.m Alie There is no doubt left now that the business transformation on the ecommerce model is the necessity, especially after the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic.
In 2020, ecommerce accounted for 16% of total worldwide retail sales, which is expected to grow up to 22% by 2023.
The retail revenue of the ecommerce industry will grow up to $6.5 trillion by 2022.
As far as I can see, there is not a declining curve in the graph of the ecommerce industry. Every business eventually will have to join the ecommerce industry either deliberately or in compulsion.
If you have any business model in mind about retail selling or b2b, then you’d better start it with ecommerce.
To all the beginner aspiring entrepreneurs who want to penetrate the ecommerce industry but have no clue how to start an ecommerce business, here is good news for you.
I have prepared a 5-steps most comprehensive guide for beginners that you can easily follow if you have zero exposure to digital marketing.
Do check out the valuable resources attached to each step, with these free resources you will not have to buy any courses to start your ecommerce business.
How to Start an Ecommerce Business in 5 Easy Steps
So, without further ado, let’s understand how to start an ecommerce business in 2020.
1- Find a Profitable Niche
Niche works like the foundation of ecommerce business. If the foundation is tilted, the whole business will tilt and eventually burst into the ground.
To find a profitable niche, you need to confirm some checkpoints that are:
Many newbie ecommerce entrepreneurs make the mistake of misinterpreting fad with trends. To create an ecommerce brand, you must go for the niche that has been consistently rising over the years.
Google Trends is the best tool to find current and previous trends of a niche over a specific time.
Like here, I was planning to penetrate the Home Improvement niche, so I planned to check its last five years’ trend.
The demand for this niche is on the verge of rising since last year, so it means it is a trending niche to penetrate with new ecommerce business.
Check Out the Market Value
The market value defines how rapidly the niche is growing with each passing year. The niche worth tells alot about the earning potential in a niche, so it helps in making up the mind when selecting the niche.
The CAGR is the Communal Annual Growth Rate that estimates the rate of return over a certain period of time. If the market value of any niche in multi-billion dollars with a reasonable CAGR rate in the coming years, then you can put all your money in that niche.
Check Product Diversity & Sub-Niches
Sometimes a niche is showing all positive sign, however, lacks in different products offering that makes the niche more competitive. With ample product options, you have the choice to fulfill the diverse needs of customers and attract customers with unique products within the same niche.
Just go to Amazon and check out how many different products and sub-niches does your niche contains.
Also, you can go to Google and search for the top products within your niche.
2- Product Hunting
Once you finalize a niche, then you have to find trendings products within your niche to sell in your ecommerce business. To hunt products for an online store, I have a straightforward three steps method.
Step #1 – Amazon Best Seller Page
Amazon bestseller is a great free resource that lists the best selling products on Amazon from different categories. This page is updated on an hourly basis so you can easily find the current hot selling item on your store.
Just go to the Amazon bestseller page, select the category, and check out the best items to sell in your store.
Like here, I find “LED strip lights” twice in the top three positions of bestselling items in the list of home improvement category.
Step # 2 – Google Trends
Next, you need to find out that the product is trending worldwide or not. For that, Google trends is the best option to find the trend of any products or niche.
I recommend checking the trends of at least five years to see how much the demand for the products has progressed over the years.
Step # 3 – Aliexpress
The selling price of any product on Amazon is generally applicable worldwide.
Aliexpress is one of the best platforms to find suppliers for your online store. The price that you get here is your cost of good, and the price on Amazon is the selling price.
To calculate the profits of the product, find out the exact product on Aliexpress.
You can get this product for as low as $6.5 (per unit cost) and sell it for up to $28. It is undoubtedly a winning product in your ecommerce business.
3- Find the Best Supplier
Now that you have finalized the niche and picked up the best product to sell in your ecommerce store. Now it is time to find the best suppliers from where you can source your products.
Evaluate the Suppliers and Shortlist the Best One
There are several websites from where you can find the supplier for your ecommerce business or dropshipping business.
Here are some of the top Suppliers for Ecommerce Business
- Aliexpress ( Free to sign-up)
- Alibaba (Free to sign-up)
- DropshipDirect ( Free to sign-up)
- Wholesale Central ( Free to sign-up)
- Salehoo ($67/month)
- Worldwide Brands ($249 one-time fee)
- Doba ($29/month)
- Wholesale2B ($24.99)
Let’s say you choose Aliexpress to find a supplier.
First, find the product and sort the results by orders.
Then, check the top products and visit the store of the supplier.
Go to the feedback section and check the complete rating history of the store.
You might need multiple suppliers for different products. Shortlist the top suppliers based on thier feedback and move on to the next step.
