E-commerce corresponds to a set of commercial transactions carried out remotely through electronic and digital interfaces. Remote sales can also be goods or services.
These transactions can be carried out via different terminals such as computers, tablets, smartphones, consoles, connected TVs, etc.
Today, these commercial transactions can also be done through mobile applications that are downloaded to Google Play. For Android or the App Store for Ios.
However, in distance selling, different relationships can exist:
• B2B – business to business. Corresponds to e-commerce between companies.
• B2C – business to consumer. Corresponds to e-commerce between a company and an individual.
• C2C – consumer to consumer. Corresponds to e-commerce between individuals via websites.
What is an e-commerce site?
An e-commerce site can also be called an “online store”. It is a website where products are displayed by a merchant. If a user wants to buy one of these products, he will have to pay online through a banking platform or other means of payment i.e. check.
Note that online stores are very interesting because they allow to overcome the problems of location and can sell its products in a wider geographical area (provided that the logistics of order routing allows it).
Some of the regulations that apply to traditional businesses may also apply to your e-commerce business, including registration of your business name, copyrights, and trademarks. protection of personal information, product safety and export.
The SEO agency or magento development has taken over the development of e-commerce website, which has undoubtedly become a must for any company selling goods and services, whether physical or virtual (unless you want to shoot in the foot!) but also for web entrepreneurs who have an interest in the trade.
This is an avenue that offers incredible business opportunities, very flexible, and the potential for development is enormous.
On the other hand, even if e-commerce and “traditional” store-and-shop business follow the same basic rules based on the principle of supply and demand, e-commerce takes on a very different form that has its share. Peculiarities and obeys several rules that can not be ignored in order to be successful.
Find your product
The first step is, of course, to find a product to sell online. But beware! We must not make the mistake of thinking that because we are offering a product on the Internet, it sells itself and is necessarily profitable.
In addition to popularity, demand, and competition, a variety of criteria must be considered before making a decision. It is therefore crucial to do your research well. There are several tips and tools, like Terapeak and Junglescout, to help us find a good product for sale online.
Suppliers and manufactures
Once we have a good idea of the product (s) we want to sell online, it’s time to think about the supply.
➢ Do we want to be a reseller of products from another company?
➢ Do we want to manufacture our own products with our trademark?
➢ Is the product you want to sell physical or digital?
➢ Should subcontractors be used for part of the production?
If you have trouble choosing a product, or simply do not want to be niche, retail arbitrage may be an interesting option.
Roughly, it is about getting cheap products from retailers and reselling them for profit on the Internet. However, you should know that some marketplaces are more conducive to this practice and that knowing how to choose the right products for sale is crucial.
Depending on the characteristics and origin of the products we decide to offer in our online store, there may be an important logistical side to consider.
For example, in the case of a product that is being manufactured outside the country, it is necessary to provide transportation and customs clearance in addition to warehousing and distribution. This step usually requires the use of a customs broker to ensure that imported products arrive safely at their destination.
For those who want to focus their efforts on marketing and marketing a product without worrying about logistics, Drop Shipping, although more complex to make profitable, is particularly interesting.
In this wise system, the supplier supports the manufacturing, warehousing and delivery of the products that the reseller can offer on his online store, promote and sell at a profit.
When you have an ambitious idea to design and market an original or innovative product, a presale campaign or even a crowdfunding campaign can be a good way to validate your business idea while raising the necessary funds for production.
These campaigns can be conducted on a website, or through a crowdfunding platform.
Regardless of the platform used, strong campaign planning and promotion is absolutely crucial to its success. It is therefore better to ensure that you are well prepared before attempting to finance your project in this way.
Once we have chosen what we want to sell and the details of the supply are settled, we must then decide the sales channel, in other words the platform (s) to be used for our products to be accessible to potential customers.
Two main options are available to us:
1. Design your own transactional website
2. Use a marketplace
A transactional site
If you want to build your own online store, there are many ways to do it without having to resort to an agency. Creating a transactional site using WordPress and the Woocommerce extension is one of the most popular approaches, mainly because it is a relatively easy-to-use platform that offers great flexibility.
There are also a few more “turnkey” platforms like Magento development (to name only one) which can be an interesting choice according to your needs.
However, no matter how complex the use of these platforms, it is necessary to have a minimum of technical knowledge in computer to set up its own online store. And since the web universe is constantly evolving, we must also be willing to continue to learn and improve continually.
In terms of marketplaces, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy or Walmart allow us to use their platform to sell our products for a fee.
These options can be advantageous, especially at the beginning, because one can benefit from the traffic generated by these platforms and from the confidence which the users grant to them.
However, these marketplaces are very restrictive and leave us little control over the creation of your “shops”.
Marketing and Advertising
Finally, once we have found our product and the details of production and distribution are settled, we have to think about marketing and advertising.
Creating a blog attached to your transactional site can be a good way to do content marketing and get traffic through SEO.
Using influencers to promote our product, social media and Google advertising and email marketing strategies are also strategies that can be very effective.
If we summarize…
In short, online stores have become both our modern “Sears catalogs” and our shopping centers. They allow customers to window shop and order what they want with a simple click, without having to move or even pick up the phone.
E-commerce therefore offers us incredible business opportunities, but also has its own challenge.
Finding a product to sell online that stands out from the competition, which is simple to manufacture and deliver while leaving a good margin of profit can be a real headache. This is why it is necessary to do your research well and validate your idea as soon as possible. A pre-sale or crowdfunding campaign can be a good way to ensure the success of your product.
At the level of the platforms to be used as sales channels, marketplaces are particularly simple to use while the creation of a personalized and flexible website may require more in-depth knowledge and even programming basics.
