In spite of the few disadvantages associated with the internet, the leverage or boost that it has given to e-commerce leaves one with no choice but to appreciate. Do you know that today you can open an online store and sell online from the comfort of your pillow? It’s very common to hear people share great business ideas only to end up by saying “I wish I had the capital.” Today I have some good news! You can make money online with little or no capital. If you left college and are wondering which direction to take, then follow these simple tips and thank me later.
Equip yourself with the proper knowledge
It would be an error of judgment for anyone to venture into something they know little about. Similarly, for you to lay a good foundation for an online venture, first take some quick classes on how to run an online business.
- Read widely about e-commerce
- Approach pioneers in the game (You can do this by talking to players who own small scale e-commerce sites or chat with them through relevant forums. Avoid big retailers since you are just starting )
- You can also reflect on your personal shopping experience, i.e. your likes and dislikes
- Be on the lookout for upcoming e-commerce exhibitions and be there to learn
Mark your online selling business competitors
You can determine the anticipated competition by browsing search engines for the products that you intend to sell. You can even purchase some cheaper products on their sites to see their quality of service.
Be well advised regarding your proposition and pricing
Make an effort to get answers to these questions
- What are you offering that is different from your competitors?
- Why would a client choose to buy from your store?
- Are you able to add value and probably charge more?
Sharpen your cost controlling skills
Prepare to be in full charge of your business cash flow. This means you have to be hands-on, making sure your spreadsheet is well updated and that your cash- in and cash- out details are tallying. Have a weekly review of this to notice any potential pitfalls
Identify the ideal technology
Avoid pumping too much of your initial capital on sophisticated technology and instead, save it for pulling traffic and making conversions. If anything, choose a low-cost e-commerce platform that has most of the features that you need as a start-up. Also, confirm if they have an upgrade path just in case there will arise any need for sophistication on your part.
This means you have to go for a technology that has a proven track record and a thriving community of users who may lay a support network base for you. Consider selling on Marketplaces like Etsy, Shopify eBay, Amazon, etc…. See https://www.shopify.co.uk/online-store
DIY and the marketplace
There are two ways to start. You can choose to set up shop in a marketplace like Shopify or built your own. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each and settle for the most viable option. Starting your store may be slightly expensive because you must hire a web designer and foot all the accompanying cost.
Fix your website well
First of all, you should know whether you want to run your online shop in the marketplaces or your own online store website. Comparatively, launching a shop in the marketplace is much cheaper than hiring a web designer to build you one from scratch. Whichever way, ensure that everything is working well. If you chose to create your own store, just make sure the finished site is user – friendly to you and your clients. You can ask your buddies to try it out preferably in your presence.
Do everything to ensure that your store is reliable since it is going to take orders around the 24hrs period. You may need to be hosted by a third party although that will largely depend on whether your cart is cloud-based or desktop.
How to receive payments
Currently, it is advisable to go with the card payment system. However, newbies who are yet master the industry ropes are encouraged to start with PayPal, Skrill or any other plan at that level. Although PayPal was originally cut out for people purchasing goods on eBay, they can now meet the needs of any company. Actually, PayPal is a standard feature for nearly all commercial websites.
Be ready to flip with the changing times
E-commerce is one of the most dynamic business sectors. Did you know that more and more consumers are turning to the convenience of online shopping to meet their regular needs? Recent statistics indicate that over 50% of UK retail sales happen through digital handsets (Mobile phones and Tablets). Online transactions take place in an instant meaning that e-commerce is basically on a fast lane. Therefore staying ahead of the game will ensure that you get early wind of the changes and update or reposition your shop to remain relevant and profitable.
Leverage social media
Today, most mobile phone users are on one social media platform or the other. If not facebook or Instagram, you will find them on Twitter or Pinterest. Just define which social media channel is ideal for your audience. For example, DIY products may work well on YouTube, while clothing for the youth will do well on Instagram. Develop the habit of making inspirational, relevant or useful content which points back to your website. It should be content that engages your target audience in a manner that boosts your brand.
Identify your online selling Business audience
Strive to map out your target audience and determine your balance or strength among your competitors. Not unless yours is an entirely new business idea, chances are, some websites are already offering a similar service or product. Therefore inventing a way of speaking directly to your potential clients is likely to yield conversions. Work hard reaching out to your audience in a proper tone that resonates well them and you will slowly start seeing a positive response.
With these few ideas, there is no reason why your dream to own an online business shouldn’t take off. Just remember the two points; you need to choose whether to create your own shop or Sell products online platforms.