By 2021, the online retail industry is expected to be worth $4.8 trillion. No one can be blamed for wanting a piece of that huge, juicy pie. Like many who have ventured into the world of digital business, you might have wondered what it’s like to start and run your own ecommerce business. The journey will not be easy, but the rewards are worth the hardships you will inevitably face.
Before you start your online business adventure, you have to be armed with solid information. Most sources online will tell you that you have to buy the right domain name first or think about branding first. The truth is there are more critical aspects of a business that you have to focus on first before even worrying about a name. Here are 5 practical ideas that will help you start a successful ecommerce website:
- Sell a minimum delightful product.
All ecommerce websites are built to sell. Choosing a product to sell is one of the most crucial steps in starting your online store. You want a product that you can start selling ASAP.
You’ve probably heard of MVP or minimum viable product, an item that has just enough features to satisfy early customers so that they’d provide feedback. But MVP suggests something so bare. Instead of looking for an MVP, look for an MDP or a minimum delightful product, an item possessing the smallest set of features that allows customers to experience maximum delight. The merchandise you choose should be a product of research and should serve as a better version of your MVP. Once you found an MDP, it will be exponentially easier to make your first sale.
- Offer practical innovation.
Most online store owners opt to resell hundreds or thousands of products from other manufacturers. Guess what? Everyone else is doing the exact same thing. It is possible to start with just one outstanding product. It’s true that it is challenging to come up with your own product, but you’ll be miles ahead of the competition if you sell a product that offers practical innovation and something that can’t be found anywhere else.
- Aim for quick wins.
It’s nice to have grand schemes that will be fruitful several years from now, but when you’re just starting out, you have to aim for quick wins to get you going. Once you find or create a minimum delightful product that offers practical innovation, start selling as soon as you can. Quick wins will validate your ideas and keep you going. These quick wins don’t have to be big; small, steady, quick wins will add up eventually and you’ll be surprised to see how far you’ve come. Your immediate goal must be the first sale.
- Inversion thinking.
Most would-be digital entrepreneurs are always positive and see everything going their way—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to increase your chances of success, you’ll also have to consider the things that could go wrong. If you only focus on the positive, you will have a skewed view of the situation. Being realistic with the challenges that are inherent to your chosen business makes you more tactical and allows you to respond thoughtfully to problems as they emerge. Addressing problems backwards and focusing on things you don’t want to happen is called ‘inversion thinking’.
Inversion thinking will help you save time and resources by steering you away fromideas that are not feasible to begin with. Pessimistic as it may sound, some ideas are doomed to fail from the start.
- Think about growth versus scale.
When a business grows, so does the expenses—that’s growth. Scaling, on the other hand, is increasing your sales and revenue while managing the expenses and amount of work in an efficient manner. That’s where ecommerce shines. Doing business online gives you room to increase your sales significantly while maintaining the same number of staff. This will result in increased net profit for your business.
Starting Your Own Ecommerce Venture
You now have in your hands crucial information on how to start an ecommerce business. By carefully considering these ideas and implementing them, you’ll be in a better position to make your ecommerce a success.