Web sales are a must in every business these days, the biz can be an established online-only mart through online shopping options. If we fail to provide our customers with a way for them to buy goods and products/services online they quickly desert us and take their cash somewhere else.
Of the total user expenditure, e-commerce tally for 17.5% as of the 2 nd Quarter of 2017 which can also, be said as $1 is spent online for every $6 in the US.
There are numbers of benefits for online shopping:
- Precious time can be saved through online shopping
- Cost Comparison of any product
- Saves us the discomfort of going to crowded malls
- and provides us with access to a bigger variety of our needed products
There are two methods for enlisting the products online :
- You can either run our e-commerce website
- You can make use of any of the well-established e-com marketplaces.
Latter is start-up friendly and is easy. The Former will need multiple services and software like domains, web hosting, shopping cart managing plugins, and payment processors. Young biz start-ups can easily set up their online store in any of the giant multichannel e-com places in the game like Amazon, eBay, etc.
Perks of E-commerce Business
There are various benefits of online trading of products and services which includes:
- Outreaching to a huge customer base rather than limited reach at the offline sales point
- Services or products are not anymore restricted to only a few localities but can be delivered out of the locality
- Irrespective of the country or place, consumers can surf the online sites which increase the significant profit ratio
The online stores can be accessed by the consumers 24*7 when the local offline stores are only accessible for a few hours in a day. So the seller can fill his pockets with money and earn profits at any point of time in 24 hours.
For operating an e-commerce business, the seller does not need to pay the rent or set up an offline office for his employees or give monthly payouts to several employees which results in a low-cost business solution. So a huge amount of money can be spared.
Unlike offline stores, online stores are not required to be fully loaded with the inventory all the time, hence the lumpsum inventory cost can be saved. Also, at times the online sellers can follow the drop-shipping method which allows the product to be shipped directly from the manufacturer to the buyer.
It is the best way to start a small scale business where the business can be expanded based on the profit ratio. E-commerce enterprise can be easily entended step-by-step without any pressure. Expansion of the online business also does not require huge workstations as offline stores do.
Flaws of E-commerce Business
With Perks E-commerce has its flaws too.
For a good business relationship, there must be some interaction between both the parties – the customer and the seller, in person. Online stores often fail to follow this essential point.
Well established business having an offline presence can interact personally with their customers and buyers, but for online shops, the only way to retain some personal relationship is through indirect means of support like email or live chat.
E-commerce enterprises also have many rivals in the same field, each one selling the same product/service at a comparable price. If one business enterprise is selling one item, some 10 other E-commerce giants are selling the same item at their online stores. It means these online ventures need to work harder than their offline counterparts in promoting their business on a global scale and always step ahead from competitors.
There can be various bugs with e-commerce business models. These businesses are run online and hence if there arises any problem regarding the website or its payment processors or anything related to the online mechanism, our business has to put offline to get the repair done.
These issues can cause the business to lose our valuable clients and money as well in the process.
Necessities for An E-commerce Business
Being easy to start with does not mean that e-commerce business can be managed that easily. There are several how, why and what, which must be considered before. To help you grow with positive efforts, here is the outlined list of the important factors which require serious attention while opening an e-commerce business.
Unique Domain Name
Every online business brand requires a unique domain name for its website. A domain defines the unique address of the online business so that it can be easily found by the consumers. The domain name must match the business name.
The very basic and significant factor for starting a business is its product or services which can be sold. Irrespective of the size, anything can be sold using the online platform. The services can also be digital or online products that can be downloaded and installed on a smartphone or computer.
Now we are all done with setting up our e-commerce business online, only one thing left which is the most essential in generating some revenue on this online channel – Marketing.
Every business needs profitable marketing strategies, and the same thing applies to the online business as well. While branding our online business channel, we must devise a way to attract customers to our published website for successful transactions, thereby generating some revenue.
The website is the online center of our business. It features all our product, its features, and specialties in a catalog manner with the help of web hosting services and other software. Through this website, we sell our products directly to our consumers. The design of the website must be attractive enough to get a lot of prospects.
Through the website, we are promoting our business to the crowd. But some customers shop online through mobile and smartphones. Hence we must optimize our website to make it run smooth and clear on mobile as well. Our business website should change its size and layout automatically for mobile users so that they can browse and shop with ease on smaller screens.
Payment Gateway Providers
Our online website needs payment gateway providers to deal with debit card and credit card transactions. The Gateway acts as a bridge between the business, client and the bank. The gateway provider sees the transaction, accepts money from the bank and transfer it to the business’ i.e. merchant account. Payment Gateway Provider is a must in online business to accept money from our clients for our paid orders.
Web Hosting Services
Web Hosting Service is a must for our online business. It publishes our created website online so that our prospects can see our products/services in their mobiles, laptops, etc. Web hosting services act as storage for our data files which are the base of our website and then it upload these files on the web for our clients who reach it by entering our registered domain.
Software for Managing Shopping Cart
Suppose one customer is on our website browsing for products they need, and upon getting their required item, they wish to buy it. How is it possible? They need to add it to their cart and checkout. Now for an online shopping website, we need to have software for managing this shopping cart’s needs of the consumer. Also while helping in their transactions, our shopping cart software should have add-on features like setting up shipping, its costs and overall taxes on selected products.
Failing to do so beforehand will only attract losses.
Bhagyashree Soni is a software engineer with soft writing skills. She is a degree holder from the International School of Entrepreneurial Leadership. She has been a state-level badminton champion and chess player. A woman with a forthright attitude enjoys her writing passion as her chosen career. Writing in the context of feminism, social-cause and entreprenurship is her forte.