The ecommerce platforms available today make setting up an online storefront easy. You no longer have to worry about integrating a payment gateway or getting the design of the ecommerce site right, because everything is already taken care of. This gives you the chance to focus on more important aspects of starting your own online business, such as deciding the kind of products and services you want to sell.
Before you start buying goods to sell and investing in digital marketing, there are actually a few basics you need to cover first. We are going to take a closer look at the three things you need to know about starting an online store in this article.
1. Know Your Niche
There are already so many online stores targeting large (wide) market segments with generic products, so that would be the last approach you want to take. Rather than wasting a lot of resources trying to compete with hundreds of other ecommerce sites selling similar products, you want to find a niche that you can really dominate.
There are a lot of interesting niche markets to explore too. Finding them is a matter of identifying demands or problems that need to be solved and figuring out ways to bring products that meet those demands as quickly as possible.
2. Work on Your Supply Chain
You need to make sure that the supply of goods you are (or will be) selling is reliable. The last thing you want is a surge in demand only to find that the supply chain isn’t ready for that spike.
Not only will you lose thousands in potential revenue, you are also losing the trust of potential customers; the latter is more damaging to the online business. Find great manufacturers and wholesalers that can supply quality products. You don’t have to stick with local suppliers either, especially now that the global distribution network is just as strong.
If you want to sell silver jewelry, for instance, you can easily find the best wholesale sterling silver jewelry Thailand company and get great products for less. Shipping will not be an issue both from practicality and cost-efficiency standpoints.
3. Manage Your Inventory
When you are just getting started, the tempting thing to do is either go without an inventory – by drop-shipping customer orders directly from the supplier – or stock up on too many goods. Neither of these approaches are ideal for different reasons.
You want to be able to fulfill customer orders quickly, and that isn’t something you can always do when drop-shipping. At the same time, you don’t want to risk not being able to clear your inventory for different reasons.
Managing your inventory is a bit of a balancing act, but learning how to do it early in the game will give you an advantage over your competitors. The sooner you can recognize the market and customer demands, the better you can prepare for a lean yet efficient inventory.
By covering these basics, you are creating a firm foundation for your new online business. Knowing how to identify a niche, find the right suppliers, and manage inventory will lead to greater success in the ecommerce landscape.