How can an eCommerce platform help your start-up?

It’s no secret that more and more people are moving away from traditional forms of employment and are instead seeking self-employment to follow their entrepreneurial desires.

If your burgeoning business sells physical goods, but you don’t have the capital, or perhaps inclination to open a physical store, then an eCommerce platform might offer the perfect solution for you.

What is an eCommerce platform?

In simple terms an eCommerce platform is a software application that allows you to manage your online sales business. There are many companies who offer different eCommerce platforms, with each one varying slightly depending on the type of business you are and the type of goods you sell.

What are the main eCommerce sites?

The most well-known eCommerce platforms are Amazon and eBay, where nearly anyone can ‘set up shop’ and sell anything from beauty products to books, and everything in between.

However, there are other eCommerce platforms that are more suitable for different niches. Etsy is a prime example of an eCommerce site that only allows vendors who sell certain things, in particular handmade, and vintage goods.

What are the benefits of joining an eCommerce platform?

eCommerce platforms have been gaining in popularity since they first started appearing in the 1990s. While it’s no secret that our high street shops have been on the decline, internet shopping is ever increasing. And our preference for internet shopping doesn’t seem to be slowing down. For this reason, eCommerce platforms are an easy way for entrepreneurs to start their sales career.

Often with low start-up and running costs, eCommerce platforms tend to come with pre-set templates that can be used to house your ‘shop front’. This is perfect if you’re not overly tech savvy, or don’t have the time to set up a website yourself.

Similarly, because most eCommerce sites are well known – like Amazon, they have a large volume of traffic. Many entrepreneurs if they just had their own website wouldn’t receive nearly as many visitors, and therefore wouldn’t sell manty products. The obvious downside, however, is that you do have to contend with more direct competition.

Of course, once you start making sales on these various platforms and have built up a strong following on social media platforms that are also driving sales, you can then consider setting up your own website alongside your eCommerce accounts. With the hope that over time, people will come directly to your website – meaning you’ll no longer have to pay for the costs of selling through another site.

What tasks do eCommerce entrepreneurs have to complete?

Running an eCommerce store isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination and there is an abundance of tasks you need to do to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Obviously, the site needs to be managed, including editing stock levels, but once an order is placed, you’ll need to post the items – unless your using a fulfilment service like Amazon’s fulfilment centre.

Specialist companies like Parcel2Go are ideal for eCommerce retailers because of their competitive pricing plans and helps keep running costs to a minimum.

Whilst eCommerce sites have large volumes of traffic, it’s up to you as a business owner to entice potential customers with your products and let them know you’re there. This can be done through social media and sending emails to previous customers with discount codes for example.

eCommerce platforms can provide a great stepping-stone for your start-up business, but like any business it requires time, patience and dedication to get it off the ground.