There’s never been a better time to start your own online business.
Ecommerce is growing rapidly with a whopping 21% more sales expected in 2018.
All you need is a couple of hundred dollars for a website domain and some ecommerce software and you can have your brand new online store live in a matter of hours.
The hardest part is finding a killer ecommerce business idea to make your dream a profitable reality.
Dartboarding your way around different ecommerce industries for the perfect bullseye is a waste of your time and effort. There’s no magical secret to instant ecommerce success, but there are a few critical tactics you can use to streamline the process.
We want to give you four ways to simplify your search. Follow these directions and your path to launching your own profitable online store will be faster, quicker and clearer.
#1. Think about what interests YOU
If you don’t care deeply about your product, you’ll find it almost impossible to muster the strength and resolve you need to generate sustainable business success.
Remember why you’re driven to start your own business. Make sure your new venture will be invigorating, interesting and exciting. You’ll find it so much easier to overcome the challenges of running your own business.
Jot down a list of your interest, hobbies and passions.
Use this list as the starting point for your research. Refine your ideas, scour search engines and social media to research each idea in detail. Try to determine what sort of products and industries are growing in popularity online right now and if it could be a viable ecommerce product.
Consider what products you use on a regular basis.
- Are there any luxury items you’re truly passionate about? Products with high prices tend to have juicy profit margins and the direct-to-consumer business model of ecommerce leaves many luxury brands ripe for digital disruption.
- What problems do you or your friends have with traditional retail stores? Could you improve a service experience by developing an ecommerce alternative?
- Think about the market for your product or service idea. Would you or your friends buy these things online? Construct a list of objections and work out how to overcome each one.
A little extra preparation will help you tease out the kinds of business ideas you can commit to for the long term.
#2. Try to target a unique idea
A genuinely new idea is the ultimate prize for any ecommerce entrepreneur. These lightbulb-moments don’t come along too often, but you can strive to search for variations on existing ideas to make sure your ecommerce business contains a unique concept or approach.
If you can incrementally improve a product, service or customer experience with your new business, you’ll find it easier to attract new customers.
Focus on the advantages an ecommerce business provides over traditional offline rivals. Convenience, cost savings, detailed information and simplicity are just a few of the advantages of the ecommerce customer experience. Combine your idea with an innovation in one of these areas and you might just carve out a unique niche in an existing market.
Figure out how you can make your business idea special.
Online retail software providers BigCommerce, emphasise the importance of including hard-to-get products in your business arsenal and how fitting into a niche market can build your business’s success.
Personalised products are often successful for ecommerce brands. The rarity makes these products special and generates an emotional connection for the customer. The data available to ecommerce brands makes this personalisation possible.
If you can find a way to harness the emotion of a customer, you have the platform for generating repeat customers who are prepared to pay a premium for your products
We all dream about launching the new Amazon/Netflix/InsertNextBigEcommerceBrandHere, but game-changing innovation is just not as simple as pulling on a Steve Jobs skivvy.
Don’t feel like you have to wait for the perfect, fail-proof idea.
Instead, keep tinkering with the best and make it one step better.
#3. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your competition
Even ecommerce first-movers face competition from existing offline retailers.
Don’t isolate your attention. You should know your competition better than your first cousin before you commit to your launch. Find the weak points in your industry and exploit these areas for your gain. Similarly, focus on the areas where competing brands have established advantages and develop plans to chip away at these strengths.
You need to nurture your internal critic to find your flaws before you start your business. A recklessly positive outlook might speed up your launch process, but it will only make it easier for your competition to fight back hard.
Instead of avoiding the other players in your market, take the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and successes. Analyse why customers stay loyal to market-leading brands. Work out how you can appropriate or improve on similar strategies to dominate.
Find, analyse and tear apart the best in your new business to make sure you can do it better.
#4. Can you use international ecommerce shipping to take on the world?
Ecommerce gives entrepreneurs the ability to reach customers across the globe. Online stores are open 24 hours and visitors need just a few seconds to get to your shop. You need to find a way to include international expansion into your launch plans. Otherwise, you’re almost certainly missing out on a mountain of potential sales.
Think about your products and how you might need to refine and adapt your marketing strategy locally, nationally and globally. Is your product universal? Could you grow your online store’s visibility with social media to help you reach a larger audience? Maybe you need to develop relationships with influencers or non-competing brands targeting similar customers in foreign markets?
Global delivery is also becoming more cost-effective for shrewd online retailers.
Worldwide shipping is growing rapidly in demand with the increasing access to and use of the internet. Competition amongst service providers continues to drive the cost of global delivery down. Incorporate delivery expenses into your pricing, and give overseas shoppers the chance to buy your products.
There’s never been a better time to make your ecommerce business dream a reality
Stop thinking about changing your life and start taking steps to develop your online business idea.
Remember, there are four simple tactics you can use to kickstart your new ecommerce future.
#1. Focus on your passion
#2. Search for a unique idea
#3. Learn from your competition
#4. Find a global market
There’s a risk factor with starting any business but you need to embrace your fears and take on the challenge.
The likes of Jeff Bezos, Sophia Amoruso and Jack Ma didn’t found Amazon, Nasty Gal and Alibaba by shirking risks and staying safe.
Put in the research, make your passion your business and stay determined in the face of the adversity you are sure to encounter. With smart, thorough planning, you’ll have a strong foundation for a successful ecommerce business.
Make this article the trigger for your life-changing new career.
Go on – get started.
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