E-commerce is the future of business. Any business concern that does not have an online presence will lag in the race to earn revenues and have a wider customer base. To start an ecommerce business, you need to build an e-commerce site that is impressive and fulfills the needs of the customers.
Mentioned below are steps to start your online business or e business in India:
Step 1- Making a perfect Business plan and Revenue Modal
Making a robust business plan is the first step for an entrepreneur. It is a strategic tool to make your business idea a success. A business plan states both short and long-term goals of a business and without the same, your business will lack direction.
Even amazing business ideas can fail if there is no lucid plan to execute them. So, whether you want to raise funds from investors, or create product differentiation in the market, a business plan is simply quintessential.
A business plan will also help you identify your weak points and consequently make the right decisions. The business plan is like a roadmap to turn your ideas and thoughts into reality. You need a plan of action to reach your customers.
Build a revenue modal that is in sync with your product and target market. Fulfilling a need is just one part of the story; you require a strategy to monetize your business plan. So, come up with a revenue model that is a win-win for you and the customer.
Step 2- Name your Brand
The second step is to search for a suitable name for your brand. Go for something that people can identify with and is easy to relate to. Steer clear of complicated brand names as they are hard to memorize. The brand name should tell the customers about the product.
Step 3- Register Your Company Name and Trademark
The next step is to get your company or e commerce store name and trademark registered so that nobody can copy them. Also, it saves you from the hassle of picking up the name that your competitor has. If you pick up a name that is already been used by your competitor, you can land up in a legal quagmire.
Step 4- Choose the perfect domain and hosting
Even though you would not want to spend too much time on getting your site ready, checking whether the domain name is available or not is absolutely important. In case your domain name is used by someone else then you can think of something else.
Step 5- Decide the Legal Structure of your E-commerce business
After this, you must decide about the legal structure of your business. The entity type that you go in for will have serious implications on your electronic commerce operations. Some different entity types that you can choose are sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation.
Step 6- Make a Perfect store
The e-commerce store that you create should be seamless. It should offer easy navigability and usage. When things are cumbersome the user will bounce away from your site faster than you would know. Also, integrate attractive offers and schemes to lure the customers.
Pick up the right platform to build your e-commerce store. One of the most sought after and trusted platform for creating an e-commerce store is Shopify. It is user friendly and has different plans for the business owners.
Another trusted platform is WooCommerce. It is an open-source platform ideal for people that hold some technical expertise and skill to benefit from it being open-source.
Then there is Magento which will help you customize everything about your online store.
Step 7- Choose the reliable vendor partner
Go for dependable vendor partners that work with you through different challenges. When you sell only authentic and high-quality products, your customers are sure to stick with you. You require vendor partners that have your back. If you want to deliver the best to your clients, you require the best vendor partners.
These vendor partners understand your work, deliver amazing customer service and bolster your revenue generations efforts. Choosing the right vendor partners will save you from a lot of problems in the long run.
Step 8- Start Early Marketing
Begin with marketing right at the start. Creating a brilliant product is one side of the story but it is marketing that will take your product forward. Do not shy away from trying out different channels to market your product.
From social media marketing to sending e-mails or partnering with affiliate marketers, you can use different techniques to reach out to your target audience.
Step 9- Improve Customer services
Under no circumstances should customer services be ignored. Customer service is the base of your relationship with your client and it should be strong so that your clients open up in front of you with whatever they want.
Also, pay heed that customer services are prompt. This will lead to brand loyalty and trust-building.
Step 10- Adopt Growth hack and digital marketing
Digital marketing is seen to offer positive outcomes for all businesses. Use digital marketing tools to reach clients and retain them. Some of the most powerful digital marketing tools that you must use are search engine optimization, content marketing, email marketing, AdWords, etc. Use these tools to accrue maximum benefits for your e-commerce site.
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Step 11- Expand the business
Starting a business does not mean you should not work on its expansion. Add on new products now and then and have an expansion plan ready once things begin rolling.
Why you should start your e-commerce business?
Now the question arises why should you have an online business? What benefits does it offer? Is it necessary to create a business website and reach your customers? Here we will tell you why you should build an online business.
- Wider Audience – An online business is sure to give you a wider audience. With an online site, you can reach people all over the world. With a physical store, the number of people you can cater to is limited.
But with an online store, anybody present in any part of the world can access your product or service. All they need to do is pay for it and the product gets delivered right to their doorstep.
- Increases Revenues – More customers mean more revenues. So, the online store is a good way to pump up your revenues as you will have more potential buyers for your product.
The buying is fast at an online store. All a customer has to do is browse through the online collection of things, put it in his/ her cart, and place the order.
- Low Overhead Costs – Maintaining an online store is far cheaper as compared to having a physical store. For a physical store, you need to pay rent, hire staff and bear several other overhead expenses. And sometimes after doing this you do not end up earning a good return on investment. An E-commerce store is an affordable proposition and necessitates less investment in comparison to a physical store.
Challenges you will face
Every business comes with its risks and challenges. If you open an online store you have your own set of challenges that you need to tackle with utmost efficiency and strategy. Mentioned below are some challenges that an online business owner has to face.
- Overcome the competition– Online store faces more competition than physical store as information is accessible to all on the internet. People can do a price comparison and then go for the online seller that offers the best bargain.
The average conversion rate for e-commerce sites is less than 3%, so driving relevant traffic to your site is crucial.
- RTO issues-RTO means the return of goods to the original pickup point. It is important to address this problem otherwise it will trim down the profitability of your online business hugely.
One good way to combat this issue is to have appropriate product descriptions and images accompanying different products that you sell.
- Find a perfect and smart inventory- Having a good inventory is no child’s play. An online store has the challenge of maintaining the right inventory to keep its customers glued. If customers do not get things that they like, they will fast shift their loyalty to some other online shopping portal
- Cyber security– For most online business owners, security is a key concern. There should be a strategy to handle any cyber attack as downtime due to any reason can be a costly proposition.
E-commerce business is the future. If you want to create a presence in the market it is vital to offer your products for sale on the web. Follow the steps mentioned above to set up your e-commerce site, however, be wary of the challenges that you will face on the way.