How to start an e-commerce, there are many great answers to this question already, but I thought I would give my thoughts on how to start an e-commerce business, because I think I bring something unique to this question as a good conceptual framework for how to start a successful e-commerce business is called questions The five core. The basic idea is that you only need to answer 5 basic questions to start an e-commerce business
How to start an e-commerce
The five essential questions for e-commerce are:
What product (s) will I sell?
How will I produce this product?
How will I deliver this product to my customers?
Who is my ideal customer, anyway?
How will I convince my ideal customers to become repeat buyers and heralds of the brand?
These are the five essential questions every e-commerce entrepreneur should answer.
Let’s review briefly the different ways you can / should answer all of these five questions.
Question 1: What product will I sell?
One of the big misconceptions about starting an e-commerce business is the thinking that you must “invent” a new product to start a successful online store.
This is not the case at all. Rather, choosing a product for sale can be divided into two sub-steps:
Product Idea: Create great product ideas that solve a salient pain point in the market that you understand.
How it works: I recommend that you follow a simple brainstorming exercise. Write down your hobbies (the things you do), your interests (the things you enjoy), and your skills (the things you are good at). Each of these is a potential market. Then, for each market, brainstorm the biggest frustrations, pain points, or unmet desires that you or others you know have experienced. Finally, create a conceptual product that solves every pain point. Let your imagination be the limit! Write as many problem-solving product ideas you can dream of.
Market validation: Conducting market research to understand the demand for your product idea, your potential revenue, and your competitors.
How it works: Use tools like Aglopix and Jungle Scout to see how current products are performing. These tools will give you data like total number of monthly orders, revenue, and customer satisfaction for current competitive products. Additionally, you can go to Amazon, search for similar products, and read reviews (especially, one-star ratings) to gauge how satisfied or unhappy people are with current offers in the market.
At the end of this two-step process, you should have a shortlist of market-approved product ideas that solve the pain point of the market that you understand very well. This is a great start!
Question 2: How will I produce my product?
There are only 3 sourcing methods available to e-commerce entrepreneurs. Let’s outline the three briefly and then I’ll give you an idea of how to choose between them.
Made: Make the product yourself.
Manufacturing: Work with a vendor to mass-produce your product idea.
Resale: either through wholesaling or dropshipping, sell someone else’s product online for profit.
Each of these methods can be used effectively under the right circumstances. Every situation is different. However, if you are just starting out, here are some recommendations:
Making products yourself is not a scalable way to build a business. However, if you are a hobbyist just looking to make money, this is a great way to do it.
Manufacturing provides the best profit margin and lowest cost per unit of all three methods, and gives you the unique ability to differentiate your product and shape your own brand. However, it also carries the most amount of risk as it requires a large upfront investment of time and capital. The best manufacturing suppliers can be found on Alibaba.
Resale provides you with a low-risk, low-cost way to get started. With the dropshipping model in particular, you don’t need to pre-order any products. However, the downside to dropshipping is that you won’t have as much control over the brand and your profit margin will be lower compared to manufacturing. Better dropshipping suppliers can be found on AliExpress.
Question 3: How will I deliver my product to my customers?
Your choice is one of the e-commerce fulfillment models:
Seller Fulfillment: Ship the products by yourself. This is only recommended if you run a small handcrafted product business, and it’s likely hosted on Etsy.
Amazon FBA: This is one of the most specific of business models in all of e-commerce. With this program, you can submit products to Amazon Warehouse, your product will be direct to Amazon.com, and Amazon will deliver your product to you via Prime 2-Day shipping. Since about 40% of all e-commerce sales in the US come from Amazon.com, this business model has a lot of potentials!
Dropshipping: With the dropshipping form, your supplier agrees to allow you to place their product on your website, and they will deliver the product directly to the end customer upon placing the order. You don’t have to buy any up-front inventory, so you can test new product ideas quickly and inexpensively. The best way to do this is to create a Shopify store and use the Oberlo app. This allows orders to be executed automatically and can save you a lot of time.
How to get started in e-commerce (Question 4 – Who is my ideal customer, anyway?)
The first step in digital marketing is understanding your target customer. To do this, I recommend that you follow the following steps:
First, come up with all the reasons why someone would want to buy your product. Brainstorm ideas about the “psychographic profile” of your ideal customer. What are their biggest desires, fears, pain points, questions, barriers, and aspirations? And how
Can your product help them solve or achieve these things? This is the key to understanding the psychology that causes your end consumer to buy with you.
Now that you know why someone would buy your product, it becomes easy to determine who will buy your product at all. Define the “demographic profile” of your ideal customer. What is age, gender, income level, education, geographic location, race, and how do they spend their time?
Find online congregations for your ideal customer.
The Internet has progressed to this stage as there are online communities for nearly every interest, hobby, and job market. Once you have identified a target customer according to the above steps, it is easy to locate their current online communities.
To apply this, do a series of Google searches and create a spreadsheet that lists Facebook groups, blogs, forums, podcasts, YouTube channels, keywords, and influencers relevant to your target customer. Write down the audience size, URL, and contact information for each community, if available.
Question 5 – How will I convince my ideal customer to become a frequent and evangelist buyer of the brand?
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. This topic is really the biggest and most important step.
To answer this question, you must learn how to become a digital seller. There are a huge amount of strategies you can use.
In my opinion, the best way to take it is not to focus on just one marketing tactic, but instead, to deploy a system of strategies that work together to find, develop, and educate leads, close sales, drive repeat business, and word of mouth growth.