E-commerce businesses are everywhere now. This rapidly evolving area uses technical and creative skills to make money. Basically, an e-commerce business is a business model where buyers and sellers exchange goods and services over the internet. This is the business model of 2022 and beyond. Why wouldn’t it be? It is so easy to set up an eCommerce business in 2022 that even your grandmother could do it.
There are a multitude of eCommerce business types. For example B2B2C, B2G or D2C. If that all sounds like a bit much, don’t worry. For getting started in the eCommerce business world you are just going to need the basics.
The most common e-commerce business models are B2B and B2C. You must know about these two if you are getting started in e-commerce or the online business world.
B2C – Business to Consumer
B2C stands for business-to-consumer. These are online businesses that sell their products or services directly to the end user. Probably everyone reading this article has been involved in a B2C business transaction in the past. No matter what you buy online from household supplies to an app, it is done as part of a B2C transaction.
This B2C e-commerce business model tends to be much quicker and easier to get started with. Many platforms like Shopify, Etsy or RedBubble will even advertise your products on their website.
B2C businesses have a shorter decision-making process compared to other e-commerce business models. This means B2C usually spends less marketing dollars and have a lower order value and few recurring orders when compared to B2B e-commerce models.
B2B – Business to Business
B2B stands for business to business. This kind of e-commerce model deals with selling products or services from one business to another. The business being sold said product or service more often than not resells the item at a higher value. Think online wholesalers.
This e-commerce business model has risen in popularity and success over the last number of years. B2B innovators have replaced catalogues and order sheets and made it even easier for other businesses to order stock.
B2B businesses have a much longer sales cycle. However, unlike B2C business, the B2B e-commerce business model means much higher order values and many more recurring purchases.
Now that you have the basics on B2C and B2B e-commerce business types it’s time to look at what we all want to know. How to start an e-commerce business. So get your pen and paper out to take notes on these 5 easy steps to get your E-commerce business off the ground.
1. Have an idea!
It doesn’t matter whether you are in the physical business world or the online business world, you are going to need an idea.
Coming up with a business idea can be quite challenging. Many experts recommend keeping your ideas to your local niche or your hobbies. If you look around your community there are most certainly plenty of business opportunities. Equally, think about an idea that may improve your hobby for fellow enthusiasts.
Often coming up with a business idea isn’t as hard as it seems. You have just got to take some time and really pinpoint a gap in the market that needs to be filled.
1.5. But My Product Already Exists
Okay, take a deep breath. Even if your idea is already on the market the fight doesn’t end there. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of healthy competition. Try to offer your product at a cheaper rate or improve your product and make it the better alternative.
A better way of looking at this scenario is the product you are looking to sell already exists and has a valid audience.
2. It’s Research Time!
Once you come up with your million-dollar idea, it’s time to get to researching. Having a great business idea is a major step but now it’s time to get to work. There are plenty of questions still to be answered. Will your e-commerce business be offering products or services? Will these products and services be digital or physical? What type of business model will you employ? Will your business offer single products, packages or a subscription service?
These are just a few questions that will pop up and need answering during the research phase. There will be many more, particularly those that relate to your product and your niche specifically.
During the research time, take it slow, take notes and have a really good think about your product or service. Other questions could be how will you get your products to the consumers, how much will start-up cost and of course, what will my business be called? Another important step to consider here is sourcing your products. You will want a reliable source in order to have plenty of stock to fulfil future orders.
The best advice here is to take your time and do all the research necessary. And maybe even the research that is not necessary too.
3. The Paperwork
So now your e-commerce plan is really coming together. It’s time for the business part of the e-commerce business. You are going to want to familiarize yourself with the laws, permits and licenses needed for your country and your business type.
If you have a background in business law or law in general then this will be a cakewalk. However, if you don’t and the thoughts of all those big business words make you squirm in fear then it may be time to ask for help. There is no problem in going to a local law practice and asking for some help. You may have to pay a little but you can rest assured you will receive some good advice on exactly what permits and licenses your e-commerce business will need.
4. Choose Your E-Commerce Platform
Setting up an e-commerce business couldn’t be easier in 2022. There are multiple websites that allow you to set up your very own webshop with only a few clicks. This may be one of the easier steps on this list, but it is also one of the most important. You will want to create a shop front that attracts consumers and makes them want to buy your product.
Websites such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Squarespace can all be hugely helpful in setting up your online store. For a small fee, these websites allow you to customize your design and domain as well as take and ship orders. Many eCommerce business owners opt for these websites when creating their online shop.
That said you can always avail of an ecommerce web design agency when creating your eCommerce website. Some e-commerce business owners prefer this as they can work with the designer in order to create a web shop that represents their personality.
5. Make Some Money
Now that your eCommerce business is all set up the real fun begins. Now the main thing is about marketing your product and getting it out to the masses. This marketing could be done with Google ads, social media or word of mouth. Having a good understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important to get the most out of your advertising. This SEO understanding will allow you to use any online marketing tools to their fullest potential.
Another top tip from here is to keep an eye on your business’s performance. If you are investing money in your marketing this is especially important. As time progresses, you will see what marketing strategies work best and change and adjust your business accordingly.
All it takes is an idea. Well, one idea and a lot of paperwork. If anything, we have learned today that setting up an e-commerce business is not all that hard. If you have an idea you are already halfway there. It is all about disciplining yourself and putting in some extra work to turn that idea into a product or service with a loyal consumer base.