In December 2010, an improv comedian found himself in an unlikely conversation with a long-time family friend.
An absurd party conversation about shaving and razor blades eventually led to the birth of one of the biggest eCommerce businesses. The business became so successful that in July 2016, Unilever shelled out a whopping $1 billion to buy the venture.
This is the story of the dollar shave club.
Dollar shave club is an eCommerce success story any entrepreneur can model – if they have a great eCommerce business idea and a relentless execution to get things done.
If you have been thinking about selling products on the internet, now is the best time to get the ball rolling. In this guide, you’ll learn how to get your eCommerce business off the ground. Just so we’re on the same page, here’s what we mean by an eCommerce business.
What Is An Ecommerce Business?
An eCommerce business is an online business that involves buying and selling goods on the internet. An eCommerce business could be a brand selling products to another brand or selling products directly to customers via the internet.
According to business reports, by the year 2040, 95 percent of purchases will be through eCommerce.This is a dead giveaway of how massive the eCommerce industry is about to be.
Here’s how to get started.
Evaluating Your Ecommerce Business Idea
Hopefully, you have an idea of the business you’ll like to start. If not, it’s a great time to brainstorm and research eCommerce business ideas.
Research successful eCommerce businesses to understand why these businesses work. It’s important to know that not all business models will work for every business. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
After deciding on your business, the next step is validating your idea. Many entrepreneurs understand this step as finding product-market fit. It simply means finding a customer base for the products you intend to sell.
Here are a few questions to answer to validate your business idea:
- What’s your brand’s personality?
- What benefit does your product render to your customers?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Why should a customer buy from you?
The key to evaluating your business idea is carrying out extensive research. It’s crucial to invest time to research your ideal customers, competitors, niche, and industry.
Thankfully, there are tonnes of marketing tools to help you carry out comprehensive research before launching your business.
Choose An Ecommerce Platform
An eCommerce platform is a digital store that aids online business transactions. These platforms provide all the necessary technology needed to operate and grow your online business – from setting up your storefront, marketing your product, processing payment to delivering your products, eCommerce platforms help facilitate your business.
There are tonnes of eCommerce platforms to choose from for hosting eCommerce websites.
Here are a few things to look out for when deciding on an eCommerce platform:
- interface and customization options
- Store management system
- Payment processing system
- Security and support
- Web analytics
Magento, Shopify, Woocommerce, and Bigcommerce are examples of the most popular B2B eCommerce platforms on the internet today.
With that said, before deciding on a platform to host your business, research and find the best platform that meets your business needs.
Decide On Your Merchant Payment System
One of the most important factors when running an eCommerce platform is deciding on your merchant payment system.
If you are not technical or financially savvy, this step may be a drag for you. Luckily for you, we’ve made it easy to understand.
Here’s what you need to understand about eCommerce payment merchants.
A merchant payment system is an account that accepts payment from your eCommerce business. Apart from helping your business process payments from customers, a merchant payment system helps secure your customers’ details when making transactions on your eCommerce website.
Some eCommerce merchant services like ChargeAfter.com render customer financing options and point of sale financing to give your customers more buying power.
When deciding on a merchant payment system, here are a few factors to consider;
- Stellar security encryption
- Commission and transaction fees
- Customer support
- Easy of use and integration
- International card processing
Savvy entrepreneurs take the time to choose the best merchant payment system for their business. You should take this seriously too. After all, you can’t run a successful business without processing payment.
Marketing Your Ecommerce Business
Setting up your business is the first step on your eCommerce journey. The most important part of your business is attracting customers to your store. We mean marketing your business to your ideal customers.
There are many ways to promote and market your business.
If you are short on cash and don’t mind steadily growing your business, you can take the SEO route. SEO helps you to optimize your website to attract customers on search engines. Marketing reports show that 40 percent of eCommerce buyers start their buying journey with a search.
Other ways to drive traffic to your eCommerce website include PPC, social media ads, and email marketing. Even though you’ll need to spend money, paying ads and leads can kickstart your business and give you the boost you need to keep going.
If you are still hesitant to start your business, the best to begin is to jump in and learn on the fly. The truth is that facing challenges is part of running an eCommerce business. However, with a great idea and masterful execution, you can take your eCommerce business from zero to billions of dollars in record time. Hopefully, this guide provides you with all the help you need to get started on your business.