Worldwide e-commerce sales is projected to grow to $4.5 trillion* by 2021. That’s almost double the current value. While at the face of it, the value seems mind boggling but it doesn’t come as a surprise because globally, e-commerce has been witnessing staggering growth, propelled by the sprouting of various e-commerce startups across the world.
Considering the growth of the industry, it is a lucrative proposition to start an e-commerce enterprise. Hence, if you have an idea and are willing to navigate through the challenges of building and running your own e-commerce enterprise, here are the key points you need to keep in mind:
- Name & Registration: Choose a name for your business that separates you from the competition. Do a corporate name search to ensure that the name you have chosen is not in use. You would need to register the name and select a business structure for your startup, it can be a sole proprietorship/partnership/LLC/Corporation.
- Domain name & Website: Ideally, your business name should be the domain of your e-commerce site. If the domain is not available, chose a domain name, that’s easy to spell and pronounce.
- Banking Regulations & Identification number: Make sure you have your company’s identification number, as per the respective country’s law and ensure that you open up your company’s bank account. These are generally for tax & corporate records purposes.
- Business Licenses and Permits: Check the operating licenses that you require to run an e-commerce business in your country and ensure you have all the licenses in place before starting business operations.
- Find the right vendor: If you are going to running a marketplace, then you wouldn’t need a vendor for products that you would sell. But if it’s a standalone e-commerce platform, you would need a long term commitment from a vendor for supplies/raw materials or products.
- Inventory: Make sure you have stocked your inventory. It would help tremendously, when your orders come through. You should be able to provision for x number of order and ship on time.
- Logistics and Delivery: It is imperative for any e-commerce to have the logistics and delivery sorted. It is not only delivery for your customer orders but the delivery of your supplies that need to be streamlined as well.
- Technology & Software: Having the right shopping cart plugin or building your own shopping cart is a must for any e-commerce site, the experience of your customer while shopping on your site, depends on your cart. Additionally, you need to ensure that you gradually invest in productivity software such as email marketing, CRM, etc…
- Marketing: To start off with, use all digital marketing mediums, especially social media to spread the word about your business and drive sales. Prepare blog posts and social media properties well in advance.
- Compliance: Your business will grow at the speed of light, but you must be mindful of the fact that you follow the regulations as per compliance, i.e. reporting annual results or quarterly results to regulators. Even the annual fees for your business permits and licenses. Do not ignore any aspect of being a compliant and legal e-commerce site.
Last but not the least, for transactions to occur on your e-commerce site, you would need a payment gateway to be integrated with your website. Sign up for a free demo to unlock the value that we can provide for your e-commerce venture, as a comprehensive payments solution provider.
*Data Source: Statista