What to Consider When Starting an Ecommerce Business
By David Oakes
Things to Consider When Starting an E-Commerce Dropshipping Business -
So, you are thinking about opening an e-commerce store to sell products. Take a few minutes to consider whether you have the patience and capabilities to be a retailer, how you are going to do it and why.
There are a lot of companies with online e-commerce platforms that say: No experience required, let us set up a website for you, and it’s easy. Be advised: It’s not easy, setting up a website takes time, planning and experience; and it takes a particular type of detail-oriented and thoughtful person to be a business owner, particularly an online retailer.
Do you have a mind that is detail-oriented, and do you enjoy working with numbers and spreadsheets? If you do, then you may be suited to be a business owner. Operating an e-commerce store is complex, and involves marketing, communications, finances, customer service and other skills. You may not have some of the skills now and, sometimes, experience can be a good teacher. But, understanding basic retail concepts and operations should be a first step before launching an online store. Research other people’s experiences to understand why they were successful or failed. Read a book or in-depth articles about online retailing to get a sense of the landscape. Why? Thoughtful preparation gives you knowledge. It tells you what you do not know, and diminishes assumptions and clarifies your expectations.
What Type Of Products to Sell
If you have decided to forge ahead and become an online retailer, consider what you want to sell. There are millions of dropship products that can be sold through an online store. Think about products that you know, or are at least familiar with, and whether you have enough knowledge to understand the products.
Do you like equestrian and ranch equipment, were raised on a ranch, and know how they are used? Are you in to the latest fashion trends and what celebrities are wearing? People like pets, and maybe you do too, and pet products could be something that interests you. Whatever the product category, you should have a connection to it, either from experience or interest. This will help you be an expert in this product category. But, more importantly, it should engage you.
Why is this important? Because when you are engaged with a product you are selling, you have enthusiasm, which helps you focus and pay attention to your business.
Operating An Online Business
Although e-commerce promoters hype the ease at which it is to operate an online dropshipping business, paying attention to and focusing on the business is essential to its success. Having good, sellable products; tracking orders to make sure they are delivered; and providing customer support and dealing with suppliers when an order is not properly fulfilled are just some of the details that will demand your attention and thoughtful solutions.
Finally, when you have decided that you have the ability and knowledge to be an online retailer, thoroughly research and compare online e-commerce platforms. Open a spreadsheet to enter data from each of the e-commerce service providers to effectively compare costs and services. Some e-commerce platforms offer products that you can sell, whereas others do not and go through third-party providers that connect you with suppliers and manufacturers, such as TopDawg. Know before you buy.
When you decide on an e-commerce platform, test drive it. But be prepared to spend several days configuring, designing color schemes and the look and feel, stocking inventory, setting prices and configuring the search engine optimization.
Remember, when deciding whether to become an e-commerce retailer and a business owner, understand the responsibilities and time dedication required to research, acquire, stock, launch your site, and grow your business. You will be better prepared and more successful if you do.
Launching your online retail store can start you on the path to a successful business. At TopDawg, we support your success with a growing number of dropshipping suppliers with wholesale products, powerful store integration, order automation and shipping tools, along with higher profit margins.