Anybody who is willing to start an online business and sell goods have two main options: they can run their own ecommerce business or they can sell their products on already established online platforms such as ebay, Amazon and even on Facebook. But advertising on one of these already built platforms is really difficult because there are plenty of people who try advertise on those services to sell their products. In this case, you will have to provide your customers some sort of uniqueness in order to motivate them to buy your item.
Having an ecommerce shop is quite different than advertising your business on Amazon or eBay. There are some important aspects that you need to pay your attention to before starting an ecommerce shop. Among them, having a domain name, hosting provider and ecommerce shopping cart software play huge roles. Domain name is the unique name that you use to represent your business in the Internet. It is something like www.yourdomain.com. If you are going to sell your products only to local people, then it is always good to choose a country domain name such as .co.uk, .ca, .au. Because choosing a country domain name will help your customers to feel that you are local. But if you are aiming at selling your products to many countries, it is always good to go with a top level domain such as .com.
Secondly, you need to have a web hosting space where you can store all your web files. There are cheap hosting providers such as GoDaddy or HostGater. You can select a hosting package which you think is good for you from these hosting providers. Normally when you buy a hosting package, They provide you an email package so that you will be able to use domain base email addresses to maximize the professionalism of your ecommerce business.
Advantages of an ecommerce business
Think of a conventional street shop, whoever pass by the street will have an opportunity to come into the shop and buy what they need. But the concept of ecommerce is quite different than that. When you have an ecommerce store, you are having a much larger customer base because anybody from anywhere can visit your ecommerce website to purchase your products. Bigger customer base gives you much opportunities to sell your products more than in a conventional store. This will Immensely help you to boost your profit.
Another significant behaviour of ecommerce website is, it stays open all 24/7 without any efforts. Customers can visit your ecommerce shop at any time of the day. They can place orders even in the middle of the night, while travelling or doing some other work. Therefore, being able to sell your products regardless of hours of the day is a huge advantage for your ecommerce business.
Ecommerce businesses do not have much overhead costs. Owners of ecommerce businesses do not need to pay rent for the shop, electricity bills, water bills, Gas bills and other bills. They do not have to pay for employees a lot. Therefore, they quite enjoy the freedom of having less overhead cost.
There is another hidden advantage that people do not realized: You do not have to have a huge capital to start an ecommerce business. You can ask your supplier to provide you one of each product that you wish to sell and then you can display them in your ecommerce shop. This way you can reduce the initial cost for your products to open your ecommerce shop.
Drop-shipping is one of another biggest advantages that an ecommerce shops have than a conventional stores. You, as a business owner, will be able to minimize your inventory cost by using Drop-ship methods. In Drop-ship method, products are shipped to consumers straight from the manufactures but manufactures will put your label on the parcel or packaging so that it will look like you send them.
What do you need to start an ecommerce shop
Even though starting an ecommerce business is relatively easy when comparing to conventional stores, there are number of aspects that you need to pay attention to.
- Product To Sell: Of course you have to have something to sell. It could be anything because you are selling over the internet. But you should not choose the food products as they expire very quickly. On here I would say it would be much better if you could choose consumable products other than food items. Because it would create repeating customers to your store. For an example a toothbrush is much more consumable than a laptop or a TV because once the period of the tooth brush is over, there is a plenty of chances for a customer to return to your ecommerce shop for buying a new one.
- Domain Name: In the process of selecting the domain name for your ecommerce website, it is better if you can include your business related word within your domain name. This will hugely help you in search engine ranking. Most of online business have domain names end in either .com or country domains.
- Web Hosting Service: You will have to have a web hosting space which you can use to store your web files. There are cheap web hosting providers. But as your business grow, you will have to handle multiple customers at the same time. To maximize the concurrency and scalability, you need to think about the bandwidth while purchasing your hosting space. We are more than happy to help you if you need any assistance with this.
- Ecommerce Website: Ecommerce website is the platform of your success. Therefore, it is always good to choose a good ecommerce platform such as Magento, Open cart or Woo-commerce. The design and the look of your ecommerce website must have an ability to motivate customers to purchase products from it. Linking social media pages to your website will navigate traffic into the website and as a result you will be able to have higher conversion rate. Designing of a mobile friendly ecommerce website will allow all mobile device users to use it without any hindrance.
- Security of the Ecommerce Website :This is one of the most important aspect that should pay your attention to. There are number of hackers out there seeking the vulnerabilities of ecommerce websites. Therefore, it is important that you have taken enough efforts to protect yourself from them. Scanning your website for vulnerabilities is a must and if a vulnerability is found, it is always good to patch it immediately. Getting the service from SiteLock will enable you to have automatic regular scans though your ecommerce site for malware. This will also indicate your customers that your ecommerce website is malware free. In the process of selecting the payment gateway, security is important. Payment gateways such as PayPal and SagePay provide you extra added security while processing credit or debit card details of your customers. It is also good to use SSL certified URLs which could encrypt sensitive information before sending them from one location to another. You can buy SSL certificates from hosting providers while buying the hosting package from them.