6 Things To Check Before Starting An eCommerce Business 
There’s no denying the fact that ecommerce is everywhere, literally. All thanks to the Internet, Amazon, and other ecommerce mobile apps which have made it possible for online shopping to be such a big part of our day-to-day lives.
Recently, the importance of online shopping and ecommerce increased many folds when the entire world realized that we’ll have to live with this virus. The overall ecommerce retail sales jumped to account for 16% of the sales in the USA.
Now lives without shopping online for almost everything is quite unimaginable.
Since everyone is going to shop online, sooner or later, for everything, the best and most logical step for physical brick-and-mortar stores, if they’ve not already taken this step, is to digitalize their businesses and get their skin in the ecommerce game.
Going online comes with a set of advantages like reaching a wider audience, easier to calculate ROI, the democratization of advertisement space, etc. but it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to build a business online. There are certain obstacles that every business will need to overcome to be a success online.
So, here’s a list of 6 things you need to check before starting an ecommerce business.
1. Market Research
You can never have enough data about your customers’ preferences, habits, and behavior. Even though you might have been in the business for quite a long time, it’s always better to conduct market research first and then make any major decisions.
First, start your market research to assess the likelihood of your customers responding positively to your digitalization move.
Mostly, it’ll be positive since it saves their time and these days, their and your lives, literally. Once it’s confirmed, then maybe you can try to understand their expectations from your ecommerce store in terms of product range, customer experience, support, shipping/delivery options, etc.
When it comes to determining what customers prefer in online shopping, it’s clear that most buyers prefer to purchase a product that is visually appealing and appears to be flawless. By editing your images with professional hands, UK Clipping Path, a leading image editing company, ensures that they are highly appealing. To take this into account, get a free consultation.
Conducting market research beforehand will not only help you manage your customers’ expectations but will also help you stay one step ahead of everything.
2. Business Model
Having a business plan/model comes in handy for almost every aspect of running a business.
A business plan can help you allocate budgets for different activities like marketing, customer support, inventory, order fulfilment, etc. It can also provide you an overview of your revenue streams, target audience, sales goals, marketing strategies, and more.
By having a business model, you are essentially creating a wireframe to run your online business while streamlining operations of all the required departments.
Remember: The business plan/model for running a traditional brick-and-mortar store won’t work for an ecommerce store. You will need to create a new one from scratch.
3. The Right Product
It goes without saying that having the right product that has substantial demand in the market sets you up for success from the beginning.
For example, let’s say you didn’t have much demand for the product you were selling from your physical store. Most business owners make the mistake of assuming that starting an online business will generate more leads and business from them even with the same products.
The rule of thumb is that if it wasn’t selling in a physical store, it won’t magically sell just by setting up an online store.
You will need to revise the list of products before setting up your ecommerce business. The best ways to choose the right product(s) are conducting competitor analysis, market research, and trial and error.
4. Online Marketing Strategy
Since the success of your ecommerce business depends on your online presence, having an online marketing strategy should be on your priority list. And it’s not limited to social media, emails, and ads. It actually starts with your website having the right money pages or also called landing pages.
While creating your online marketing strategy, consider the entire journey your customers take to buy your products. How they get to know about your brand, what page they land on, what content and call to actions need to go on the landing page, what elements should your checkout page have, the kind of communication that needs to go out after a purchase or in case they abandon the cart, etc.
All these aspects of your customer’s journey should be well-crafted so as to make it frictionless for your customers to shop with you.
The smoother their experience with you, the more conversions you’ll have.
The legalities for running an ecommerce business are similar to running a brick-and-mortar store. But there are some other laws and regulations that you’ll need to follow for running an online business.
You will need to have a proper understanding of laws that govern different aspects of ecommerce business like payment gateways, trademarks, patents, copyrights, shipping restrictions, inventory restrictions, business insurance, etc.
To get a detailed understanding of every business law we mentioned in the above paragraph, you can read BigCommerce’s guide to understanding business laws for running an online business.
6. Customer Support
At the end of the day, your business’s reputation is as good as your customer support and after-sales services. If you think you can cut corners in this department, then you’ll be making one of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make.
It’s quite easier to cover up for bad or average customer support when you are running a traditional business since you have the opportunity to attend to almost all your customers personally.
In online business, the only interaction your customers will have is either with your website and social handles or your customer support team. Investing in a good support team along with scalable and intuitive support and ticketing software will help you serve your customers flawlessly.
Have confidence in yourself. Apart from business acumen and the right resources, entrepreneurs and business owners need to have a little faith in themselves which can help them take their business to the next level.