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What Is Ecommerce And How To Get Started - Step By Step Guide

Aug 9, 2022

By Shubham Kushwah

Reading time — 8 minutes

What Is Ecommerce And How To Get Started - Step By Step Guide at veonr blog by shubham kushwah

Let's jump right in.

Contents

  • Definition
  • Examples
  • Why eCommerce
  • What is a General eCommerce store
  • How Can I Get Started with eCommerce?
    • Step 1: Decide what you want to sell
    • Step 2: Product Sources
      • Dropshipping other people's products
    • Step 3: Building a selling platform
    • Step 4: Selling your products
      • Driving traffic to your eCommerce store
      • Facebook Ads
  • Conclusion

Definition

Let me give you the simplest definition. The buying and selling of goods and services over the internet.

Does that make sense? Basically, if you have ever purchased anything from amazon.com, or eBay. Well in that case you have taken part in someone's eCommerce setup.

Examples

Some of the most popular eCommerce websites online are:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Etsy

etc.

eCommerce does not mean you're only selling online though. You may have a physical store where you sell your products or services. But you also have an eCommerce set up - an online website.

For example:

  • Apple Computers has physical stores. But they also sell online on their website. So the website part in eCommerce.
  • Walmart sells physically as well as online.
  • Nike sells physically as well as online.

Why eCommerce?

One of the main benefits of eCommerce is that you can sell your things to anyone in the world.

Whereas at your physical store - you can only sell if the customers come to your doorstep.

It's powerful. And opens a whole variety of marketing and customer acquisition opportunities.

The future of eCommerce is looking highly lucrative. And it can be seen in the charts. It's growing at the rate of 23% year-over-year.

Here's a fun fact for you: 51% of Americans prefer to shop online. So that's obviously the preferred way of shopping for them.

30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from social media networks. Like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tiktok.

What is a General eCommerce store?

Regular eCommerce stores would usually stick to a specific niche. Such as Nike only sells shoes. Apple only sells electronic products like phones, laptops, etc.

But a general eCommerce store sells all sorts of stuff. You can find an authentic 24-carat gold chain, and next to it you may find some crocs or flip-flops.

In general eCommerce stores - the prices of products may vary highly.

General eCommerce stores are great for when you have a variety of products to sell. And you set up your store in a way that doesn't cater to a specific niche. But it allows all and everyone to visit and pick anything they fancy.

How Can I Get Started with eCommerce?

That's a really good question. And you're in the right place. Here's exactly how to do it.

Step 1: Decide what you want to sell

Now we do understand that this is not simple to do at all. So be sure to stay notified as we'll release a full-on article on what are all the possible products you can sell. And which one should you ignore.

You can pretty much go with your gut if you're getting started. Or you can refer to a product research guide. Which you can easily find online.

Step 2: Product Sources

The next thing you have to figure out is how you're going to source those products. There are many ways to do this. But to get started I'd recommend checking the following simple checklist:

  • Have you invented a new product?

In this case, you should consider "Private Labeling" as you can source the product in bulk. You can brand it however you want. And since you're selling out of your own inventory - you have full control over the stock.

The reason why Private Labeling can be lucrative:

  • High margins
  • Brand loyalty
  • Full control of the supply chain management
  • Faster deliveries
  • High customer satisfaction
  • Quick feedback loop

But it does come with some downsides, including:

  • It requires a bigger initial investment amount.
  • You must have a proper warehouse setup for storing the products.
  • What if you don't sell? Well, then you're stuck with all these products that no one wants to buy.

So what's a better approach?

Dropshipping other people's products

Yes. That's right. This is also an option. And a highly recommended one for beginners.

It's basically shipping directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

The benefits include:

  • You don't have to occupy your home with any inventory at all.
  • Incredibly low initial investment.
  • The variety of options available is insane. You can literally sell anything.

It's not all happy days though, here are some of the disadvantages of Dropshipping you should be aware of:

  • Shipping times are usually longer.
  • You lose control over your supply - as it's not your inventory.
  • Margins will not be super lucrative.

Now the question comes - where do I actually drop ship from?

You can rely on some of the Chinese suppliers as they would be really cheap for you to get started.

Such as:

  • AliExpress
  • eBay

If you're from the USA - there are some US suppliers as well - but they are slightly more difficult to work with. Because of tracking concerns.

If you're from India, you can try to find a really good supplier at a cheap price and get started. Maybe consider meeting them physically to understand the conditions clearly.

Step 3: Building a selling platform

Now that we're past the difficult steps, all we have to do is set up an online store.

One of the easiest ways to get started is by using platforms like:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento

etc.

The reason why Shopify is growing so rapidly is that it's one of the easiest ways to get started. You don't need any experience with coding/programming.

It has a convenient drag-and-drop page builder that looks beautiful out of the box.

A good thing about Shopify is that it supports a lot of payment processors. So it doesn't matter where in the world your customer is coming from. They would be able to pay easily using solutions like:

  • Stripe
  • Paypal
  • UPI

Shopify also has incredibly well-crafted logistics and fulfillment software.

Their application marketplace has everything else you can ask for. You can add almost any extensions and fully customize a lot of the features.

Shopify's forums are also super resourceful. And kindly answered by their own support team. As well as experienced developers and store owners.

Step 4: Selling your products

Now that you have a website up and running. Now you have to find ways to drive traffic to your store.

Driving traffic to your eCommerce store

Firstly you want to bring visitors. Then your concern is to convert them into paying customers. But how do you bring those visitors?

There are 2 methods - one is paid and one is free.

In paid - we have 2 great options:

  • Paid Advertising

You can pay websites to advertise your product/service on their platform. Such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc.

  • Influencer Marketing

Next, the best method is to offer some incentives to the industry leaders and influencers. They have a massive following. And can introduce your product/service to their audience for a share of the profit, or a fixed amount.

This can be done on platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Facebook Ads

If you can master Facebook Ads - you can sell almost anything in the world. Regardless of your product type, business model type, etc.

Although, yes I know. It takes money. And it takes time to get good at it. But it's definitely worth giving a shot if you're trying to sell something online.

Here's a quick little summary of how Facebook Ads work. There's a lot more to it. But here we go...

  • You create a post showcasing your product - with a link to your online store.
  • Then you use Facebook's interest targeting system. To point exactly to your ideal customer profile.

Some examples of targeting could be:

  • Working professionals
  • People working from home
  • etc.

Because Facebook has a lot of data about all these people. You can be very precise about factors like age, gender, location, profession, etc.

Then once you've set up all this targeting - you then pay an amount to Facebook. To display this post in the newsfeeds of your ideal customers. And that's how it brings traffic to your online store.

Conclusion

  • eCommerce is the simple process of buying and selling goods/services online.
  • eCommerce is growing rapidly. It has taken over retail already and is increasing the gap every day.
  • Shopify is a great platform to start your eCommerce store with. [Not sponsored]
  • You can go with private labeling or drop shipping to get started in your journey.
  • Dropshipping works best for those who can't risk it too much and want a quick way to dabble their hands in.
  • Facebook Ads are super powerful for those who know how to customize the settings. And turn those knobs in the right direction.

That's all. Good luck with your journey. Wish you all the success!


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