Is Starting an Ecommerce Business Worth It?
Do you have a business idea?
If so, do you want to start an ecommerce business but not sure if it’s worth the risk?
In this article we will discuss what is required to start and successfully run an online store. We’ll cover some of the questions that come up when considering starting your own ecommerce site and whether starting an ecommerce business is worth it.
We’ll also talk about some of the strategies for launching a new website, how to make sure that your website is successful once launched, and what are keys for running a successful online business.
What is the feasibility of starting an online business from scratch?
So you're thinking about starting an ecommerce site from scratch? Let's take some time to talk through the feasibility of building an ecommerce site as well as some strategies for launching - before we talk about some of the pitfalls you might encounter.
First, you need to ask yourself a few questions: What are your goals? Are you looking for passive income or do want to build an ecommerce business that is full-time and has lots of growth potential? How much capital do you have available?
If those first two points don't apply to you, the feasibility of starting an ecommerce business depends on your ability to find suppliers. If you have a product that is selling well in retail stores but not online (perhaps because it's only sold offline), then this might be a good opportunity for building an online storefront.
A lot of people want passive income and growth potential, so they start with an ecommerce business that requires more upfront investment. If you have a product that has already been proven to sell well in retail stores, it’s not uncommon for ecommerce businesses with these types of products to start generating revenue quickly.
If you’re starting an online business from scratch, you’ll need capital to invest in inventory and other costs. You can either sell what you have, or borrow from friends or family members—or even a bank loan.
If your business is successful, this will eventually pay off any loans that were taken out for startup purposes.
It’s important not only to work hard on the marketing aspect of your business, but also to have a product that you can sell for profit.
Remembering these different aspects of an ecommerce business is important in order to make it successful.
What are the keys to a successful online business?
The keys to a successful online business are:
- Having the perfect product.
- Building rapport and trust with your customer base, through transparency of products, pricing, shipping times etc. That is difficult if you’re trying to be secretive about what you’re selling or how much it costs.
- Creating a good looking site or product page that is easy to navigate and doesn’t have any accessibility issues like not being able to zoom in on a photo, for example.
- Promoting your business through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- Having customer feedback surveys (email/text).
- Networking with influencers in your niche.
- Having an online order form (so customers can purchase directly from you rather than having to go through a third party site).
- Having happy customers.
- Being transparent and honest with your marketing messages. This is important for both new potential clients as well as existing clients. If you don’t have the right information about how an order will be shipped or what’s in it – then make that clear.
- Having a strong brand and web design that sets you apart from the competition (more information about branding in video). Having an aesthetically pleasing website tells customers right away that they’re in safe hands. It’s important to make sure that you’re also using the right colors, fonts and logo design.
- Learning about email marketing and lead generation. This is another way to market your business as well as get new clients through your doors without having to spend too much on expensive advertising campaigns or PR teams. There are a few different ways of doing this: drip marketing, content marketing and email marketing.
- Creating a blog to help grow your online business. This is great because it allows you to have regular contact with clients which also helps them feel more connected to the company as well as building trust in what you’re doing too! Blogging can be done on any platform so long as they are regularly updated and give helpful, quality content.
- Creating a social media site to market your business. Social media sites are the perfect platform for getting in touch with existing clients or potential new ones too! It helps that most people will have accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram which means you can get quick access to them through these websites as well as others.
- Using an ecommerce website builder to make your business available online or working with a designer and developer who can produce the right site for you, including selecting product categories that are relevant to what you’re selling too.
- Setting up contracts such as copyright agreements so that only you own any content produced in relation to your products/services.
- Preparing images and video for your website that are professional quality. It’s easier to do this than ever with the rise of apps such as Instagram, but you might need some help.
- Getting a domain name where people can find you online is absolutely essential too so take a look at what options are available to you or work with a web developer to find the best one.
- Setting up your site with a shopping cart and using an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce is also vital for you. These platforms offer readymade designs that allow easy product uploads, a range of easily configurable options such as payment methods and shipping costs as well as stock management software.
- Do not forget about customer service. If you are going to be running an ecommerce business it’s vital that you have a customer service team in place before launch, as this is one of the most important factors for increasing your conversion rates and repeat purchases.
- Keep things simple at first! Don’t try to offer every possible product or price point straight away; instead focus on a small number of items and gradually expand your range when you’re sure that what you are doing is working well.
- Think about customer reviews! You might be tempted to leave this until after launch, but don’t forget the importance of these for customers in making their final purchase decision; try as much as possible to encourage happy shoppers to share their experiences by adding in-built review systems, and provide the opportunity for customers to leave feedback through your social media channels.
- Test different marketing ideas before launching to see what works for your business. You’ll have less wasted marketing spend if you’re confident that the product you’re selling will sell well before launching to the public, and it’s worth testing these ideas out on a small scale with paid advertising before committing fully.
- Test your pricing; there are a lot of variables, such as the product type and how you plan to market it. A/B testing can help determine what works for your target customers and will allow you to experiment with different price points without worrying if they’ll work or not.
- Invest in marketing; whether this is working with professional marketers or investing some time into yourself, it’s important to do your research and spend the money on promotion. Onboarding new customers will be a lot easier if you invest in marketing
What to avoid when launching an ecommerce business
- Putting all of your eggs in one basket. In order to stay afloat, it’s important to have a backup plan for marketing and promotion when something doesn’t work the way you expected or desired. For example, if you were promoting an Instagram campaign but found out customers are more likely to browse Twitter than they are Facebook then there might be a need to shift your marketing strategy altogether.
- Resorting to spammy tactics. Spammy content is hard for people both on the receiving and sending end of it, so don’t do it! It’s not just annoying and ineffective in terms of conversion rates – you’ll get penalized by Google within days if you rely heavily on this tactic.
- If the decision to start an ecommerce business is made on impulse or for the wrong reasons. Don’t be fooled by “overnight success” stories. It takes time and effort to make a business successful.
- Having too much inventory on hand.
- Not leveraging the power of automation.
Lessons learned by other ecommerce businesses are important
Remember the lessons learned by other ecommerce businesses. You’re not the first person to start an online business, so use of resources like case studies, articles from other people who have been through what you are trying to do, or even online ecommerce training courses.
You’ll be making a big investment in your business, so it’s worth spending some time beforehand researching marketplaces or products are most likely to succeed. That way, starting an ecommerce business will be worth it.
One way to conduct your research is to check out I Buy I Review. We buy online training programs that claim to teach you how to make lots of money as an online entrepreneur. Then we review these programs to determine if they’re legitimate or a scam.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.