The E-commerce world is one of the most profitable industries to be involved in, however the great rewards on offer have lead to immense competition. A quick search of online shops on Google reveals hundreds of stores selling the same thing. Some insider knowledge along with careful planning and dedication is all you’ll really need to become successful.
The best part of Ecommerce is the small capital needed to get going compared with the unlimited potential turnover. An initial investment of $10,000 can result in an annual turnover of $1,000,000 + in just 3 years. This may seem a difficult task, however this guide offers some handy tips that will help you reach this goal!
You need a great looking website in order to be profitable. The competitive nature of E-commerce means that your website must stand out. All the successful online stores have functional and professional looking websites. They have spent years and mountains of money perfecting their sites so spend time going through the top online stores and incorporate their best features into your site.
Building a professional website for under $10,000
A premium Graphic design and Web development company will charge around $40,000 for a fully functional and professional site. You can get the same quality for under $10,000 if you follow these steps.
1. Find a local university which has IT courses and put an ad on their notice boards looking for people finishing their degrees. Post grad students have all the required technical skill and they charge a third of the going rate with major companies.
2. Use an existing open source shopping cart platform such as Magento, so most of the work will already have been done.
3. Spend time researching and designing the features of the site yourself. Have a clear vision of what you want, you will save thousands if you do it yourself rather than paying your designer for this.
Planning and preparation
One of the keys to success is to plan and prepare before you launch. Every minute detail of the business must be recognised and a course of action taken. Everything from dealing with enquiries, processing sales, through to organising returns must be planned out to the smallest details.
Strong relationships with suppliers
Once you join a distributor, make an effort to meet with them personally or at least spend time talking with your sales rep about your vision for your business. If you have a good relationship with your distributor, they will actively help you to succeed and achieve your goals. You can then ask for special pricing which will give you a competitive advantage in the market.
As soon as a steady turnover begins to develop your focus should turn towards your customer base. The following tactics are a sold starting point in getting your customers to return.
o Weekly newsletters with discount coupons and specials
o Automatic emails sent 1 and 2 months after an order reminding the customer of your existence
o Referral programs which offer store credit to those who refer friends to your store.
By following these tips and by having a strong marketing campaign, you can turn an initial investment of under $10,000 into an annual turnover of $1,000,000 in just 3 years!