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Published: 20th July 2020

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Going Online For First - Time Part 1

Written by: eCAI Admin
Read Time: 2 Min| 1713

Going Online For the First Time:- Part 1

Selling online for the first time can be a daunting but rewarding process. Here at ECAI, we aim to provide you with some valuable knowledge on some of the steps to get your eCommerce business up and running. This is the first of a multi-part series showcasing some helpful information to assist you and your business.

First of all, let's talk through the advantages and disadvantages of selling online and why it may appeal to you.

Advantages:

(1) You are your own boss: An online store can be created anytime, anywhere. Therefore, you decide how many hours and effort you invest in your business.

(2) Limited finances needed: There are little to no costs necessary to begin selling online. Perhaps a website domain is your only expense if you choose drop shipping as your means of selling. Additionally, the risk is low as if the business failed, you could simply start another one.

(3) No boundaries: Ecommerce has no geographical boundaries meaning you can sell your products and services worldwide if you wish. This would not be the case if you opened a jewellery store in Dublin for example, your sales may be limited to Irish people and tourists.

(4) Business expansion: If you already have a physical business you can take it to the next level by moving online and becoming omnichannel, increasing your potential sales.

Disadvantages

(1) Time: They say the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Well, the same principle applies to eCommerce. If you wish to develop a successful eCommerce business, you must be willing to put in serious time and effort to reap the rewards.

(2) Competition: Depending on your industry, there is a strong probability that your online business will encounter numerous competitors. Therefore, your eCommerce business will need to possess a unique selling point (USP) to capture the attention of customers. Additionally, you may need to invest heavily in SEO and marketing strategy in order to surpass the competition.

(3) Reputation: One powerful aspect of eCommerce is customer reviews. It can pose both positive and negative consequences for your website. For instance, if a customer were to have a bad experience after buying your product or service, they may write an upsetting review. This could tarnish the reputation of the business and affect future sales.

It is safe to say that the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to eCommerce. Ultimately, it depends on how willing you are to make your business a success. This will only be achieved through trial and error.

Next, you must identify which classification of eCommerce your business falls under. There are four main types of eCommerce:

a) B2B( business to business)
b) B2C (business to consumer)
c) C2C (consumer to consumer)
d) C2B (consumer to business)

Now that you are aware of your target market you can analyse the streams of eCommerce models available to your business.

These can include:

a)Dropshipping- This model involves acting as a third party by selling the product or service and the logistics are handled by the supplier or manufacturer. This allows you to focus on other areas of growing the business such as advertising or content creation. Also, you don't have to buy the stock until you receive an order. Therefore, dropshipping is a low-risk form of selling and suitable to people with less eCommerce experience.

(b)Wholesaling and selling via online platforms- eBay and Amazon are some of the most popular platforms used by individuals to sell their products. This requires you to purchase products, often in bulk and negotiate with suppliers to ensure you can maintain sufficient profit margins. The platforms are visited by millions of people every day, offering massive opportunities to sell in-demand items. This type of selling is ideal for people familiar with the world of eCommerce and have a tolerance to moderate risk.

(c)Wholesaling and selling on your online store: This model involves the most amount of time, money and effort invested by the seller. Despite being the highest risk form of online selling, it can equally provide the greatest profits. You will need to carry out a lot of work to get the business off the ground as you have full control of the store.

(d)Selling through subscriptions: This type of eCommerce is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. It requires identifying products that consumers need on a regular basis. Once again, you need to invest large amounts of capital to begin selling online. However, due to its nature, customers become loyal to your brand and gain trust in your business. This can lead to exponential growth and sales as satisfied customers will tell their friends and family about the brand.

There are many difficult decisions within the eCommerce circle but the rewards can be incredible if you are willing to invest the time and capital.

 

Stay tuned for more information on getting started online with your eCommerce business with ecai.ie

 





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