If you’d like to make a few extra thousand dollars every month, you might want to consider setting up your own ecommerce business. According to Forbes magazine, online retailer sales grew by more than 15 percent last year, making it one of the most lucrative markets in the world, and certainly more exciting than regular retail.
But getting set up in the sector and actually launching a successful product requires quite a bit of consideration. If you really want to make the big bucks, you’re going to have to do better than expand your eBay page. You’ll need to figure out a way to appeal to a niche group of customers and get them to do business with you, over and over again.
Choose The Right Product
The first challenge you face is to choose the right industry and product. Products and industries differ considerably, and so there are many different ways you could attack the industry. Perhaps the most important question is the amount of money you’ll make on each sale. Many online products sell at a margin of more than 35 percent, but those margins vary a lot on the type of industry you’re in. If for instance, you’re in the electronics business, then your margins will be a lot lower. It’s basically up to you to decide whether the money you get from each sale is worth the effort of selling. If it’s not, it might be time to switch to a different product.
The other important consideration is whether you’re passionate about the thing that you’re selling. Usually, people get into selling things that are related to their hobbies. It’s a kind of lifestyle approach to business, but when it comes to ecommerce sites, it can often give you the edge on the competition. If you have in-depth blogs and great customer support, people will naturally gravitate to you and stop using your competitors who are retailers first and enthusiasts second.
Set Up Your Procurement
Procurement – or getting products into the hands of customers – is arguably the hardest part of being in the ecommerce business. To the surprise of many, ecommerce retailers are surprisingly physical operations. Stuff still has to be shipped to and from warehouses in vast quantities.
The first step is to determine your actual size needs. What volume of products does your business see? Experts, like Armstrong building systems, suggest calculating this before placing any orders for warehouse space. Often you’ll find that you need a lot more volume than you anticipate, especially if you’re going to be using things like forklift trucks.
The next is to calculate whether you’ll need to take new people on to operate the warehouse or whether it’s something you have time and skill to do yourself. Third party procurement services are always an option.
Create A Compelling Website
In many ways, constructing the website should be the last thing that you do. The website is the finishing touch of the ecommerce business, once all of the hard logistical challenges are out of the way. The vast majority of ecommerce companies choose a platform through which to operate their store, either OpenCart, which is free, or Shopify, which you have to pay a small premium for. Both these options allow you to get started quickly and grow your business from your dorm.