What is Ecommerce? Ecommerce is the electronic form of commerce. It allows a business to supply products and services through the Internet to other businesses or consumers. Why should you start an ecommerce? Its profitable and everyone can do it.
Main Types of Ecommerce Models
- Business to Business (B2B)
- Business to Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C).
Ecommerce is an excellent way to make money online or increase profits. No one should ignore its potential and its rapid growth. With ecommerce an existing business can increase sales, or a new business can sell only through the Internet.
Creating an ecommerce business is not a difficult action. There are also free ecommerce platforms to install with just a few clicks from the hosting provider control panel.
Applying ecommerce well requires considerable knowledge and technical experience. The process is faster and more effective if a professional does the initial ecommerce setup. Ecommerce success depends mainly on providing successful products and services though the right promotional channels.
The good part is that anyone can start an ecommerce business and it can only be profitable.
The most popular ecommerce website store example is Amazon. Amazon sells over 3 billion products worldwide. Amazon makes +$280 billion in revenue, with 230,000 employees and 320 million active Amazon customer accounts. Amazon worths $48 billion and continues to grow.
The most popular form of ecommerce is an online store. An online store shares similarities to a physical store. It gives the ability to browse products, and then add them to a shopping cart. The difference is that it’s done from the comfort of the home through a PC or mobile. When a customer completes an online order, the products are delivered to the desired destination.
Ecommerce Business Future ?
Ecommerce provides ease and flexibility. Within a minimum amount of time, a customer can reach an incredible variety of products. The main advantages of ecommerce are:
Ecommerce Grows Fast Each Year
When ecommerce first appeared, people didn’t feel safe in spending money online. Also, getting a product that they couldn’t ‘touch’ gave an increase in trust issues. Large companies gave more assurance to consumers to feel more comfortable and safe in buying online. The law also improved consumer insecurity. Nowadays, a customer can return a product and get a full refund if they didn’t like it. It’s good for the consumer although it costs for a business, but it’s fair and helps online business to grow.
An interesting example of ecommerce advantages is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The order amounts are incredible in those days. Online stores can make a last minute big discount and inform consumers in minutes.
As consumers become more familiar and comfortable with ecommerce, the future of online ecommerce sales will grow.
What else drives ecommerce growth? Online sales benefit everyone in the part of selling and buying. Although online stores prices are attractive, physical stores have an advantage. Some consumers prefer to come in direct contact with a product or because they don’t yet trust shopping online. Shopping therapy sessions is also another advantage of physical store visits.
But bearing in mind that someone can buy a product through a mobile and pay by Paypal without even login in, that makes it so easy practical. Making a product bookmark or adding it to a wish-list, are great advantages with a physical product selection.
Consumers can search for a product online anytime from anywhere. They don’t even need a seller to help them find it. That is most cost effective for online store owners.
For online store owners, products don’t even have to be available in a physical location. Drop shipping solves that problem so that the initial cost of the ecommerce business startup will be a minimum.
Less business costs means more profit margin. This allows a business to reduce prices significantly to get an advantage versus physical store prices. Consumers really love lower prices.
So, the customers get the practicality of buying ease, variety and lower prices.
Best Methods to Increase Profits Online
Anyone who runs a blog or a business website should look into ways to increase profits. There are almost unlimited ways and promotional channels to reach customers and make a significant profit. Online business is becoming the most effective method to make money online from a website. Some basic ideas to make money from a website are:
- A blogging website can make money from advertisement placement, affiliate products, digital products, and services.
- An online business can display products and services benefits, advertise them and expect wholesale orders or retail sales.
- An online store and can display many physical products and get sales through many traffic channels worldwide.
With a blog, once there are a lot of website visitors, the blogger can use various methods to earn a living from. Advertisers, product, and service suppliers will pay a blogger to get customers. If a blog utilises advertisement placement (like AdSense) into their website, then they get paid a few cents per visitor click on the ads. Few visitors will click an ad. If the blog receives many thousands of visitors per month, then the profit increases passively to make a decent income.
It’s easier to make money with advertisement placement instead of persuading someone to buy a product. It’s important to know that a starting blog needs a lot of working hours/day for months to get a large amount of traffic. A blog traffic relies mainly on good SEO understanding to get free of cost website traffic.
With an established business that sells products from an ecommerce website, the profit benefits are great. If a product costs $50, the profit after a promotional and delivery costs might be around $5-$15 per sale. So, ecommerce business needs just a few thousands of visits per month to get a decent profit. It’s easier to get such traffic since ecommerce sales increase relies on paid promotion. The more paid ads they use, the more sales they get. SEO as a promotional channel is important to get free organic traffic to reduce promotional costs but brings few sales vs paid channels.
Important Online Business Store Advantages
Ecommerce stores have lower rent. A high selling rate physical store can pay a lot for rent in popular areas.
Physical stores with product dropshiping need not buy products. Otherwise, they need an initial budget to buy products, which can be a costly risk without previous sales experience.
Minimum need of staff to help and support customers
Can reach millions of consumers with internet marketing measurable cost effective promotional results.
Getting customer emails brings repeat sales with minimum effort and cost.
Ecommerce Basic Business Ideas
Creating and establishing a successful ecommerce store is easier said than done. It’s easy to create an ecommerce business since there ecommerce free platforms. The point is how to set it up, add the right products, promote them in the right way and deal with orders and customer support.
There is no standard guide and rule that applies for all ecommerce business. There is also a great difference between running an ecommerce store for a small business or for a large business that sells worldwide.
Standard Store Expansion
If you own a store and sell products, then you can easily start an ecommerce business to increase your profits. You have a physical business, products and selling experience, and that is perfect. All you need is an ecommerce platform that you or someone else can set it up.
