What is an e-commerce business? Also, known as electronic commerce, it includes all the activity of selling and buying of products or services, over the internet. Read more here.
How to build an e-commerce business
Here are the steps to help you build your e-commerce business.
1. Do market research and choose your niche.
Market research allows you to determine if what you want to do is viable if it has the potentiality of making revenue in the future. Many people want to start a business in the niche they want. But sometimes after total market research, they will find out that it is a very competitive niche. And many after taking into consideration the result of there market search, they change.
When you do your market search be sure to pay attention to your result. And if the niche is too competitive, you better change. And, market research helps also in knowing your competition. Learn what they are doing, why it is working and how you can do it better.
Choose your niche accordingly, I usually advise to take something which is not too competitive for a start. But a niche which already has a certain demand. Unless you have experience and preexisting clients, do not go for a highly competitive niche.
2. Find your suppliers.
Where will you get your products from? Be sure to find a supplier for what you are gonna offer your clients. If it is a homemade product, find reliable suppliers for your raw materials. Today we have the choice to manufacture our own products, to do a wholesale or a dropshipping business. But in all choosing a good supplier is crucial.
Even for a service-based, an e-commerce, like a hotel booking service, you need to make sure that the hoteliers you are working with are bind with a contract. Because, it will kill your business if people book and show up for check-in but the rooms are not available or are not clean.
3. Choose a business name.
Choose a business name that reflects the nature of your business. And it can also be the name of your website. This is a very important step. Because, it is what people will keep in mind. So, make sure to choose something pretty and memorable.
It is also the same name that you will use to create your logo. And this is an image or design representative of your business. You can craft it in your packing material to get your client use to it. The logo also needs to be attractive and unique.
4. Get a website:
Because, in an e-commerce business everything is done online, your first step will be to get a website. We talked more about this subject in our other post on creating a website for your business.
Now the specification for an e-commerce website is that you need a website that will allow you to have transactions. Where your clients can find there needed products or services and purchase directly from the website.
For the image above, it is an online store selling fashion items online. If that is your goal, you will need to have that specific look. Because, it allows your clients to get a better look at the product before purchase. And that website allows them to chase and buy directly from your website.
And, if your goal is to create an e-commerce business offering services, you may want to opt for another look for your website. Like this one below.
What we need to keep in mind is that when we create a website for our e-commerce business. We need to choose a theme or template which will allow us to expose our product in the best way possible. And make it easy for our visitors to navigate and find their products. Also, makes a simple way for them to purchase.
5. Get your e-commerce ready for SEO
This is an e-commerce business and laws of SEO apply too. But they are a bit easier than what applies to blogs and text content websites.
– On-page SEO:
You need to make sure that your pages are SEO friendly. In your product title, description and product category make sure to use Keywords. Yes, you need to go for a keyword search, use tools like Jaaxy. And you will get to know if your chosen keywords are too competitive, has any monthly impression or is too competitive.
Make sure your images have an alt tag. Because, that is what tells the search engines about the relevance of your images. And add a meta description to your products.
Link building is another great way to tell search engines that your content is relevant. You can get links in so many ways. But for an e-commerce, I find that social media is a great place to get links. Create a social media profile and share your content there, if people are interested, they will easily share it. But do not forget to have internal links.
Get your page speed at the top. Slow website ranks poorly in search engines.
– Off-page SEO:
After creating your e-commerce, use google search console and bing master tool to submit your content for index. Without that, the search engines will take a very long time before indexing your content. So, you need to submit it and you will get indexed faster.
You can create a product video to reach more people in different video sharing platforms like YouTube. And, you will get more backlinks from it.
– Mobile optimization:
Get a theme or template with a mobile-friendly formula. Today, many people connect via there phones and in other places, they do more via phones than any other device.
If your theme does not have a mobile-friendly formula, you can use the AMP tool to help you design a new theme for your mobile version. It should be fast to download via mobile.
