The Internet has become a great place to start a business. For many people, their website is their business and they have no bricks and mortar store at all. This allows them to start a business that may become worth millions, for a relatively small amount of money, especially compared with what it would cost to start a traditional kind of business.
So what exactly do you need to start an online ecommerce business? Like any other business model you need to do some research to find what product or service people want. Few people these days are in need of wagon wheels; chocolate ones may be a different story. Here are some tips on what you need to start a business online
Products or services that people want.
Decide where you will get your products from. Some people make their own products, others buy and store them – or they dropship. Dropshipping is taking orders for another company who keeps what you want to sell. When you get an order, you send it to the company and they dispatch the order straight to your customer. This saves you having to store goods. You set your own price and get a percentage of the sale.
Decide on the name of your business. This has to be done before you get a website as the domain name should be the same as your business name. Research will be essential to ensure that domain name is available.
There are so many opportunities for startups today that one can feel overwhelmed regarding how to get started. However, if you are planning to start an online store, then ecommerce could be the likely solution to help you set up a virtual space. WooCommerce, Shopify, Volusion, and BigCommerce are some of the top ecommerce platforms today that help startups open full-featured online stores.
That being said, engaging in ecommerce activity is not really a necessity, especially if you want your startup to be involved in other online ventures. At the same time, an ecommerce website is not as easy as it sounds, and focusing too much on selling and marketing may lead you to compromise on networking, data storage capacity, and personally identifiable information (PII) of consumers.
The Case For
If you are planning on opening a full-feature store on the internet, then ecommerce is the most practical solution to your needs. By full-feature, we mean a store that has product categories, descriptions with images, virtual shopping carts, safe and secure checkout, various payments gateways, shipment methods, and much more. In other words, you must first have your bases covered in terms of merchandising and shipment to actually start an ecommerce store.
Remember that if you plan on running a full-feature store, you will have to have a promotional strategy for existing and potential customers. This could include flash sales, super deals, coupon codes, and more. Ali Express, the leading ecommerce platform today, is a great example of promotional success as the store has Super Deals running for different products at different times of the day.
Most people don’t know that 94% of the Australian population uses high-speed internet, and 60% of the users go online several times in a day. From an analytical perspective, this means that ecommerce websites have great opportunities to explore the large number of Australian population that shops online. This also explains why ecommerce in Australia has greater chances of growing rapidly in the near future.
Numbers State Facts
Back in 2010, numbers showed that $27 billion worth of ecommerce sales happened in Australia. In 2013, the figures increased to $37 billion. Therefore, clearly, there has been an increase by $3-4 billion worth of ecommerce sales each year. From a business perspective, this means that there is an opportunity for online businesses to generate revenues.
Increased Consumer Spending
Keeping in mind that individual Australian consumers spent an average net worth of $1,048 in 2006, and then $2,108 in 2013, it is evident that people are spending more readily online on ecommerce than they did before. According to demographic reports, 73% of the online spending population belongs to the ages between 35 and 45. On average, the total amount internet users spent in 2012 alone was worth $16 billion. Comparing with the figures from New Zealand, which was $3 billion per year, it is proof that the Australian consumer spending has increased drastically.
Doesn’t it seem like Australian ecommerce businesses are booming? Sure they are!
Now, it is much cheaper to start your own ecommerce business in Australia. However, this doesn’t mean that there is a guarantee that your ecommerce business will thrive like that of others in your field. To make sure that your business does succeed and meet the challenges posed by competitors in the ecommerce arena in Australia, there are some dos and don’ts to keep in check.
Here’s a list of things to do and to avoid while launching your e-commerce website for the Australian audience.
DO test the products you sell – Make sure that the products you are making available are genuine and actually deliver the satisfaction they promise. If you are launching your own product, then offer samples to people so that they can check its quality before investing money in it. Another important thing to consider and assess is the demand for your products.
DON’T Assume People Will Find You Online – The internet is a huge store of online businesses in the world. This means that looking for your business is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming that once they launch the site, anyone will find them. You need to work on your site’s search engine optimisation, get traffic to your site, and write press releases and blogs about your business to get into the limelight.