Today, eCommerce is easily one of the fastest-growing and most profitable industries to be a part of.
And what’s more, it’s become more accessible than ever for individuals to learn the skills needed to build profitable eCommerce businesses!
eCommerce is simply the act of selling products or services online through a website store, affiliate marketing, or dropshipping, rather than selling things in traditional brick and mortar stores.
Today, platforms like Shopify and Etsy make building an online store accessible for virtually anyone out there.
So if you’re looking to get into eCommerce, keep reading as we explore a few simple tips for launching your first eCommerce business on a shoestring budget.
Choose Your Business Model
When it comes to eCommerce, there are several different business models you can choose from.
Your business model is how you plan to sell your products or services to generate profits for your company.
For instance, you might choose a more traditional business model where you purchase products at wholesale costs and then resell those products via your online store.
Or, eComm entrepreneurs might choose other types of business models, such as affiliate marketing or dropshipping.
With affiliate marketing, individuals can choose to promote and sell other people’s products or services via their website, usually via clickable hyperlinks in blog posts and website pages.
Dropshipping is another common eCommerce business model where an individual can launch an online store without purchasing their inventory beforehand.
After you’ve settled on a business model that you’re sure you can make work, the next step is to put everything together into a business plan.
Write Your Business Plan
If you want to run a successful business, you’ll need to create a professional business plan. Your business plan is used to help keep you on track with your business affairs and can also help if you’re interested in approaching investors for business funding or government grants.
You can use free online resources to help you find business plan templates and examples.
Note that writing a business plan does require a bit of slightly more detailed market research needed to make financial projections and predictions about your business model.
Therefore, you might even want to consider hiring a professional to write your business plan for you.
At the same time, you’ll also want to create a brand guide, which will outline everything related to your company’s voice and brand personality, such as your business logo, business cards, visual graphics, imagery, and more.
Finding Your Niche
Whatever business model you choose for your eComm business, you’ll need to find your niche.
Your niche is the specialized segment of your target market to plan on target with the products or service you plan on selling.
Within any broader target market, such as men’s clothing, there are several more distinct market segments or niches of different individuals and demographic groups.
For instance, within men’s clothing, one example of a niche market would be clothing for bigger and taller men or apparel designed specifically for older gentlemen.
The more precise you are with your target market, the more successful you’ll be at finding and selling your audience products they already want and look for online.
Fortunately, tools like Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google’s Keyword Planner make it easy to study your target market to help you find the right ways to connect your new eComm business with your audience.
The most significant and most labour-intensive part of creating an eCommerce business is making your business plan and studying your marketing positioning and target market.
After that, you’ll need to get busy promoting your online store or website via social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing, which is likely when you’ll need to start investing more into your business to drive more traffic for your business.
However, your business plan increases the likelihood that for every dollar you invest into your business, you’ll be getting even more back!
Written by: Laura Harrison