There are a whole lot of ways to make money online but a lot of people still prefer traditional businesses like selling goods and services. That’s what ecommerce is all about, merging traditional buy and sell businesses with the digital landscape.
WHAT IS ECOMMERCE?
Electronic commerce or ecommerce is the process of buying and selling goods and services via the internet. These goods and services can either be physical or digital products. The most common ecommerce business types are auction sites, online stores, services sites and digital product sites.
The primary advantage of ecommerce is that it is not limited by time or distance. A shop can sell anywhere in the world, to any buyer and in any time zone. From a buyer’s perspective, goods and services are cheaper and there is a wide range of options compared to going to physical shops. From a seller’s perspective, the overhead and maintenance is cheaper because there is no need for a physical store and additional personnel.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ECOMMERCE?
As long as you have a mobile device, reliable internet connection, and products and services to trade, you can start your own ecommerce business. You can do it part or full time, depending on how active you want your store to be, and how much time you want to invest in managing your online business.
HOW TO START AN ECOMMERCE BUSINESS
Before building your website, you need to decide what type of business you want to get into. The most popular ecommerce models are online physical product stores, online digital product stores, and drop shipping businesses.
Selling physical products means transactions and payments are dealt with online, prior to shipping the product to the buyer. Selling digital products on the other hand is practically the same; the only difference is there is no need to ship the products because the items are all digital. Drop shipping on the other hand is much like being a middleman, wherein sellers do not keep their products in stock. Once a buyer pays, items are ordered straight from the manufacturer and shipped directly to the buyer.
All three models require a website, so it is important to decide what name you want for your ecommerce business. Domain names are available at namecheap.com. Once you have your domain, look for hosting services. For startup stores, entry level to mid-level packages will do.
To build the store, you can use drag and drop website builders like Wix, Weebly and Shopify, or you can hire a developer to build the store for you. The advantage in building your store yourself is you have total control over maintenance and updating the online inventory. While building the site, make sure you are incorporating easy to use shopper’s cart, and reliable payment method and merchant account.
Once your store is ready to get launched, run marketing campaigns by using SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing tools.
START EARNING WITH YOUR OWN ECOMMERCE BUSINESS
All you need is merchandise, a computer and an internet connection. All the tools that you need to build your ecommerce business from the ground up is available online. To learn more about different ecommerce models, click the links mentioned above.