Some people believe that to set up an e-commerce business is confusing especially when the venture do not hav-e the necessary groundwork. There were many cases of brick and mortar brands going into the business but eventually failed due to haphazard planning. Effort was not made to carefully plan the steps from the website development to the payment gateway to be implemented.
Many businesses had to do online selling due to the COVID 19 pandemic, However, when thinking of an e-commerce business this should always require careful planning and understanding of what it entails to ensure operational efficiency. Once the business is online adjustments can be made in terms of marketing and promotions.
Planning for an e-commerce business
Once decided that an e-commerce business would be implemented, there are some considerations and factors including the potential pitfalls. The following questions should be asked:
- What products are sellable?
- What content do we need to attract customers?
- How will the products be delivered?
- What payments would be available?
Another factor is to have a brand that customers can be familiar with when it comes to the products. The branding should be consistent in order to have a presence online.
There is a possibility that the products to be sold are already established and that the business will have existing competitors. When this is happening, the ecommerce site must strive to be more attractive with competitive prices and promotions. It would be a good idea to study the competition and offer something unique for a change to attract clients.
An understanding of the business model is important. The ecommerce owner must determine the model that works for the business. The ecommerce business uses many models that are quite different from traditional selling. Considerations on delivery time and safety of product is a must if repeat customers are encouraged.
Here are the initial costs involved when setting up an ecomerce site:
- Website development and hosting
- Content needs
- Payment gateways
- Project management
- Logistics support
- Legal support
It would be advisable to get an expert on digital marketing as a start to be guided.
Set the business goals
Be sure to know if the business will manufacture or dropship products. The clientele must be informed of this model to manage their expectations. The difference between the two is on the ownership of the product. When the business manufactures, the product is owned by the ecommerce site while for dropshipping, it is initially owned by another party. Control is not readily available for drop shipped items and this can be a pitfall.
How to setup the ecommerce website
These are the most common elements of an ecommerce website:
- Home page – This is the forefront of the website and must contain featured products and other attractive elements.
- Category pages – A listing or summary of the categories of products for faster search by customers.
- Product pages – Breakdown of products with descriptions and other elements including prices
- Shopping cart – Allows customers to mark and choose the products that they want to purchase
- Checkout – Once the customer is ready to convert, clicking this option allows them to order and pay for the items chosen.
- Payment gateway – This shows option for payment.
- Navigation, site search, and filters -For easier access to products and other important features
The basic secret for an e-commerce business is to use available resources. A digital marketing agency can provide knowledge and skills in key areas of the business. Be sure to seek assistance for the success of the business.