Creating an online shop provides the flexibility to get new customers. New customer means more profits. You also get the advantage to attract customers into your physical store. Sales profits are typically larger in a store since the seller can influence the customer directly.
You can promote your physical store product with your ecommerce store or even the other way around.
An ecommerce store shares similarities to a physical store. In both cases, you need to update the product prices in the right time, both ways. Online prices are sometimes less that in the store to attract long distance buyers.
You don’t need a physical store to start an ecommerce business. Starting an ecommerce business from scratch is also possible to increase your income.
You need to research which type of product(s) you want to sell, rent a place and buy some products. Its not easy to learn how to find a product to sell. For some ecommerce product types, you can create an online store with your house as a business address. This way you avoid the significant cost of renting a place to set up your business. Concerning products you can:
Buying Products. You need to calculate how much money you need to buy products. Customer normally prefer stores with a large variety of a specific product type. Therefore, you need to think about what type of product type, cost per product, profit margin. You need to research not only which products to sell but also what is the level of competition. If there are too many competitors for a specific product type, then you need to rethink your business decision format. Products also need storage. So, you need to calculate the cost of equipment or decent shelves to store them safely.
Getting Dropshipping Products. Since the cost of starting a new ecommerce business could be high, you can use the method of drop shipping. This way you don’t have to spend money to buy products. You only need to find a product supplier that will provide a flexible cooperation with you. You get the product images from the supplier so you can upload them into your ecommerce store. Once a customer orders a product, then you get it from the supplier and arrange product delivery it to the customer.
Creating your Products. This can be of a great advantage to differentiate your business from competition. Also, there is nothing more satisfying that being creative with something you like. Still, you need to spend money to buy raw materials or similar.
Bloggers Business Expansion
A blogger with a good amount of website visitors can expand their blog with additional ecommerce features to increase profit. It is easy and can sell physical or digital products to increase profit.
The benefits of an existing blog as an established business is that it already has traffic and visitors emails. So, promoting new products will be very easy. The best sales possibilities are with products related to bloggers’ topics. It’s not realistic for blog to post about social media marketing and start selling ….. cameras.
If bloggers use the WordPress.org platform, they need to install WooCommerce plugin to get ecommerce capabilities. If a blogger uses AdSense, they might be better not to display these ads in the product sales page. They might distract the viewer.
Usual Ecommerce Store Examples
The following are some quick ideas for ecommerce stores applications.
Fashion Clothes Ecommerce Store
Fashion clothing online business is rising fast since people become more comfortable with online shopping. Selling clothes like t-shirts doesn’t need particular expertise. Everyone buys t-shirts and so the sales potential can be significant. It is important to know that women buy more clothing than men.
All it takes is buying clothes or using the drop shipping method. Product brands and price are important factors for success. Product images must be professional since there is a lot of competition that uses high quality images. In fashion, the product image is the main reason for purchase influence.
Once sales start, it’s a good idea to focus on expanding a specific clothing type category. Instead of selling a few items various clothing categories, it is better to have 50-100 items only on t-shirts. When sales increase, add more t-shirts of other clothing categories. The product price range is important. If it is below $30 per item, the profit after promotional costs will be too little.
Also, expect to get sales with paid promotions instead of SEO. SEO brings low quality free traffic and takes time to build up. SEO is useful since it lowers the total promotional cost. Sales through AdWords and Online Product Catalogues are the main selling channels. An estore owner needs to learn AdWords very well. It can get sales almost immediately. Is better that an AdWords specialist do the initial advertising campaign setup. It takes too much time to learn and apply AdWord well. Use also an AdWords specialist to train you on how to use it. AdWords support from Google also offers free telephone support, which is precious.
Selling eBooks with a Blog
Business can sell physical or digital products. A blogger can get a lot of their post content and put it all together to form an ebook. The ebook selling needs a dedicated sales page describing benefits to persuade someone to buy. Good copywriting skills are important to guide visitors through a sales funnel.
A blogger is not limited to selling his ebook and can sell other bloggers ebooks. A product expansion could be to sell physical books.
Applying an ecommerce business strategy and a clear ecommerce store business plan is crucial. This will save time, money, and headaches. It involves products and competition research. You need to research ecommerce store ideas already in action by other successful small business ecommerce store owners. You should not reinvent the wheel. Pay a little attention to create a professional ecommerce store logo to use everywhere (social media, emails, invoices, package). A logo visually differentiates a business. An ecommerce store setup is easy to make, but bringing sales is a very different story.
An ecommerce store design should be simple and easy to navigate for consumers to find fast what they need. The easier solution to a professional design is to buy a paid theme/template with a lot of reviews. Product selection is the number one reason to get sales, but promotion is the next most important part. Products promotion should be everywhere, even within an ecommerce store tab within Facebook. Every little bit helps, but don’t spend too much time on unsure promotional channels. Ecommerce store marketing and internet marketing in general is the only way to get many people’s eyes on your store and products.
Making the selection of an ecommerce platform software is not easy. Learning to use well a platform will take quite some time. So, take your time to select the right platform. It’s good to know that you can upgrade from one platform to another even, if the transition will be a delicate issue and must be done by a professional.
The most popular long standing ecommerce platforms are Magento, Shopify and Prestashop and few others. Magento is a professional solution, but it costs to get full features from its enterprise edition. Shopify might be more user friendly but they keep a minor commission from every sale. Prestashop is 100% free with no product addition limits but takes time to learn it. In Magento and Prestashop case, you may need a one page checkout (OPC) and XML export module. OCP makes it easier for a customer to buy and this increases sales. XML export is needed to export products in Online Product Catalogue Services to promote easier and are a cost-effective solution.