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Ecommerce start-up guide for business owners

Ecommerce start-up guide for business owners
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    Ecommerce has undergone a drastic change in recent years due to the introduction of social media and the current Covid epidemic.

    Ecommerce has become a necessity, even though it was initially a luxury and a convenience.

    There is nothing more rewarding than starting a business and watching it grow, but there is so much to consider when you build an ecommerce company including writing product listings and listing what manufacturing processes are involved.

    Often, this is not enough.

    6 steps in starting an ecommerce business

    At WIS Accountancy we’ve written this blog to help you in determining what should be considered and when for your ecommerce business.

    1. Investigate Your ecommerce Business Model

    You don’t have to offer everything online because people buy random things. Research is essential before you launch your ecommerce company.

    Here are some crucial decisions you should make before starting an ecommerce business:

    • Find a problem that’s worth solving. What problem or challenge do you want to solve? Who is most affected by that pain? Because innovative ideas are not always popular, it is essential to solve a problem. Without support from shoppers, they can be discarded. Your product’s challenge is what you need to think about. You should identify the users who will be most interested in what you are trying to create and keep them in your thoughts. This will guide your priorities. It doesn’t take long to find a product idea that works. People sell to well-recognised people because it is easier to recognise problems and pinpoint their needs faster. Look at your interests and look for opportunities to sell products to people who share similar hobbies or interests.
    • Being aware can make it easier to find an innovative product idea. Sometimes, the best ideas are found in everyday activities, such as sharing a meal or chatting with someone. It would be useful if you asked yourself these questions when looking for product ideas. It is best to start your research on your business idea in your immediate surroundings. You can learn about the aspirations and challenges of people around you and then search for products to help them. Being observant will help you develop new ideas for your business, which you can then research online.
    • Use keyword research tools for finding trends and opportunities. When it comes to selling online, passion does not always translate into success. You want to find out if your product is satisfactory to customers. Online tools are used to find trends and research questions about your audience. You can see the Amazon Best Sellers list for niche product ideas.
    • What do you do if the product is already on the market?
    • You can choose between two possible options if your product idea is already available. You may be willing to sell the same product at a lower price or offer a better alternative. Look at customer reviews for existing products and see where they fall short. Look for patterns and complaints. Next, research the issue and calculate how much it will cost to resolve it.

    2. Find Your Online Niche

    Finding your niche can streamline processes and make it easier to market products and manage inventory. To find your place, you can break down all your product ideas. By doing this, you can focus your efforts on the right market until it matures.

    At that point, it will be the ideal time to expand your business. Start small and excel at what you do to stand out from the rest. Be sure to master your existing offerings before you add new areas.

    It is important to find your niche first and then develop into a multi-market company. Finding the right place is key to starting a profitable online business.

    Ask yourself – “What are your areas of expertise?”. “What is your marketable skill or knowledge?”. “What marketplace do these skills fit?”. “What product ranges do you wish to sell?”

    You need to know what type of business you are going to run, so research the market. Please take a look at other companies in the sector to see their successes and failures.

    As the ecommerce market has seen such growth, there will be plenty of competitors. Before you begin your ecommerce venture, you’ll need to research your business and what makes it stand out.

    3. Business Branding and Legal Structure

    After you create a plan for your online business, the next step is to create a reputation. As with many other companies, you will want to build a reputation that reflects your business’s purpose and values.

    Even though you don’t want to spend too much time on your Internet site, it will be worth testing to see if your potential business name has been placed on the market.

    If your name is being used, you might want to consider a different business name or a separate structure.

    Next, decide on the structure of your business. You will generally favour a sole trader, partnership, or LLC.

    You will need to discuss the pros and cons of each entity type with a business adviser.

    4. Build Your Website Using an ecommerce Platform

    You’ll now be creating your website and an online store instead of looking for a physical store location. The most important part of starting an ecommerce business is building your website.

    When creating your online storefront, you will need to think about many different things.

    Your name is something you will want to be aware of, as we have already mentioned. Ecommerce platforms offer many options. These include the ability to launch and customise your store, purchase a domain or manage inventory, take and ship orders and receive payment.

    Once you’ve identified which option is best for you, you can start customising and launching the site. It is essential to think about what your online shop will look like.

    What colours and layouts do you want? You can create and launch your site yourself based on your budget and platform.

    If you don’t have the time, you might want to hire an expert designer or developer.

    5. Source or Develop Products

    Once you’ve selected your ecommerce platform and launched your website, you are almost done with the process. You will now need to source the products to sell.

    After doing your research in step 1, you will already know how you’ll negotiate the process. Your products will be sourced from distributors, or if your services are being sold, you will list and describe the services on your company website.

    As you might imagine, this step will be more complex if you sell products as you have to decide how much inventory you wish to create.

    Also, you should ensure that you take the time to list your inventory on your online shop.

    6. Your Ecommerce Business Should be Promoted

    You have a range of selling strategies that you can use, such as Google Ads and social media ads. Word-of-mouth is another option.

    The most basic goal is to optimise your business website for SEO and take advantage of any online marketing tools available within your ecommerce platform.

    When your ecommerce website is launched and customers begin placing orders, you need to monitor which marketing tactics are successful and which ones are not.

    This is especially important if you plan to invest money in them.

    As your business grows, you’ll be able to modify and adapt your marketing strategy.

    While starting an ecommerce business with a modest budget is possible, there will still be costs attached. It is difficult to estimate the cost of starting an ecommerce business.

    Start-up costs depend on the type of ecommerce company you are beginning with, the platform you use, and how you source your products.

    FAQs

    How do I set up an ecommerce website in the UK?

    If you are looking to set up an ecommerce website in the UK we recommend you do the following:

    • Decide on a brand.
    • Secure your domain name.
    • Choose the right ecommerce platform.
    • A secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate is a must.
    • Choose the right hosting package.
    • Secure an Internet merchant account (IMA).
    • Choose a payment service provider (PSP).
    • GDPR, terms, and conditions.

    Do you need to register a company to sell online?

    No, you can run a business without registering it. There is no formal process required before you make your first sale.

    However, over time and as your business grows, you will want to register and incorporate.

    Is ecommerce business haram?

    Based on existing research, ecommerce is permissible in Islam. Things that must be underlined are related to ethics in conducting such transactions to avoid uncertainty (Gharar).

    When problems occur in these transactions, the business must be returned to existing Islamic principles.

    How do I start an ecommerce business with no money?

    • Sell on ecommerce portals. 
    • Start providing services. 
    • Compile a great business plan.
    • Access government schemes.

    Top 5 things to know before starting an ecommerce business

    • Know what you are selling: Do you have a defined product or product line which has demand? 
    • Know your consumer: Define who your consumers are and what their needs are.
    • Understand your packaging. 
    • Establish your go-to marketing strategy. 
    • Know how to ship your product.

    We’ll never tell you about a problem without also presenting a solution. Contact us to discuss how we can provide support. Either give us a call on 0203 011 1898 or use the contact form to get in touch.

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