerce has evolved and made things easier while giving you more available options. Whether you choose an open source platform or a Saas solution is up to you and your needs and capabilities. Just make sure that you always test before paying any amount and test before going live. Lastly, keep in mind that it’s not just about you and your products but your target customers too, so as much as possible, think about how they will react to your design, content and other factors that could make a difference in the conversion results that you would get. That’s about it, I hope this article help you in your journey.