Stepping into the world of eCommerce may sound intimidating and full of opportunities. No, doubt it is even more fascinating that it appears and has a lot in store for those who know how to play it right.
For beginners, they might have to learn a thing or two before they enter into the eCommerce market, but more importantly, they need to understand what they want to focus on.
Simply launching an online store won’t help as there are many others already prevailing in the market. Out of the many things that you need to accomplish, you also need to distinguish yourself significantly in the market, so that your audience knows that you exist.
eCommerce business poses many challenges to be accomplished, in its path to be established as a successfully running business.
This is the reason why going by the statistics, only fifty percent of the new businesses last more than 5 years in the market. Therefore, any new entrepreneur must analyze their business model and build one that successfully sustains their business in the market.
Elon Musk, CEO & CTO of SpaceX and Investor in PayPal correctly emphasizes the point of a purpose for a new business by writing “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.”
Of course, if you are creating an online store, you want to make sales and achieve a higher return on investment. As easy as it may sound, it involves a great deal of ingredients to be cooked under increased supervision, for the recipe to come out clean and perfect.
Entrepreneurs need to understand how an online store is different and advantageous as compared to an offline store so that they are able to create an ethereal and eye-catching experience for their customers.
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of the popular online store eBay emphasizes on this unique experience by saying,
“People were doing business with one another through the Internet already, through bulletin boards. But on the Web, we could make it interactive, we could create an auction, we could create a real marketplace. And that’s really what triggered my imagination, if you will, and that’s what I did.”
So, if you are willing to step into the opportunistic and ever increasing market of commerce, here are the 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Online Store:
1. What is my target Market and who is my target audience?
The very basic of all, you must know who you want to sell to and where. You cannot go around pleasing everyone, and even if you try to, there are strong chances that this strategy will fail as a beginner. You need to exactly know your audience, which is why it is advisable to conduct a market research to begin.
Understand your customer persona which refers to their likes, dislikes, taste, age, gender, a ratio of population, profession, their buying habits, products preferred by them etc. This will give you an understanding of what you should focus on and who will buy your product.
It is also suggested to ask yourself about your target market, which is what kind of products will you be selling. Will you be targeting the garments market, or electronic products or the books? Don’t rush yourself in these early stages, as they may contribute to your overall business success.
Design your business proposition according to it and come up with ways to attract your target customer, once you know about them.
2. How can I add value to my online store?
There are many online stores available in the market, but it is what makes buyers trust stores like Amazon or Flipkart the most?
The answer is because these businesses focus on providing value to their customers and not just focus on hardcore sales.
No doubt that sales are important for any online store, but it is also essential to understand the fact that buyers do not care about how much products are you able to sell. They just care about the experience and distinguished value that they are able to derive from your online shop.
It’s not necessary that the customers will buy your product if it is available at a lesser price in the market. Though it may be a contributing factor, you need to make sure that you are able to focus on the fact that your product has some value that can impact the customer’s life in a positive way.
Seth Godin, American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker correctly said that
“The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”
3. What is my growth potential?
One of the most important things to consider for beginners in eCommerce is to determine their return on investments and potential of growth.
As an entrepreneur, you need to perceive your business in the future based on your current statistics. Analyzing the return on investment and how far are you willing to scale your business will help you build a sustainable strategy to remain as a strong force in the market.
Remember that you will have to provide a room for growth to your online business if you want to stay in the market over time. In order to do so, you need to keep a track of your goals and constantly analyze your profits over time so that you do not end up regretting your business initiation in the first place.
Jason Goldberg, Founder of Fab.com stresses the point as
“There are some who will call us a success because of this fundraise. They’ll say we’re worth billions. And, of course, there are some who will call it a bubble. We know that the truth is that raising money is not success. Raising money is a responsibility that opens up new opportunities.”
These questions might not guarantee a sure shot success of your online platform, but will surely provide you a depth of your own understandings of the market and give you a head start in the right direction. It is always advisable to do a market research before you start and keep an eye on how your competitors are doing.
Jack Ma who is the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group writes, “You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”
So, focus on distinguishing yourself and surpassing the expectations of your customer to achieve success in the ever profitable world of online business.