APAC accounts for 40% of global eCommerce sales in the first quarter of this year. Positive indicators such as fast rise of the middle class and internet penetration is helping the eCommerce platform gain ground not just in the region but globally.
But setting up an eCommerce business is just like any other business—it needs careful consideration to succeed. Here are a couple of things you need to make sure nail down before you launch your venture:
Launch Date Checklist
The opportunities in eCommerce will get you excited. But before diving in, tick these factors off your list to get ready for launch date.
1. What do you want to sell?
Before you thought of using the internet as a channel, you would have already thought of a product that you want to sell. As Neil Patel said, you can either “satisfy an itch” or replicate another business but improve on it. The former would mean following your heart’s desires. As long as you find a market for it, why not?
2. Get the Legalities Out of the Way
Being business compliant is one of the ways that you can assure clients that you are not a scammer. On the other hand, it also gives you the security that you need when appropriate. In addition, this also gives you the edge over other online sellers who do not operate legally. Consequently, it is one less thing that you need to worry about in case something untoward happens.
3. Maintaining Connection
For an eCommerce business to work, you will need an internet connection get things working. Your most important enabler is your internet connection. And not just any internet connection! eCommerce depends heavily on your ability to cater to your customers’ needs online in the fastest manner.
You should invest in a solid, reliable connection: fibre internet is the most obvious choice, and is being served out to consumers for as low as $59 a month. A fibre broadband plan enables you to respond quickly to customer queries and orders through faster speed capability. In addition, you will need a high upload speed to move goods over the internet by updating your products online in real time. eCommerce needs speed and stability that only a fibre connection can give you.
Other technical considerations such as web hosting, domain, usability, design functionality, and communication capabilities will also depend on your connection, not to mention your customers’ experience.
4. Design your Website to be eCommerce Friendly
While you get the backend up and working, think about your design and content on your website. It is as important as the machines and services working behind the scenes. Without it, you will not be able to attract customers to sell your wares to. Correct eCommerce design can make or break your sales and revenue, and it is an area that you shouldn’t skimp out on investment wise.
5. Set Up Goals
Because eCommerce is on demand, people tend to see it as a trend they can ride on. eCommerce is a serious industry with solid potential.
Compared to traditional businesses that entail huge capital, eCommerce provides an opportunity for anyone to sell and make money with little to no capital. This makes others assume it is easy and hurry on to launch without going through the necessary details. Goals are a necessary element of any business, whether online or traditional. Without it, you have no way of knowing whether you are succeeding or not.
Goals an online technicality can be set & measured with web apps such as Google analytics, which can allow you to track your sales and eCommerce conversions.
Here’s a useful tutorial as to how to accomplish just that:
6. Choose a Supplier and Think about your Supply Chain Process
Once you decide on what to sell or offer, you will need suppliers to provide you with the products. You can either go to resellers or straight to the manufacturers. Going direct to manufacturers obviously will give you a higher margin but they also require higher minimum purchases. Your choice will depend on your market forecast.
In addition to your suppliers, you must have a process of moving your goods from factory (or your home!) to customer. It does not need to be as complicated as what huge retailers use, but setting up some form of process helps you organize and see to all of your customers’ purchases, inquiries and requests. Some would draw a flow chart of their processes to help them visualize what goes on.