The advent and rise of e-commerce has changed the business landscape, and almost every industry has explored this territory. Online businesses are a top choice for entrepreneurs, with an increasing number of investors keen on banking their money on the Internet. According to a report published by eMarketer, global e-commerce sales are predicted to reach an incredible $4 trillion by 2020. The stats show that there’s no better time to start an e-commerce venture than now.
Starting an e-commerce business involves a small level of investment and is relatively simple, as you can leverage technology to sell through a virtual store, without investing in a physical one. Still, you need to know all about the game plan to execute it successfully.
Decide what you want to sell
It’s important to present buyers with something unique and interesting. With so many diverse niches already covered, coming up with an innovative idea can make all the difference, particularly if you plan to build from scratch. If you’re looking for suggestions, make sure to read through the “innovative e-commerce ideas to explore” after this step-by-step guide.
After you have the business plan chalked out, procuring funds is the next logical step. Depending upon the size of the venture, you can rely on your personal investment or look for external funding.
Develop an online store
Having a fully functional online store designed and developed comes next on your task list. A mobile app is a bonus if you want a wider audience for your business. A reliable hosting service is a prerequisite to make your online store available for prospective buyers to visit.
Arrange ancillary functions
Online selling involves functions like e-payments and product shipping. Therefore, you have to work on setting up a merchant account, payment gateways, and shipping partners before the store is up and running. Additionally, you’ll need staff to take care of backend processes such as production/procurement, accounting, shipping, and delivery.
Develop a marketing strategy
An effective online marketing strategy is the next step in building a successful startup. It encompasses harnessing the power of digitization and social media to register an online presence and create a brand. Strategies such as SEO, pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, and affiliate marketing are the core of a comprehensive digital marketing plan.
Innovative e-commerce ideas to explore
Though starting up a venture in the e-commerce space is not a huge challenge, being different is. As a phenomenal number of e-sellers are joining the bandwagon, the potential of success is high if you have a unique selling proposition.
If you plan an e-commerce business startup, here are a few innovative ideas to explore:
- Customized fashion outfits and accessories: The online fashion industry is a huge one, with countless big and small brands selling through their e-stores and mobile apps. Going one step ahead is the idea of customized fashion outfits and accessories. An e-store which caters to women of plus, petite, and odd sizes is likely to be an attractive proposition for a particular segment of buyers. In addition to customization according to measurements, the store can offer design and color customization too. Customized footwear, made-to-order jewelry, and handbags are some other good ideas for starting a new business online.
- Merchandising platform: A merchandising platform is a useful service that connects online sellers with suppliers. The startup acts as a link between the two parties without having to deal with inventory. This service is used by sellers who do not have a manufacturing unit of their own, but outsource the goods they sell.
- Automotive parts and accessories: The automobile industry is a huge one, with the demand for automotive parts and accessories growing. An e-store that supplies them is a lucrative idea. There are numerous niches that can be explored, ranging from wheel covers to car perfumes, music systems, and more. Services like maintenance and insurance could also be sold online.
- Health and wellness: Health and wellness will always be popular. A startup can explore ideas like selling health supplements, weight loss products, organic food, and cosmetics. Online spa and salon services, meditation sessions, and fitness classes are other innovative startup ideas.
- Online coaching: Another unique e-commerce business idea relates to the service of online coaching. A website can be set up to book classes where subject experts can provide training and skill development on topics including academics, music, arts and crafts, personality development, foreign languages, and more.
- Domestic help, child care, and elder care services: Domestic help, child care, and elder care services are in huge demand. People struggle to find trustworthy caregivers who have the right skills and expertise. An e-commerce business that provides these services has a huge opportunity for success by connecting caregivers seeking employment with people requiring these professional services.
E-commerce offers a whole new world of possibilities for entrepreneurs, provided that its pulse is captured well with a unique business idea and smart implementation.
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