Beginning an eCommerce business: a short guide

Last Updated: March 30, 2023

When it comes to running a business, you want to make sure that you do it well. It may seem relatively easy on the surface: ship in your items, make them re-sellable and then pass them on to your customers. However, you will quickly find that this is not the case.

Firstly, you need to find a business idea with a high level of interest to a customer base, then you need to cater to that interest. You need to find a reliable supplier to get your goods from that won’t sell you fake goods or rip you off.

Then you need to get your customers interested in your product over everyone else’s. Finally, you need to make sure that your customers feel well catered for from the beginning of their browsing experience to the point they are using your product. For one person, this is quite a list of challenges. Here is a short guide to beginning an eCommerce business to help you make the most out of your business idea. 

#1 Look around for the right suppliers

This will be difficult, especially if you don’t have the grounding or finances to employ the services of an agency. Finding the right supplier will take some trial and error, which might mean you give your money to the wrong company once or twice. However, it is well worth looking around and finding the right supplier, as this can help your business take off.

Not only is this a win for you, but it also helps more reliable companies be seen. You can also take advantage of companies that have done the legwork for you and provide a list of wholesalers in your niche. Some of these are better than others (as you would expect), so checking out insightful reviews like this one of by Avid Marketer of Salehoo could point you in the right direction.

Building a relationship with a supplier be the foundation of a profitable partnership, where you might be the first to take their new products to market, and therefore have exclusivity, which means you can charge a premium.

#2 Think about which service model you are going to use before you make your website

Deciding your business model before you make your website can be a big timesaver in the future. Not only does it stop you from having to start from scratch when you realize you’ve sent yourself down a blind alley, but it also will help you with advertising and organizing your website.

There are two service models that you can follow: you can either choose a transactional business model, which means that the whole website is prompted around making the best sale possible per customer, a bit like a car dealership; or you can choose a relational business model which can mean you build more of a relationship with your customer, and are more reliant on repeat purchases.

Of course, every business is different, so a service model that might work for someone else in the same niche as you might not work for you. You need to think about your target audience, age, gender, do a lot of research into what’s going to work, and then put theory into practice. It might work perfectly on the first try, or it might take a few adjustments to get everything perfect. But sorting this out sooner rather than later can help your business massively. 

#3 Consider using software or services that can make running your business easier

When you run a business on your own, you might not realize quite how much energy goes into sorting things out ‘behind-the-scenes’. You are probably going to be juggling the work of a three-person team if things start going well.

This is why you might want to use some software to make things a little easier for you. This can be project management software, apps that might help with budgeting and finance, or even just a chatbot on your website that can help your customers find their way around can be a job off of your list. Having a look around and finding the right software that suits you can be a saving grace to your business and stop you from getting an emotional burnout at the end of every week because you have worked yourself too hard. 

Using other services available, like getting some extra space via a storage unit or even getting an IT Support company to help you look after your tech, can be a great way to keep your business moving. 

To wrap thing up

Running a business is challenging and tough work. However, it is rewarding and can be a very fun occupation when you do it right. This can be difficult if you have never done it before, and without the right help, you might risk overworking yourself. Finding the right supplier either on your own or through review sites, finding the right service model that suits you and your audience best, and investing in services and software that can be a boon to you and your business can run your business more efficiently. Running an eCommerce business can be the perfect job for you, but it can be challenging without the right help. 


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