Remember how often we stepped outside of our homes to buy necessities for our daily lives before the pandemic began? Is everything still the same now? Certainly not. After all, the pandemic has brought certain restrictions to our outdoor activities.
It is difficult to forget how we survived when the local store ran out of stock. Fortunately, the E-Commerce stores came to our rescue by offering no-contact delivery at our door. Today, more and more retailers are revolutionizing their business strategies and shifting from offline stores to online stores, making lives easier for us.
Would it be wise to start an e-commerce business now?
It is certainly not easy to forecast the future of a new business from the very beginning. Starting something from scratch is certainly a risky proposition. So, would it be wise to take any risks with it?
Yes, it is worth your time and effort. But why? Check out the points below to know more.
- Online shopping is a new form of shopping: There is almost no one living in the post-pandemic era who is unfamiliar with online shopping. It has become a very popular and effective method of purchasing products. People have realized the convenience of buying products online without leaving their homes. After all, they will receive the delivery right at their doorstep. In a world where people are enjoying online shopping, don’t you think starting an e-commerce business will benefit you?
- It is not costly to launch an e-commerce store: Are you uncertain whether you can afford to start an e-commerce business? You don’t need to fret, since operating an online store does not entail very large overhead costs. Although you must pay for your e-commerce website development and other technical support. However, the costs of operating an e-commerce store are negligible compared to a conventional store.
- Get customers from a wide range of areas: For any type of business, getting more customers is very important. You have a great opportunity to gain customers from various places with your new online store. Therefore, you gain a large clientele. Isn’t that a great motivation to start an e-commerce store?
- It’s easy to promote your brand: As a business owner in the age of the digital revolution, you have to market your business extensively. In the end, it helps you get more customers. It’s not rocket science, though, to promote your online store. Different social networks have made this process even easier.
E-commerce worldwide: some key facts
As part of the global retail framework, e-commerce has become increasingly important. The current state of e-commerce businesses worldwide indicates that you would benefit from launching a new e-commerce company. Here are some facts from Statista to help you better understand e-commerce globally.
- The growing number of online shoppers: The number of online shoppers is increasing every year. More than 2 million people purchased products online in 2020. The worldwide e-retail sales exceeded 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020.
- Increasing e-commerce traffic due to smartphones: Smartphone users are also on the rise. It is driving e-commerce traffic in a big way. Global retail e-commerce traffic reached 22 billion monthly visits in June 2020. In 2021, 70% of retail website visits worldwide came from smartphones.
- Revenue from retail e-commerce worldwide: E-commerce sales worldwide were around 4.9 trillion dollars in 2021. In the next few years, e-commerce retail sales are expected to grow by 50%. Consequently, it will reach 7.4 billion dollars by 2025.
- Growth in E-commerce sales: In 2021, e-commerce sales increased 16.8% over last year. E-commerce contributed 20% of total retail sales worldwide in 2021.
Hence, your decision to build a new e-commerce store is a wise one.
The Pre-planning stage to build your e-commerce business from scratch
E-commerce businesses require a lot of hard work and proper planning to get off the ground. So, before you launch your online store, you should complete any necessary tasks. The major task without which your online business cannot start is your e-commerce website development.
However, to begin this process, you cannot jump into website development straightaway. You need to make several decisions and strategize the whole process.
So, let’s take a look at the different stages one by one.
Choose your products or services: Are you able to start your business without deciding what products or services you will offer? Before you move on to anything else, be sure you have a solid answer to this question. Why is it so important?
Consider the following points:
- To identify your target market.
- To locate the right suppliers.
- Determine which partnerships your company should accept.
Make sure you have sufficient experience and knowledge in whichever niche you choose. By doing so, you can provide excellent customer service. In addition, be aware of market demands in your industry. It is also important to know who your competitors are.
Learn about the types of e-commerce businesses and Choose: You need to make another crucial decision once you have selected your products and services. You need to determine what kind of e-commerce businesses you want to run. There are four types of e-commerce businesses you need to know. Take a look at the following points for more information.
