As every body knows now a days ecommerce is a booming industry in and around of the world. So if you have products to sell online or planning to jump into this business then this post is helpful for you. You can be setup ecommerce business in two different models i.e. business-to-customer(B2C) and business-to-business-customer (B2B2C)Market Place). Choice is yours which way you want to go. Both models have its merits & demerits. That I will share in detail in other post.
So Following are the few steps which will be helpful to launch your first eCommerce business on-line :
Step 1 : Selecting product or niche of product to sell online.
Analyse different niche of products categories in terms of it’s availability, margins, logistic feasibility, competitor sellers on-line. In my opinion products sell better in the range of Rs. 1000 – Rs. 5000 online. Alibaba is a good sourcing engine of products just if any body want to source products in bulk & cheap. Some vendors on Alibaba exports in minimum quantity also.
Step 2 : Source product inventory.
Source selected product inventory to keep it in-house or tie up with different supplier to drop ship your order once order comes to you on your website. Both model have challenges and merits of their own. Keeping inventory require huge investment whether there is less margins when your order completed through drop shipper. So this is your say you can go with any of model which is more suitable to you.
Step 3 : Set Business Name / Domain Name & All legal compliance.
After selection of what to sell and how to source them. Now it’s time to register a new domain name which should be short, meaningful and brand able. for example decorfy.com which sounds something related to home décor business and it can easily be brand able. you can register domain name from any domain company like godaddy.com etc. new domain can run under existing business name or you can register new business name in govt. authorities. All check with your local authorities what will be the taxation compliance of VAT / GST etc as per your location of business.
Step 4 : Ready your promotional and support printable media’s.
Get ready your logo design and then content format for visiting cards, product packaging, product labels, envelopes, shipping labels, letter heads, flyers. Find any good printer to get printed on respective media so that when you get your first order you are all set to go with all professional matters. These things also represent your brand to your customer so be careful in designing these things.
Step 5 : Set your social media profiles & under construction page on domain.
Register your new name profile pages on all known social media’s such as Facebook, twitter, pininterest, Google plus, etc. So that when you are ready to launch your website you will not face non availability of your business name on profiles. Also start talking about your product on social media by post and articles. So that you will get good audience on launch of your website. Set a good under construction landing page on domain with a email collection form so that people will get register their email to receive notifications when you launch your website.
Step 6 : Time is for your website design & development.
Now you need to setup your ecommerce website where you list all your products with details & descriptions to sell them. For this you need to hire professional team either in your local or from offshore countries like India. Working with offshore company will be lighter for you interns of budget. Any good offshore company can design & develop eCommerce website with in $2000 – $5000. (Fable Technologies @fabletech is an offshore development company who have very good expertise in design & development of ecommerce website) . In this step you need to make arrangement of account of payment gateway registration, SMS company registration and logistic account (optional). So that hired team will integrate these services into your website. Process of developing website will take around 4 – 6 weeks. So starting early will be beneficial.
Step 7 : Preparing product photographs.
In the meantime when developer team is in busy in developing your website, You need to procure professional photographs of your products. Either you shoot them yourself or hire professional photographer to shoot for you. Photos are the heart of any ecommerce website because it is only a medium to show feel to the customers. Photographs in white background work well with every kind of products, it highlights the product pic and make whole website consistent to look.
Step 8 : Develop product inventory list with detail specs & description.
Now your website structure and all photo graphs of products been ready at this point. Use any inventory software or simple excel sheet to record all details of products such as SKU no., Product Name, Product Category / Sub Category, Product Photograph, Product Description, Products specs like Size, Qty in stock, Colour attributes, Price, Special Price, Discounts, Sourcing destination, Tax percentage etc as per your product line. This sheet is necessary to keep records of all your present product inventory which is used to upload same inventory on website, your store department full fill coming orders through this list only, help in planning stock measures when to source and what to source more, etc. This is first step to automate your inventory section, there after you can use any best inventory as you scale in your business.
Step 9 : Upload product details into website.
By using above prepared inventory list first setup category / subcategory list in your website back end. Then you can upload products under those categories manually or by import & export method. Please make sure you can put as detail as much as possible because website is your business showroom it makes first and last impression on your website customers.
Step 10 : Integrate all third party resources such as payment & sms processor.
Now it is a time to integrate all third party tech tools in website before we launch our website to public domain. We need to integrate payment processor to process online card (Credit/Debit Card) & bank account (Internet banking) payments. There are several companies available to provide these services like payumoney, paytm, payu, ccavenue, etc. Payment processor companies takes around 1 week to 2 week to verify all your documents and provide the merchant account after all due compliance. If you like to update your customer on each order processing step through SMS then you will need to register with sms processor companies too. After integration of these services please make sure they are working right so do the test run by running test transactions on website. If there is any glitch do fix this before going to live. Also you need a good hosting server to host your ecommerce website. you can select level of server yourself as per your need or target audience. If your audience will be less in next few months after launch or you on low budget then can opt for shared hosting but recommended solution is dedicated server. You can find good packages at hostgtor.com, hostgator.in, etc.
Step 11 : Now get set and go Live ……
All set now to go live to public. Draft a strategy for your first launch like any corporate launch it’s new product in market or events. Few suggestions are new launch discount coupons, special discount on some defined amount of purchase, free gifts with each orders for initial period, etc. Now launch on live domain and start playing show for 24×7 all around the time.
After launch of your new ecommerce website, it’s time to start formulating and implementation of various digital marketing techniques. There are many approaches in digital marketing subject which I will cover in next post soon.
If you need professional ecommerce website development company you can reach Fable Technologies @ www.fabletechnologies.com. they are amazing guys in the field of ecommerce projects.
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