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5 Things to Know Before Starting an E-commerce Business

By Vishnu M S

There's a major change happening in the world of commerce and it's rising the playing field for innovative and visionary entrepreneurs globally. Retail stores are shifting online to adapt to new generation consumer's habits and a pandemic that's closed several physical storefronts.

This is a unique time where you can bring in new innovative products to the market, find your consumers, and grow your sales. However, launching an online platform can be challenging, so here's a list of the top five things you should know for establishing a successful e-commerce business.

1. Understand What You Are Selling

Have a defined product and research which product line has demand before setting up your business. If your product is completely new in a category or if you are starting a new category then, in this case, ensure you consist intellectual property protections in place before you put it on the internet. 

If you are selling a widely available product you need to understand how often these products are sold by different sellers.  If the market is highly saturated, and you do not find a way to differentiate yourself as a seller, you may have to spend more time developing your idea.

2.Understand Your Consumer 

Identify who your customers are and what are their requirements.  This is a very crucial step in the process. Several have struggled in this area and got stuck on what their product is and how to use it, but they should have looked at who the consumer is and why would they want the product.   

3.Better Packaging 

Before eCommerce, manufacturers focused on fancy out-front packages which enticed people to buy. However, in the world of eCommerce, the looks of the packaging are not as important as its safety and security while shipping. Make sure while your products that are exclusively available on eCommerce are designed with a high-level safety when it comes to packaging so that the package will be not damaged when shipping. Amazon and other retailers have guidelines on designing eCommerce packaging, research on various types of packaging where you may streamline your package development process. 

4. Go-To-Marketing Strategy 

 If you are selling exclusively online, or traditional way in offline stores, or on eCommerce retailers as well. Identify the area which is the best fit for your product as well as in terms of profits.

Amazon is trying to grow its ability to sell custom or handmade products, the bulk of demand for those products goes through several small-scale e-commerce stores.  If you are willing to sell on eCommerce retail sites, choose a suitable method of selling that is in your online store or directly to the eCommerce retailer. You can set up your seller store on several large eCommerce retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Walmart, eBay. 

5.  How to Ship Your Product 

If you choose to sell directly to eCommerce retailers, there are important questions you should ask yourself and find the appropriate solution to them. Choosing whether to ship your product or do you want to have a distributor manage to ship. If you are vending directly to the customer either through your site or as a third party on an eCommerce site, will you be able to handle shipping directly to the customers and the shipments. Be prepared to hire a distributor or drop-ship vendor to handle the fulfillment of your orders. These are some questions that may arise while starting an e-commerce business. 

The challenges or hurdles that may come along the way are endless, but it is very important to address them before setting up a new eCommerce business.  If you stimulate the solutions before launching your business, you will save yourself a lot of time and stress in the future as you will be well-prepared. 

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