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Electronic commerce, more commonly known as e-commerce, is buying and selling goods online, an activity growing in popularity due to its high convenience. In fact, the National Retail Federation predicted in 2017 that it would increase between 8-12% in the United States. If you plan to enter this practice and start your own online business, there are a few tasks to achieve before putting your hard work out there.
1. Research Your Market
Before you even think about the specifics of your business, it is crucial to determine what items you will sell and who will be buying them. Think about your skills or passions, then focus on monetizing them. Alternatively, investigate what demographic and products are the most profitable. Do not be afraid to cater to niche markets. For instance, a collectors’ toy store or a vaporizer store are more successful since they appeal to specific, but loyal customers.
2. Create Promotion
As a novice small business owner, you will need to get the word out about your services. Online marketing is the best way to achieve visibility.
- Official websites
- Social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Blogs with frequent entries
- Video commercials and product demonstrations
- Sponsored blog posts and other collaborations
- Online reviews
Start out small with social media pages and see where the business grows from there. If you need assistance, hire an online marketing specialist to assist you with promoting the store.
3. Prepare for Fraud
Unfortunately, online fraud is prevalent and can harm your business when not treated carefully. Even small operations like yours can be targeted, since most small merchants do not expect to be the victims of fraud. Most of the time, suspicious buyers may provide you wrong information that makes it impossible to charge them or they may claim a chargeback over a false complaint. Sometimes, even friendly fraud occurs, where customers unknowingly request a chargeback over a perceived flaw. Seek the assistance of services that prevent these incidents and fight back nebulous chargeback attempts
4. Be Patient
The most important resource you can have when starting out in e-commerce is patience. It will take time to learn about every tool at your disposal, how each product will sell and how to build a reliable consumer base. You might need to learn from mistakes and adapt, but persistence and patience can help you develop as a merchant over time.
The world of e-commerce can be rewarding and profitable, but also difficult without preparation. Learn about the business, gather the right tools and take chances to start and maintain a successful online marketplace.