How should I start my ecommerce business? Pitfalls and guides.

The internet has played a huge role in the revolution of business in this era. Old ways of reaching customers and conducting business operations has evolved over the years. Things have become more automated. Businesses have had to drastically adjust to the new system of running their business, they’ve embraced the fact that it would be a loss to their business to be against this revolution. So while others have successfully adjusted or plunged in to this technology with their business, some have not had that much success. There are also those who are on the brink of joining the train however not so sure what to expect and how to get started. This post would help put this confusion into perspective.

Is going online for my business?

That’s the question some business people ask themselves. Some in this same line include: how can I tap into the resources of the internet? What do I need to get my business online? What can getting my business online bring to my business bottom-line? Before you even start, you should understand the usefulness of the internet and how it can boost your sales. The internet gives everybody a level playing ground. This means you can compete on same level with big giants like Samsung, Sony etc so long as you have your products to sell. If you can convince your customers enough that what you sell is good deal, you can make good sales for yourself. The internet breaks the walls of separation amongst geographical regions- making the world a one global unit. It’s so easy to locate a seller somewhere in China and you have your products shipped to your doorsteps in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. What this means to your business is; whatever you sell can be viewed by anybody in the world wherever they are so long as they have internet connection. Whatever you sell, there are technological applications that help make it easy for you to meet customers online. So to help put this into proper perspective. You want to ask yourself; what do you sell? Who do you intend to sell to? Who are your customers? Are these set of people the kind you can find online? If so, how do you find them online? These questions would help you a lot in deciding if selling online is right for your business and also how best to get your products in front of them.

This leads to the next question:

How much would it Cost to sell online?

To consider online as a medium to expand sales comes with cost. So are you ready for the cost it can bring? There are a lot of things to think about like the skill set needed to managing and running your online store for example. Do you need to get someone else to do this for you? How much would internet connection cost? How much for publicity and promotion of your offers? All these must be factored in when you’re planning your business to go online. Let it be clear to you how much you would spend as fixed and variable costs and see if it is something you can do.  There’s the dilemma of running your own ecommerce store where you put in a lot of resources (Which requires large resources) vs creating an ecommerce store with a store provider where you can promote your products on their marketplace in which some of these online store providers like cokodeal.com, konga.com, vconnect.com etc charge little for uploading items on their platforms but they do huge publicity for their subscribers which help the subscribers make more sales.

Are there other hidden costs? Issues like returns, order cancellations in transactions disputes can be a torn in the flesh for sellers. How prepared is your business to handle and withstand unforeseen situations like these ones? Given it’s your responsibility to satisfy your customers, How far can you go to do that? These are some of the questions to help give you birds’-eye view of how to setup for doing business online.

There are loads of benefits with leveraging ecommerce for your business, however focusing majorly on the benefits without actually having a clear picture on how much it can cost you can lead to serious mistake on the long run. This understanding would help anyone who wants to get their business online to know what they’re getting into.

 

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Raymond A

International trade and export specialist. Content manager at cokodeal.com

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