You might think you have a great product or idea that’ll practically sell itself — but, is that true? Most people who enter the ecommerce world picture a website getting a ton of traffic and selling out of products all the time—who wouldn’t!? It doesn’t always work out that way though, otherwise everyone would be doing it.
If you’re thinking about getting into the bustling world of ecommerce, you should be asking yourself these four questions — doing so will likely be the difference between running a successful enterprise and running a business straight into the ground.
How Much Do I Plan to Sell?
Whatever it is that you decide to sell, it’s important to know how much you think you’re going to sell of it. This is especially critical if you sell handmade trinkets or items as it directly relates to your own schedule. If you were hoping that opening up an ecommerce website was going to free up your schedule, yet you have to make everything yourself – you might find yourself busier than you anticipated.
When it comes to inventory, you want to keep your spending low on items that aren’t selling while having enough of the items that are doing well in your inventory at all times.
How Will I Market My Business?
This is one stage of business-owning that many people forget about or do not take into consideration when planning before launch. Just because you now own a business does not mean that you are suddenly going to be slammed selling product like crazy. If no one knows about your website, how is anyone going to know to buy from it?
This is where the power of social media should be noted. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great promotional tools for any digital marketing plan. In fact, according to BrandWatch, over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile device to purchase a product online — making them 70 percent more likely to do so than non-users.
How Do I Plan On Shipping Product?
For the online business, shipping plays an extremely important role in the success of your operation. Shipping can really cut into your bottom line if you don’t find the right method to get your product to your consumer base. By now, most online shoppers will know what is fair in regards to your shipping methods. For example, if you sell $5 hats, saying that a customer can only get free shipping if they buy $100 worth of hats probably isn’t going to fly with anyone. Find a reliable shipping service and provide a reasonable shipping agreement with your customers.
What Ecommerce Platform Will You Use?
Many people entering the world of ecommerce have no idea how an internet transaction occurs. Many entrepreneurs get into ecommerce for one of two reasons: they have a passion for their product or industry, or they have the technical background to build an ecommerce website and want to capitalize on that skill. Chances are most people fall into the former.
Running your own domain can take quite a lot of technical know-how that many small business owners might not possess. If you don’t want to pay for a dedicated person or team to help you manage your website there are many free ecommerce sites that allow you all the customization you could want, without having to mess around on the backend with code.
There are of course more questions to ask as the world of ecommerce can be quite limitless, however you’ll never get off the ground if you can’t answer each of the above questions during your pre-launch phase.