As you might have guessed there are a few things to consider and a few options to explore. The first thing I would say though is go in with your eyes wide open. ECommerce is not an easy job to get up and running in most cases but if you achieve success the rewards can be fruitful.
Things to consider
There are multiple options when selling online, so consider them all before going into eCommerce, as you may decide that you spread the risk with a few options or you go for the least risky option first.
- Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and etsy. There are loads. These platforms charge for the services but there is little set up involved and they will market the products to their audience for you. Your key task is to research competitors, prices and content, and ensure your products stack up.
- Social selling can drive you some sales, especially with a smaller local audience. This could be a way to start to build up your customer base online before investing heavily.
- Seek out other local businesses that already have an online presence or are keen to go online as well and see if you can team up to expand their product range and offering. The investment could be much less and the risk much lower.
What's involved with eCommerce?
Building an eCommerce website is just the start. You can find a web design company and get to work, but that is just a small part of the jigsaw. The marketing effort involved from your marketing company (this could be the same company) following the launch is continual and involves commitment. Think about the following:
- Google advertising set up and costs
- Social media to drive awareness and engagement
- Email marketing to deliver content at the right time to the correct people
- Blog content for organic search traffic, improved rankings and content to flow onto social media
- Photography for developing products and adding new products
- Video to drive engagement, awareness, traffic and help with conversion
- Analysis and reporting to ensure everything is moving in the correct direction
- 3rd party review platforms to help drive conversion and feedback
- Consultancy fees for the above services
This may seem daunting but if you are dedicated then don't let this list put you off, just get the right team around you to help.
The ideal scenario is to have a mix of the above. Make the most out of market places as they are heavily used but build up your own following and customer base, as in the end its cheaper and comes with less risk. You want as much control over your own marketing as possible so having things spread over multiple channels is a sensible approach. Make sure you put a plan in place and don't take on too much too quickly.