- Business to business:
Whenever a business sells its products or services to another business, it is referred to as a B2B model. This type of e-commerce business allows you to resell your products to retail customers.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of the B2B e-commerce business model.
- Market stability: You should consider the B2B business model if market stability is a priority to you. Why? This type of business model can easily adjust to any complicated market condition. Growth is therefore guaranteed with such a model.
- Get more clients: With this business model, increasing your brand’s online visibility is not a problem. Hence, you can easily reach your clients. This business model can be used to display product recommendations to your clients. Cross-selling and up-selling are also possible. You can therefore expect higher sales.
- Reduced costs: This business model helps reduce costs. This is possible because of the supply chain management process.
- Limited market base: This type of business model can be a challenge for small and medium-size e-commerce firms. There is a limited market for such business models.
- It is a lengthy process: It is impossible to make a quick decision in this business model. There are several individuals involved in decision-making, making the business process lengthy.
- Business to consumer:
A business selling directly to the end consumer is called a B2C model. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the B2C model.
- Meeting more clients: B2C models give your e-commerce business a great scope to meet clients all across the world.
- Great conversion rate: This model makes the process of converting visitors into clients much easier.
- Setting up an online store is easy: If you choose a B2C model, you can easily set up your online store. A leading e-commerce platform makes setting up your online store much easier.
- Difficult to face challenges: Receiving more orders makes it more difficult to manage. Thus, the e-commerce website must be able to handle multiple orders from customers.
- Surviving is no easy task: Surviving in a competitive market with this type of business model is not easy. In addition, you should invest in online marketing to promote your business. B2C models are disadvantageous from this perspective.
- Consumer to Business:
When an individual directly sells products to businesses, it is known as the C2B model. Consider the following points to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of C2B models.
- Getting in touch with business owners directly: The C2B model provides a way to reach out to business owners and companies to sell your products. Thanks to the digital revolution that helped business owners to bridge any gap between them and their potential customers.
- To utilize your skills: Any individual can offer services by using the C2B model if they have the skills. Thus, it is beneficial to create jobs.
- May confuse: This particular business model does not adopt a fixed price concept. There can be no guarantee of privacy in this model. Therefore, it is confusing.
- Consumer to consumer:
Consumers selling their services to other consumers is called a C2C business model. Take a look at the following points to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the C2C model.
- No intermediaries involved: C2C models allow sellers to make great profits since there are no intermediaries.
- Gain a large customer base: The advantage of choosing this business model is that you will have a global customer base.
- Competitive market: To survive in the competitive market, C2C business models may face a variety of obstacles.
- Fees to pay for platforms: Sellers may be charged fees for using platforms. In this context, a C2C model isn’t advantageous since you need to pay extra fees.
Find the best way to stock your store: You need to pick the perfect model for managing your inventory before starting your e-commerce store. Let us provide you with a few models that you may find useful.
- Dropshipping: With this model, you do not need to store products that you intend to sell. You are simply an intermediary and that’s why you don’t need to buy products. Hence, starting your e-commerce business with the dropshipping model is certainly cost-effective for you.
- Buying in bulk: You can buy products from suppliers in bulk. It is known as wholesaling. So what are the benefits? You can easily buy these products from the suppliers at a reasonable price range. This model will certainly yield greater profits for you.
- Manufacturing: This is an ideal model if you want to sell products that you are an expert in. Choosing this model might not always be the most cost-effective choice. The final cost ultimately depends on the materials and other costs involved in production.
Select the best e-commerce platform:
A crucial decision that you will have to make in the pre-planning stage will be which e-commerce platform to use. How can you select an ideal platform? You should choose one that supports your business growth. Before choosing an e-commerce platform try to determine what your business requirements are. Below we have listed some of the most popular e-commerce platforms. Take a look.
- Magento: It is one of the famous e-commerce platforms. This open-source e-commerce platform has unique features that help you build and grow your e-commerce store. With this platform controlling the content and other features of your store is also possible. Moreover, this platform is user-friendly, which is another reason you should choose it. It’s so easy to handle that you don’t need to have any prior technical experience. There are, however, costs associated with hosting, security, and customer support.
