A Guide to Launching Your Ecommerce Start-up

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There’s no doubt about it; the global ecommerce space has continued to enjoy exponential growth during the last four years and remains one of the fastest-growing entities in the whole world.

The sheer size of the market has more than doubled since 2015, for example, rising from $1.5 trillion to a whopping $3.4 trillion this year. The cumulative value of the market is also set to peak to $4.8 trillion by the end of 2021, completing a cycle that will showcase growth of 221% in just seven years.

With this in mind, we wouldn’t blame any aspiring entrepreneur who wanted to make their mark in this burgeoning space. In this post, we’ll explore this idea further while providing a brief guide to success in the sector.

  1. The Basics – What Platform Should You Use?

Before you launch, you need to determine the precise eCommerce platforms and channels that you intend to use to target customers and drive sales.

Make no mistake; there’s a diverse range of choices available in the current marketplace, from established ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon to standalone and branded websites that you can create yourself.

We’d recommend establishing a presence across multiple platforms from the outset, particularly as selling through eBay and Amazon can offer you access to a huge target audience. Creating your own site also helps you to leverage principles like SEO to effectively draw customers to your brand and build a following, particularly when these efforts are augmented with social media marketing.

When building out your own ecommerce site, try to use a free platform such as Magento (which also allows for multichannel integration).

2. Costs and Funding – The Key Considerations

One of the main benefits of selling online and through an ecommerce platform is that this reduces your business overheads.

After all, you won’t need to invest in brick-and-mortar stores or subsequent staff members, creating a lean and profitable venture that’s far easier to operate.

However, there are some costs involved in launching your e-commerce venture, from the creation of a viable website to the development, manufacturing and marketing of key product ranges.

The key is to create a viable business plan complete with accurate costings, in order to determine precisely how much you’ll need. Then, try to appraise viable low-cost funding options such as business credit cards to determine which option is right for you, before making an informed decision going forward.

3. Recognise the Difficulties and Challenges

On a similar note, we’re often led to believe that launching an ecommerce venture is far easier and more accessible than running a brick-and-mortar store.

However, ecommerce comes with its own unique set of challenges, including the protection of intellectual property, cost-effective shipping and the importance of competitor analysis in an incredibly crowded space.

Shipping is a particular bugbear for ecommerce entrepreneurs, both in terms of the overall cost and the need to use secure and sustainable materials.

Adopting an eco-friendly approach is certainly crucial in an age where an estimated 87% of customers care about the environmental impact of their preferred brands, whilst you should note that the use of recyclable and sustainable packaging materials can save you huge sums of money.