Read This Before You Start an E-Commerce Business

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E-commerce is fast becoming the most prolific business opportunity with projections of $5.1 trillion expected to be achieved by 2026. The rate of online shopping exploded with the pandemic and it has become easier than ever to get in on the action with business models that are virtually automated thanks to new technology like dropshipping. Here are some key things to consider before jumping into E-commerce entrepreneurship.

Dropshipping:

Drop shipping is an incredible new e-commerce tool that is making it easier than ever to become an online business owner. The premise of drop shipping is that you advertise a product that is sold by a supplier for a higher price than what they charge for it.

You then create a storefront where people can buy the item and once they pay, you send their shipping info to the supplier and they will send the product out to the customer for you. You get the profit and don’t have to worry about stock.

Drop shipping is a great opportunity, but you should remember that quality assurance is more difficult to achieve when you never handle the product, this may mean you’ll run into issues if someone wants to return their item because it isn’t satisfactory. Drop shipping has also become extremely popular which means the market is very competitive and you will need to jump on trends fast before the market becomes saturated.

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Follow Trends:

The key to finding a successful product that will get you sales is following trending items on social media.

“Social media platforms are a gold mine for information on all kinds of prospects” says Hamptons decor online retailer Hamptons Elegance, “Keeping track of trending products and styles using sites like TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are great ways to find hot products that people want to buy”.

Dropshipping has become a huge opportunity because supply sites like alibaba, aliexpress and dhgate are becoming better at creating dupes of trending products that can be drop shipped for a huge profit.

Take inspiration from your favourite social platforms to get inspiration for products you can see are popular. Once you have an idea of what you want to sell you can decide on your supply method.

Research Suppliers:

There are endless supplier options that you can access from the comfort of your home. International dropshippers like Alibaba, Aliexpress and Dhgate are a great, cheap option but you cannot always guarantee quality or FDA approved options will be available. Keep this in mind if you are selling products that require FDA approval or could be dangerous if not assembled properly.

Other options include print on demand apparel sites like Redbubble which allow you to create clothing designs and have them made and shipped to your customers without you ever needing to handle the stock.

Fiverr makes it possible to sell your services like photography, writing, voice acting and editing. This is great because you won’t need to hold any stock and some tasks can be quite easy to complete with a high profit margin.

Of course, you can always do it the old fashioned way and sell things you made yourself on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay and Etsy.

Packaging and Shipping:

Once you have determined who your supplier is you will need to figure out packaging and shipping. If you are dropshipping, most of this will be taken care of however keep in mind some dropshippers allow you to customise your packaging to reflect your brand. 

“Keep in mind that most dropshipping suppliers are international so you will have to consider if your customers will be okay with longer shipping times” warn Australia-based freight forwarding specialists from Camex.

If you want to have stock on hand to ship for faster shipping times you will need to research different postage options like courier, Australia Post or freight.

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Customer Care

A huge aspect of a successful business is being communicative with your customers. Oftentimes a good buying experience comes from maintaining a positive relationship with a buyer from before the transaction to after they receive their product or service. 

“Implementing attentive customer service that can help your customers with any issues they may have with the product will be a factor in getting good reviews that will boost your sales and get your more customers” says Telco Works.

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Marketing

The key to good business is marketing. If you can get your marketing right you can expect to enjoy high rates of customers and sales. Look to different social media platforms for trends that you can repurpose into advertisements. You will need to be creative and make your advertisements entertaining as a lot of social media users ignore or skip ads. “TikTok has phenomenal examples of successful advertisements that amass millions of views if you need some inspiration” suggests digital marketing specialist Daniel Poskitt.

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