Jan 24

College 101: E-Commerce 101: Tips for Starting Your Own Online Shop

Considering the widespread use and ownership of computers and mobile devices, and that the majority of American adults (90 percent according to the Pew Research Center) use the Internet, opening an electronic commerce business site can be an excellent, socially relevant venture. 

Electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce, refers to the process of purchasing and selling products online and completing business transactions via the Internet. Results from the Pew Research Center showed that an estimated 79 percent of adults in the United States bought a product online. Opening a distinguishable e-commerce shop enables entrepreneurs and their businesses to reach such a multitude of shoppers and contribute to American Internet sales.

The same general considerations and preparations that go into physical businesses go into online stores: Financing a company, filling the inventory, making the company customer-focused, and implementing marketing tactics that increase brand awareness and visibility. Focusing on these business aspects can ensure an e-commerce site’s success.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Have A Business Plan

It can be expensive to self-fund a business, so entrepreneurs should consider if they’ll tap into their 401k or savings. Some business owners may choose to take out a loan from a bank or other lender or borrow the money from someone they know.

Making operational plans, in addition to financial arrangements, is crucial, as business plans can act as guidelines for a business owner, their investors, and employees. Operational plans tend to include aspects such as the goals and objectives for the company, the procedures, and deadlines. Physical and e-commerce store business plans should have information on the inventory, product suppliers, and details about the manufacturing process.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Acquire Products To Sell

The process of starting an online shop doesn’t have to break the bank. When seeking inventory suppliers, business owners can find what they need by visiting liquidation sites, such as DirectLiquidation. DirectLiquidation is a reputable B2B liquidation company that gives business owners access to products from small and large companies and major retailers. Liquidated goods for sale can include electronics, home improvement tools, clothes and accessories, health and beauty products, baby supplies, furniture, and more. Entrepreneurs can purchase liquidated merchandise at wholesale prices and resell the products on their e-commerce sites.

An online marketplace like DirectLiquidation ensures the products receive high-quality packaging and shipping and arrive in good condition.

Create And Launch A Functional Website

A crucial feature of an e-commerce store is the website. To enable online sales, business owners should make sure their websites load and run well without crashing and interrupting a customer’s browsing or purchasing.

The Pew Research Center found that over 50 percent of Americans used their cell phones to make purchases. For this reason, it can help businesses if e-commerce websites are easy to use and compatible with all computers and mobile devices.

A company’s website is customers’ number one source for information about the business and the products it sells. Having an ‘About Us’ section on an e-commerce site can help buyers understand the company’s brand and store features.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Including clear, well-taken photos and images of products on websites can influence customers’ buying decisions, as they’ll have an idea of what to expect from a purchase they make. The images should be clear, well-lit, and taken from multiple angles to give buyers the best view and impression of a product.

Business owners can take pictures of goods and save them on a smart home device, such as ibi, that enables online photo storage. ibi allows people to save photos from their social media accounts, data cloud, phones, computers, and USB drives. Using ibi, business owners can take as many pictures as they want, as this device has massive storage capacity.

When posting pictures of products on an e-commerce website, business owners should include product names and descriptions that inform buyers of product features and reflect the products’ usefulness and quality.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Online and brick-and-mortar shops alike can benefit from cost-effective advertising tactics. Social media sites are robust platforms for promoting goods and services and creating an online brand. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts that showcase the products offered on e-commerce websites can garner the attention of a business owner’s family, friends, and social network, who can share posts. 

Business owners can create LinkedIn profiles for themselves and their company and connect with other professionals, and create informative posts about their online shops and forge new business opportunities and partnerships. Using the Internet and digital marketing for publicity can increase an online shop’s visibility, motivate shoppers to make purchases, and save business owners money.

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