The internet has revolutionized the business landscape. Sites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy allow businesses of all sizes to access new markets and build their customer base exponentially. A small business with a strong product and loyal customers can quickly become a large-scale operation if they get on the right track.
However, with these considerable benefits come challenges, especially for a new eCommerce site. While a successful business is a boon to the entrepreneur, it is also a magnet for competition and disruption from larger competitors with greater capital at their disposal.
With so many benefits to selling on an eCommerce site, new entrepreneurs may be tempted to throw their hat into the ring and get started without taking great measures of consideration. Because the internet is a virtual space, there are usually little to no barriers to entry or startup costs.
Even the smallest business can set up shop online.
What Are the Things You Need?
However, creating a successful eCommerce site means more than just registering a domain and putting up photos of your products. Many challenges must be overcome for any new eCommerce site to gain widespread success.
You should also have the right equipment. In this case, a reliable internet connection, an efficient computer, and an excellent camera to shoot your products. If a desktop is too expensive, you can go ahead and assemble it or ask a builder to put together a mini PC for you.
You will also need software for your store. Software like Shopify, 3dcart, or Magento is a popular eCommerce platform. They offer free trial periods so you can see which one is the best for your business.
The Challenges of Running an eCommerce Business
Entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting an eCommerce site should thoroughly research the challenges ahead, and if possible, reach out to people already in the business for advice before making any decision.
Here are some of the biggest challenges that you will face if you want to start an e-commerce site and how to overcome them.
1. Getting Customers
The first challenge with setting up an eCommerce website is gaining customers.
It doesn’t matter how great your products are if no one knows you have them. Marketing costs money, and it can be difficult to raise that capital as a small business. In the past, young companies might have been able to rely on their personal network to build their customer base.
However, in today’s interconnected marketplace, that can be little more than a drop in the bucket. A better alternative is blogging on sites like this one.
Blogs are connected to social media platforms like Google+ and Facebook, which give them widespread exposure when an article is shared by readers or re-posted by a larger site.
Blogs also have comments sections where you can engage with your customers and answer any questions they may have, which allows them to get to know you better as a company. In addition, blogging provides an outlet for new information to be published about the industry or the company, which will help attract people from search engines.
2. Fierce Competition
The biggest challenge with starting a new eCommerce site is that there are already so many out there.
As more and more people turn to the internet to shop, eCommerce sites must grow or die. Companies like Amazon and E-bay have such big market shares because they offer unparalleled convenience for both consumers and retailers.
The best way to overcome the challenge of competing with larger eCommerce sites is by bringing something unique to the table.
Larger eCommerce sites have an advantage over smaller competitors because they have greater economies of scale. While that might not sound like much, it means they can afford to spend more money on developing their technology and attracting customers.
A new eCommerce site must have something that those companies don’t offer or can do better to compete with larger companies. In addition, it means being creative in how you market your products and engaging customers.
A successful online business is one that quickly attracts loyal customers who are willing to tell their friends all about it. It can also deal with unforeseen challenges and changes in the marketplace rather than folding at the first sign of trouble. However, creating a successful eCommerce site is no easy feat, and it requires an investment of time, effort, and capital to get off the ground.
There are many challenges ahead for any entrepreneur who wants to set up an eCommerce site, but if you’re prepared for them and can stand out from the crowd, your business could be very successful.