With the onset of the digital age, everything from our daily shopping to bill payments has moved online, and many retail stores are following suit.
According to business.com, 87% of shoppers today check ecommerce reviews before buying, and 77% of those shoppers buy online.
It definitely is a good time to start an ecommerce business. If you’ve been meaning to but think you don’t have enough resources, and by that we mean the green ones, fret not.
You can start an ecommerce business on the bare minimum, just have enough to cover the cost of a great ecommerce platform, one that does not have transactional fees or charges to scale, and you’re set.
What you will also need is a strong work ethic and a burning desire to succeed, well like any other business!
So let’s get down to it. How do you start an ecommerce business without scurrying for your rainy day stash?
Dropshipping makes it possible.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that doesn’t require you to maintain inventory, thus eliminating the financial investment of buying stock, storage costs, etc. and also the risk of a warehouse full of stock you might not sell.
The entry barrier to start an ecommerce business with the dropship model is very low and that is why it has gained such popularity and momentum.
We’ve gone in-depth on dropshipping here. And we’ll touch upon it further along, but for now, let’s get you started with some actionable steps!
Build a business plan and model
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
A good plan is the foundation of any business. If you have a shaky foundation, your empire will crumble even before you begin to build it.
Set long term objectives and break then down into small term goals and actionable steps. All your short term goals must cumulatively lead you to your long term goal.
Have a good understanding of ecommerce and how it works. Read up on ecommerce best practices, case studies, latest news etc. Know what works and what doesn’t. Set timelines for each goal.
Study the market, the audience you want to target, which products will give you a good margin, research trending products, research niche products.
Write your goals and timelines down. This is a good way to commit to getting things done.
Have a solid business plan in place before you spend even a dollar.
Decide what product you want to sell
The choice of product will determine the structure and success of your business. Choose well.
You can either go with a product that’s trending or choose a niche product. Trending or commoditized products are high in demand and popular products. Think golf clubs, head-phones, flash drives, toys etc.
Niche products serve a specific industry or customer base. For example, scuba gear, scanners, camera lenses, etc. Whichever way you do go, choose something you are passionate about.
With a little bit of creativity and aptitude, you can also sell goods you make, if you have the flair.
Identify or create a product that solves a specific problem. If you want to sell a trending product then hop in on the trend in the earlier stages and not after its saturated.
Set up an ecommerce store
The process of setting up an ecommerce store today as is easy as creating a Facebook account.
Set up your store with VARStreet in a few easy steps. Design your store, add your logo, upload the products you want to sell and voila!
Read this section on setting up your ecommerce store with VARStreet.
You don’t need to hire a team
A big chunk of overheads for any business is hiring employees. You can start an ecommerce business on your own without hiring employees.
VARSTreet’s ecommerce stores have a robust back-end and an automated order management system. The orders on your ecommerce store are forwarded to your dropship supplier who ships the order to your customers.
As and when you need a hand, outsource activities like clicking product pictures, handling your social media, writing product descriptions, etc. to freelancers.
Reduce business costs
Think branding and designing a logo is expensive? Think again. There are various free tools and programs available online.
Use a free logo generator, or design a logo yourself on Canva. You can use Canva to create banners and other graphics too. The free version works great and is a good substitute for Photoshop.
VARStreet’s ecommerce platform is easy to design and comes with ready templates, eliminating the need for developers.
You do not need a big investment to start an ecommerce business if you get a little creative and choose an ecommerce platform that gives you modern features, smooth integrations and is scalable at no additional cost.
VARStreet is one platform that is designed to meet the needs of all entrepreneurs big, small or just starting out.
Get in touch with us for a FREE product demo.