What is eCommerce and what does it take to start an eCommerce business from your home?
You are probably familiar with the term eCommerce. As simple as it sounds, starting a home-based business in eCommerce can be very challenging. There are many sites out there that want you to believe that all you need to operate an eCommerce business is a website with a shopping cart feature. That is only ONE of the things you need. We will also take a look at WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO BE DOING to get started or to grow your current business. But, let’s start with an understanding of what eCommerce is and how to choose the right type of business for you.
It’s true, selling goods or services online allows you to reach thousands of people instantaneously and can be operated as a home-based business no matter where you are living in the world. This gives you a great opportunity to grow your business quickly but it can also be a disaster in disguise! If you are not prepared to face sudden growth challenges, you could be in trouble as many small, online businesses have learned.
What type of eCommerce home-based business can you be operating?
The most popular items being sold on the internet related to website design, internet access, email services, web hosting and domain names. Second in popularity are information products and software. Today you will find every type of product and service available in brick and mortar stores being sold online. Any of these offers the opportunity for you to get a home-based business up and running and selling a product online.
But what is the best eCommerce business for you?
Here is the four-letter word many online businesses do not like to hear: PLAN. Yes you need a business plan if you want to get started in eCommerce. Your plan starts with taking an inventory of what you like to do, your skills and knowledge. The two easiest ways to enter the eCommerce world are by creating (or selling) information products or as an “affiliate” of a large company and earn commissions on sales as their advertising representative.
The most common items people think of when they hear the term eCommerce are physical items purchased online that get shipped to their door. This is another great opportunity for you as you consider your home business options and maybe the easiest for some of you to get up and running right away. We will discuss all of these opportunities and you can access that information by navigating the links at the bottom of this article.
No matter what the product, common variables exist across all eCommerce opportunities.
Whether you create the product to be sold or help sell a product for another company, an eCommerce business requires several things to become visible to internet shoppers:
- A domain name registration: The domain name you choose is the main marketing tool for your business. It should be related to the product or service that you are selling.
- A web hosting company: Choose a reputable web hosting company. They provide around-the-clock technical support to keep your website accessible to visitors. Make sure that the web hosting company has the capability for secure socket layer pages (SSL)- this is the technology that you need for encryption to work on your website.
- A website design: Your website design needs to be built so that it’s easy for your visitors to find the information that they need quickly. Your website should be focused on showing how your visitors will benefit by purchasing your product or service.
- Organizing the components for an eCommerce business takes time and so does becoming profitable. The most important piece of this puzzle is your eCommerce business plan; it should outline your idea, the products you will be offering, who your potential buyers are, how you will deliver your message to them and how much it will cost to operate your home-based business. Keep it simple and learn as much as you can about how eCommerce works and you can be successful.