Finally, we must not neglect marketing and promotion. The use of email marketing strategies, content or influencers as well as advertising on Google and social media should be considered to effectively develop its online business.
Some essential tips for your e-commerce site
1. Bank security
– Offer secure payments by credit card, paypal and also by check.
Paypal can be a temporary solution for the launch of an ecommerce site, but very quickly it will be necessary to think about offering payment by CB “classic”.
– Own a domain name in .com or .uk,
Le.com and .uk are essential areas … the rest are acessory.
It is not worth buying exotic extensions (.eu, .net, .info …).
– Propose a real shop and not in a blog
If it is recommended to associate a blog with a shop to improve the SEO, it is necessary to distinguish the two spaces (a blog is not an e-commerce site).
By cons it is advisable to promote it via his blog (advertising banners, advertorial …).
– Make available to its user’s clear and complete terms and conditions of sale.
You must indicate delivery times, returns, payment methods accepted, guarantees … all with the least possible spelling mistakes.
– A “Pro” design
It is necessary to avoid the websites made by the cousin who hacks every night on his PC and to call on a professional.
Do not forget the influence of the colors in the image that you will give:
Once you get started, you can change the design of your eCommerce site.
Indeed, as in fashion, we must renew its design from time to time to stay “fashionable”, but also to stay at the forefront of technological developments (eg responsive design, SEO …).
Your design will convey the image of your products and services.
You do not need blurry images, badly cut images, badly displayed pages (offsets …).
If for you it is not essential, for the customer it is rather important, because he does not know you … all he sees is the design of the site, photos and text!
– Submit professional photos
You have to ban pictures taken quickly with your old digital in the kitchen of your apartment or taken with your smartphone …
Take special care to make them with a solid background, with a good cutting (no heads cut, missed clipping …), good brightness.
– Be clear about your rates
It must indicate the shipping costs in the basket, and possibly specify that they are offered or decreasing according to the quantities, this will avoid the abandonment of basket.
There is nothing worse than a person who commands, and who finally gives up because he is disappointed.
2. Find the right suppliers
It’s not an easy part if you do not know your industry perfectly…
Indeed in all professions there are unscrupulous suppliers:
➢ prices that increase at the last minute,
➢ too long delivery times,
➢ very high minimum shipping costs
Which is not very pleasant since in the end, it is your image that will be dirty when a customer will be disappointed …
3. The name of your shop.
The choice of the domain name and the name of the site is of course unavoidable: it must be memorable, evoke the brand … and if possible contain the keywords of the products sold to improve SEO.
But creating an ecommerce website starts even before the site is online.
4. Post and delivery solutions!
Go for the pro card, and make an appointment with the director of your post office because it may eventually provide you with solutions tailored to your needs (prices …).
In addition, also add modes of transport “premium” for people in a hurry (or short time):
These modes of delivery are sometimes interesting for emergencies such as Christmas gifts, perishable products…
However, at the beginning, do not try to be exhaustive … you must propose:
➢ The post office
➢ Delivery in relay point
With the growth of your business, you will need to outsource logistics to focus on your business.
5. The Distance Selling Contract
Indeed it is more restrictive because it requires obtaining the agreement of a bank.
6. Stock management
Stock management is a business, and every amateur eCommerant makes the experience very quickly…
First, there is the receipt of supplier orders with delivery errors, reference problems…
Indeed a misplaced product, badly arranged … can cost you a lot of money:
The best practices in terms of logistics are:
➢ Point out what was delivered, and the price charged (compared to the order form)
➢ Sort in rows and columns the products in “boxes” and indicate in your software the box (B24)
➢ Store down the heavy goods, and locked up or in a visible place the value-added products
➢ Train your new employees on your products to reduce preparation errors, have the picking validated by someone other than the one who prepared the package, use the bar codes to record product entries / exits
7. Set up an emarketing strategy
ECommerce is first and foremost trade: it’s good to buy … and sell well!
You must of course propose attractive prices / products / offers on your shop.
In eCommerce it is often the second order that we start to earn money … so your goal should be to recommend the customers as much as to recruit a new customer!
With regard to the traffic of your eCommerce site, it is like in a physical store: it is necessary to bring your customers on your site …
And for that you need a good “location” … But eCommerce location is your ranking in Google!
The first thing to do is to make your site easily indexable by search engines (it’s SEO):
➢ create your own descriptions (if possible unique according to the products), whether you do it in the internet or outsourced (ex: via textemaster, textbroker …)
➢ make URL rewriting (product names in the product page address),
➢ do not use frames for page structure,
➢ use the flash as little as possible,
➢ optimize your pages (keywords, long descriptions …)
If you do not have a large budget, it is advisable to set up partnerships with sites dealing with the same subject as you (but not the competitors!) And offer them exchanges of links and / or content.
In terms of SEO, and for simplicity, what matters most to be well positioned is:
➢ Links to your site
➢ The unique content you will produce
➢ Optimizing your eCommerce site
➢ Note: There is no need to go around all the small directories, to pay to be present in 1500 sites … these techniques are outdated! If possible, use sites that are not “spam nests”. 1 quality site is worth 10 sites of average quality, or even more …
It is essential to set up a campaign on Google Adwords and Facebooks, which will allow you to attract your first prospects.
It is essential to set up a campaign on Google Adwords and Facebooks, which will allow you to attract your first prospects.
Adwords Advertising & Facebook (the SEM) will have an immediate impact on your traffic, while SEO will take several months (min 3 months) to get the first results.
If you have a small budget or whether the price or click is high, quote the price of your articles in your Adwords ads to attract hot leads (not those looking for good deals).