Prepare Questions to Ask
The supplier in the ecommerce industry works as your partner. They are the ones who will control the product quality and even ship them if you’re going for the dropshipping business model.
You need to be clear about what you need to ask from your the supplier such as,
- Ask for the sample products to evaluate the product quality.
- Confirm the worldwide delivery option, shipping time, and shipping cost.
- Ask about custom branding and logo.
- Ask about the minimum order quantity and negotiate the price.
These are some of the main questions that you must ask before choosing a supplier.
Define Your Business to the Supplier
Share your business model with your supplier and tell them either you want to buy in wholesale or want to do dropship.
Suppliers are old players in the ecommerce industry. They can actually guide you pretty well about the trends and even provide you tips about marketing. Also, tell them about your target market so they can offer the best shipping service to assure fast deliveries.
Build Strong Relation with Your Suppliers
The suppliers are very cooperative and like to hobnob with ecommerce entrepreneurs. Effective communication is the key to success for every business in the world.
Send them messages on every event and try to make a strong relationship with your suppliers to run your ecommerce business smoothly.
4- Setup Your Ecommerce Store (Shopify)
Finally comes the major step in starting your ecommerce business.
To start an ecommerce business, you need to have an ecommerce platform to create an ecommerce store.
There are multiple ecommerce platforms, but currently, the best one right now is Shopify.
Shopify is an easy-to-use ecommerce platform that allows creating an online store without any coding or web development skills. Anyone can create a Shopify with its easy drag and drop option.
To set up a Shopify store, just go to Shopify login and start a 14-days free trial.
Enter the email address and personal information.
That’s it. Now, you have access to the Shopify dashboard.
Add Domain Name
If you already have a domain name, then you can just add in your store, or you can buy directly from Shopify.
Use the business name generator to come up with a killer name for your ecommerce business.
To add a domain,
- Login to Shopify dashboard
- Go to the online store option.
- Click on domain
- Select ‘buy a new domain’ or ‘connect to an existing domain.’
To live your Shopify store, you need to buy a plan.
Shopify offers three different; however, for small businesses, $29/month is the best plan option.
Check out this Shopify store setup guide to learn the complete setup of the Shopify store, including theme customization, product addition, and payment gateway setup.
If you are going for the dropshipping business model, then you can use the Oberlo app to import products to your Shopify automatically from Aliexpress.
Watch this video to learn how to add products to the Shopify store.
5 – Marketing (Facebook & Instagram Ads)
Once your store is live, you need a traffic source to sell your products fast. You got two options to reach your target audience.
1- Organic – Google Search
Optimize your store listing and rank your store on Google’s first page against the targeted keyword of your product title. This may require you to perform some severe SEO activities.
But, to be honest, it might take you several months to get ranking on Google search for a new domain, and even after months, success is not guaranteed.
2 – Paid Advertisement
To generate instant sales of your product, the option you have is to run ads on Facebook and Instagram to reach the target audience and generate quick revenue.
- Facebook & Instagram Ads
Social media marketing is one of my favorite sources to generate traffic to online stores. With tools, such as Facebook audience insights, detailed targeting, and lookalike audience, you can easily find the best audience to sell your ecommerce products.
Run multiple ads set on different products campaign and find the winning product of your online store.
Here are some resources that would help you to generate sales with your first ad campaign:
- Instagram Influencer Marketing
This marketing strategy provides one of the most significant results in terms of generating sales rapidly.
The influencers on Instagram have a significantly broad audience that engages with them regularly their strong association with your target audience can help your ecommerce business to generate rapid sales.
They already have an audience who trusted them, and only so, you only need to find a relevant influencer who has an audience related to your niche.
You do not have to go big influencer millions of following even multiple micro-influencers works better than macro-influencer.
5000-50000 followers influencers usually have a better engagement rate that can help you sell your product fast.
If a micro-influencer has 10k followers and receive an average of 1k likes on a post, the engagement rate is:
1000/10000 x 100 = 10% engagement rate.
This engagement rate is outstanding because these are your target audience, so do not have to worry about wasting your money by running ads in front of the cold audience.
Here is what you need to do:
- Find the relevant influencer for your niche.
- Check out thier engagement rate.
- Contact them and negotiate the price.
If one influencer starts making sales, then find 2 or 3 more influencers like him and make them work for you at the same time.
If you made it so far, then I can assume that you must have a crystal clear about how to start an ecommerce business in 2020. Starting an ecommerce business at this time has become a compulsion now, and with tools like Shopify, it was never so easy to penetrate in this trillion-dollar industry.
Now is the time to launch your first ecommerce store. As a beginner, you will find it challenging to find a targeted audience that would convert into your customers. Still, if you stick with a niche store followed with niche marketing and detailed targeting, you can quickly generate massive revenue.
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