- WooCommerce: You can also set up your e-commerce website using WooCommerce which is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. This plugin gives you the ability to manage your online store with ease. You can customize your e-commerce website as there are multiple free plugins and themes. Its biggest disadvantage, however, is that some extensions are paid.
- Shopify: It is another e-commerce platform that you may find helpful. Subscriptions are required to set up an e-commerce store. It’s easy to use and has a lot of different payment processors. It also offers a wide variety of themes that may be useful for your online store. Nevertheless, customization is not an easy process with Shopify, as you need expert help. Furthermore, it is certainly not inexpensive.
How to build your e-commerce website?
Operating your e-commerce business needs an impactful website. When it comes to conveying your brand’s message, your website is the most important tool. Furthermore, if you want to make your business successful, you need a higher conversion rate. It is impossible without an effective website. Therefore, when developing your website, be careful to take the right steps with the help of an expert. So, read on.
- Your website needs a domain name: Picking an attractive and relevant domain name is only the beginning of your website creation. You should choose a name that’s easy to spell but not too long. Websites like Google Domains and others can help you find a suitable domain name for your website. Choose a name that your users will not have trouble remembering.
- Find hosting service providers: Your website must run smoothly, so keep this in mind when looking for a hosting provider. There is a wide variety of hosting service providers in the market. It may be difficult, however, to choose the right one for your e-commerce store. Hence, you can hire experts to help you select the one that is right for your business.
- The phase of designing your e-commerce website: When you start designing your e-commerce website keep in mind your users must not find any difficulty using it. You should always choose an attractive yet easy-to-navigate design for your website. An efficient and skilled UI/UX design team can be extremely useful at this stage. UI designers must find a design that simplifies interaction with users. In contrast, UX designers must ensure that the website is easily accessible for the user. Hence, the team should spend time understanding your audience. You cannot find a suitable design without having a clear understanding of your target market. Therefore, a market study should be conducted.
- The stage of website development: Once you are satisfied with the design, you can begin developing the site. Keep in mind that your website needs to be responsive while adding features. Smartphone users shouldn’t have any trouble accessing your website. Make sure you keep your business requirements in mind when selecting website functionalities.
- Engaging content is a must: It is possible to retain your audience on your website successfully with engaging content. So, whether it is written content or other forms of content, it has to be relevant and meaningful.
Some important features your website must have
Listed below are a few important features that may enhance your e-commerce website. Hence, take a look-
- Including advanced searching and filtering options: If you make your customers happy, you are more likely to receive more conversions. Hence, allow your customers to enjoy advanced searching. Additionally, a filtering option in advanced search is also very useful.
- Easy to sign up: Customers must not encounter any difficulty signing up for your website when they purchase a product. Additionally, after making purchases, customers must be able to pay and check out easily.
- Include chatbot: To ensure effective customer support you can think of including a chatbot on your website.
- Allow various payment methods: Your e-commerce website must have various payment methods. Your users must find a convenient method of payment after making purchases. Hence, it is necessary.
- Ensure your website is secured: It is vital to make sure your website is secure. To protect your website the implementation of an SSL certificate is a must.
Things to check before launching your website
Following are the most important things you must keep in mind before you launch your website-
- Make sure your website copy contains all the necessary information.
- Make sure to check all the important links.
- Make sure you do not have any flaws in your SEO strategies.
- Don’t forget to keep backups of all your website files and database.
Get in touch with the experts
Starting up an e-commerce website is certainly not an easy task. You don’t know if all your plans and strategies are error-free. Hence, reach out to the professionals. Therefore, looking for an e-commerce development company in India is certainly a great idea.
Throughout this guide, we have gathered all the information you might need for launching your e-commerce business from scratch. We hope you find it useful. Furthermore, if you want to make sure your online store operates properly, you can hire an e-commerce development company in India.