– Create a blog:
Having a blog besides your e-commerce is a great feature. Because, you will need to create content hastily. And, that will tell google that your e-commerce is still viable.
Normally with an e-commerce, you create your product and services, then all you do is drive traffic. And you do not need to create products or services on a regular basis. So, search engines may think that your e-commerce is not relevant anymore. But when you attach a blog to your e-commerce with the constant posting of relevant content, you will keep ranking.
– Google shopping:
Join Google shopping. If you have product-based e-commerce, do not neglect this feature. It is a paid service within google where you display your products. When someone searches for a product the first result comes as product images. The person is able to compare from different stores and purchase.
6. Market your products or services.
Marketing is a beautiful thing. It can bring your business from zero to thousands in a day. All you need is to do it right. An e-commerce has a variety of possibilities for online marketing. You can create text ads, image ads or video ads.
And you can place your ads in social media, search engines or create an affiliate program.
– Social media marketing:
It is the not so secret weapon of online business. Many achieve great success with it and others not so much success. But all will tell it is worth the trial. With millions of people on social media, it is the place to be for any kind of business.
You can contact a social media management agency or get one in house social media manager. I will always advise getting a professional. Because, social media marketing is a full-time job and you can only achieve great success if you treat it as so.
– Search engines marketing:
This service is the most expensive and requires a lot of experience. But fortunately, it is not something that you need every day. So, you can contact an agency to help you when needed, to optimize your content and take care of your website health. The good thing with SEO is that when you start ranking, traffic is free.
– Affiliate program:
Create your own affiliate program. This will multiply your sales and revenue. There are two ways to create your affiliate program, as I explained in this article here.
The greatest advantage is that when your brand is established via an affiliate program, your marketing budget will decrease.
Impact of an e-commerce business.
The boom of e-commerce has impacted the business world entirely.
The online market is expected to grow by 56% in 2015–2020. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021
– Geographical impact:
Today people can buy products or services from countries they have never heard of. Because, there is no geographical limitation for an e-commerce. You can advertise in places you could have never reached otherwise. As long as you can deliver your products and services to there location. People will be interested in buying from you.
– Competition impact:
In the old days, we could not identify where to buy at a lower price or a wholesale price. But today, we have e-commerce which sales at factory price. Allowing you to get the product you need at a better cost.
We have the possibility to search and compare prices online. The broker and others in the supply chain who were taking advantage of that part of the business, have today less and fewer jobs.
– Employment impact:
With the rise of online business, many traditional businesses had to close and many people were jobless.
But this has also another happy impact. It is that many people today own their e-commerce and create jobs or others too. It is cheaper than a traditional business and you do not necessarily need to rent a business place when you are just starting.
– Customers impact:
We as customers are the happiest. Because, we can buy and get delivered from the comfort of our home. We get to shop around and find the right price for us. And we can find everything we need online. From food, clothing, household products to high-quality products and services.
The danger of e-commerce is trust.
The biggest danger of e-commerce is that we do not know who is behind the computer. That is why at the beginning of your e-commerce business, you need to win the trust of your customers. You need to be transparent with your customers and be ready to pay back there cash.
The trust that the product and services will be delivered as promised. Because, all we see is an image of what we want, with a guarantee that it will be exactly as in the picture. You need to deliver exactly what you display to your customers. Otherwise, your business will not last. Because, your unsatisfied client will give a review of what you did. And no one else will come back.
But if you are faithful to your client, delivering on time the exact product. You will get yourself customers and brand ambassador for free.
Conclusion of what is an e-commerce business.
So, what is an e-commerce business? I hope you got the answer to this question and even more. An e-commerce business will allow growing your business reaching more and more clients every day. Even locally, it gives you the possibility to establish your brand faster.
It is really a nice business model with great potentiality. Are you ready to start your e-commerce business? If it is not for good enough for you. You may wanna check the list of successful online business ideas.
Thanks for reading, leave a comment below.