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The Importance of Starting an Ecommerce Business

Category: Startup

The Importance of Starting an Ecommerce Business

The Importance of Starting an Ecommerce Business

Who does not want to run a successful business without breaking the bank? And if this can be achieved by making the most of digital revolution, then there is nothing like it! That is probably the main reason why ecommerce continues to soar globally and why even large companies are opening their doors to this business model. According to forecasts done by Emarketer, ecommerce sales is set to grow leaps and bounds with sales touching expected to touch $2.5 trillion by the end of 2018. And that’s not all. A study conducted by Credit Suisse Research Institute, earlier in 2015, had predicted that total annual online retail sales could reach upto 3.5 trillion USD. With such positive outlook surrounding this business model, we decided to deep dive into the reasons why starting an ecommerce business makes so much sense.

For instance, ecommerce businesses can sell tangible and intangible products or services, and reach out to millions like never before. They can not only sell more this way, but also diversify more, broaden their brands, take risks and cut losses.

  • Unlimited reach: The global internet audience continues to grow (3.5 billion as per Plunkett Research) and thanks to the vast base of high speed internet, its much easier to offer your audience a range of products and services. And that makes ecommerce a natural winner. Whether you are planning to create a new company or expanding an existing one, ecommerce can open up a world of opportunity.
  • Location indifferent: Unlike physical stores, ecommerce stores don’t require prime locations to be visible to their audience. The swanky high street corner spot does not matter any more. All you need is a smart domain name, good product photos and a selling platform to get up and running – and the world can be your audience. You can do better if you don’t underestimate the power of physical advertisement in places like subways or parks. Just employ advanced technology whenever possible.
  • Go with your favourite: With ecommerce, you offer a wide array of options to customers, be it clothes, cookware or electronics. Naturally, the buyer feels more motivated to make a purchase, as he or she can surf different categories or items for hours and read reviews or research.
  • Don’t have to break the bank: The best part about ecommerce is that you don’t have to go bankrupt to start a business. Not a lot of investment is needed to set up ecommerce sites, more so if you are in the know about SEO tools and the concept of marketing automation. Just build good relationships with distributors, so that you can procure quality products.
  • Easy to build loyal user base: It has been found that around 80% of the web population purchase from ecommerce sites now and then. There’s no reason for you to not make use of this staggering figure! An easily navigable and aesthetic website, great informative content and ample privacy and security measures can encourage customers to trust you. Keep making improvements to build a large loyal base.
  • Retargeting customers easier than physical stores: Ecommerce businesses sure have more advantages than physical stores. For instance, the problem of abandoned carts can be addressed smartly with retargeting tools when you have an ecommerce site. Valuable, engaging and original content is yet another way to lure customers and inform about discounts or promotions. You also get to tap into social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, by integrating your ecommerce site with them. Interesting and useful posts, offers and fun competitions can boost your social media image and enhance the traffic for your online store.
  • Ecommerce offers a personalized experience: By setting up an ecommerce site, you can offer a more personal experience to shoppers than brick and mortar stores. Potential buyers get to enjoy benefits like prompt customer service, tracking of orders, rewards, personalized recommendations, newsletters and more.
  • Offers ease of shopping to customers: Remember that the more convenient you make the shopping experience for your customers; the higher will be your sales. And what better way to do it than with ecommerce sites? On such sites, shoppers can place orders on busy weekdays, weekends, early mornings, late nights and holidays too.

Finally, starting an ecommerce store can let you manage your time and resources as you wish, and build your brand in a more affordable way than the traditional route. Plus, trusted online payment gateway services like PayTabs can help you with hassle-free payment receipt, enable mobile payment, send invoices to customers and make fund transfer a cakewalk. So, what are you waiting for? Take your business online and see the difference!

5 Simple Steps to Launching a Successful Ecommerce Business

5 Simple Steps to Launching a Successful Ecommerce Business

There are stories all around about people with limited expertise and background turning rich because of the eCommerce boom. From packaged snow to jewellery made from sustainably sourced nuts, almost all types have businesses are exploring the online channel to leverage a worldwide audience. It is only logical that if you have been toying with an eCommerce business idea, you want to launch it quickly and smoothly. As a key stakeholder, you will have your hands full with operational aspects, of your business. Hence the best thing you can do is get all the basic aspects of your ecommerce set up right before you launch.

  1. Choose a proper platform to build your business

Some sellers choose to sell only via third party e-tailers. This will involve taking the time out to understand the platform’s guidelines and optimizing your listings while you showcase your products right next to your competitors. Others choose to create their own store website and sell through it. Each option has its pros and cons. While you save on commission in your own platform, you’ll have to invest significant time and effort to drive traffic. Also, having your own store front will involve working with platforms like Open Cart or shopify or independent developers and additional plugins for customization. Some do a hybrid of both which ensures idea validation and sales from third party websites while your own traffic builds. We’ve seen the hybrid model work wonders for small businesses.

  1. Create an impeccable UI

Design plays a huge role in telling your customers that you are a serious seller. When you develop a store front, pay extra attention to user experience, colours, font, logo and design. You can’t tell much when you are just launching but most people who have done superior designs later have found it to be a big factor in aiding conversion. This is also one major area where most newcomers try to cut corners to hasten the launch. In fact, the first version of many websites are a very poor version of their current version. But that shouldn’t stop you from making your first version a good one. It is when you customers, competitors and investors will want to explore what you sell.

  1. Choose a reliable payment gateway provider

Imagine your customer wanting to buy something and isn’t able to complete the transaction because of a sloppy payment gateway! Seeing people drop away from the final level of your funnel is heartbreaking. Also, with some gateways charging both static fees and per transaction commission, it can just make a dent in your hard-earned money.

So how do you choose a good payment gateway provider?

These days, the easiest way to to set up your payment process is via a “modern” payment gateway that doesn’t require a merchant account. The actual transaction happens on their website ensuring that they are responsible for both security and compliance.

Integrated payment gateways are complex and generally used by bigger stores who want the edge of customers not leaving their site to complete the payment.

Things to consider

> Price: Payment gateways usually charge per transaction or for monthly usage. Some have both and an initial set up fee. 2% may not seem much but it can pinch if you are selling high end goods.

> Actual process: Check out the demo for the payment gateway on their site. See how many leaps your customers will have to make to finish their transaction.

> Support: Once in a while, you will get a rotten egg that’ll need hand-holding. For such cases, it is best to know how your payment gateway deals with things like returns, refunds and complaints.

For example, Paytabs not only offers a very small fee that fits most startups, it also offers hand holding and ongoing support.

  1. High level knowledge on driving traffic to your site

As an online business, it is imperative that you know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), Social media marketing (SMM) and influencer marketing. SEO for your own store, for your app store (aSEO) and even for third-party listings plays a key role in how your product reaches consumers. PPC advertising can be a great tool for idea validation. Social is something that you simply can’t do without and you need to hold your influencers closer than your friends. Even if you choose to hire an agency to do this, take an initial course online to ensure that you understand when your agency shares metrics with you.

  1. Test and launch

Keep a set of 50 – 100 people friend list who can be your guinea pigs during the initial days. Ask them to independently evaluate your site performance and give you feedback from time to time. From small bugs to dummy content to blurry images, these extra eyes can do a world of good before your actual customers see your site.

Last but not the least, be agile and ready to shift gears quickly. Learning from experiments is a great way to grow your ecommerce business.