As an entrepreneur, you want to expand your business so that it’s seen by a wider audience. And a great way of doing this is through e-commerce. If you want to attract international customers, gain notoriety and increase revenue, creating your own website or selling through a platform such as Amazon is a great path to take.
However, selling online isn’t as easy as it might initially seem. You’ll need to ensure that you’re aware of the ins and outs of selling before you take the leap – as well as knowing the best techniques that you can use.
To help give you a headstart, here are the top 5 factors that you must consider when looking to enter the e-commerce world.
Do You Have A Market?
Take a look at your customer base. Will they be interested when you sell your products online? Is there enough scope for you to expand? Many entrepreneurs and startups can reap the benefits of selling their products and services online – whether they are producing niche or mass-market products. But it’s not for everyone.
Before creating a website or using an e-commerce platform, it’s therefore worth carrying out some market research, to gauge how successful your business will be by taking this step. You should also look at your market and look at how successful other similar businesses are online.
Following on from the above point, you must look at what competition you would face by selling your products online. Success is often based on how well you directly respond to this; if you recognize how you can stand out, rather than blend into the background, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.
To gain a competitive advantage over others in your market, you should consider:
- How you’ll price your products.
- Ways in which you will continuously improve them.
- How you market your products – whether it be through social media, TV advertising, etc.
Assess Your Customer Base.
As well as looking at your prospective market, you should also pay attention to the demand for your products. By defining your customer base, you’ll be able to uncover the reasons why they might buy from you. You can then design your website around the customer’s journey, making the purchasing and navigating process a lot more efficient.
Are There Any Listing Fees?
If you’ve opted to sell your products via an e-commerce platform, such as eBay, Etsy or Amazon, you’ll have to look at their listing fees and if there are any other terms and conditions that will affect your overall sales.
For example, each of those platforms requires a percentage of your profits you achieve from each sale. For startups, this might make the difference process a little harder, especially when you’re initially growing your business.
As well as this, you should also look at other cons of selling on each platform. For example, on Aliexpress, Konga and Jumia once you’ve started selling your products there, you might see counterfeits of your design cropping up. Although you should have a copyright/patent on your product, you should also report counterfeits on these platforms so that they are aware of what’s happened.
What’s The Purchase Process?
When selling online, you want the purchase process to be as simple as possible for your customers. Otherwise, they might abandon their basket and seek a similar product elsewhere. To do this successfully, you will want to inform your customers up-front of the process and keep it within sight at all times.
If you’re selling on a third-party e-commerce platform, you’ll also want to be aware of the purchasing process and if there are any payment processing fees associated with it.