A Brief Guide to Starting an E-commerce Firm

Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Own eCommerce Business

The world of e-commerce is a fast-growing and exciting form of business for any young entrepreneur who has an interest in the Internet and web design. This sector of industry continues to enjoy impressive year-on-year growth and is estimated to bring in global revenues exceeding $27 trillion by 2027. It can also provide a low startup cost entry point into business. By adopting a “drop shipping” method of order fulfillment, business people can start a firm that requires little more than a well-designed and promoted website before they start selling other suppliers’ products.

However, it is important to understand that as the e-commerce market continues to expand, there is likely to be increased competition in every form of selling. The relative ease of entry into the sector means new firms may compete online with established companies, regardless of international boundaries. In this brief guide, some key points will be discussed that will improve the chances of long-term business success for a new e-commerce firm.

Prioritize web page loading speeds

The nature of e-commerce relies on products and services being sold to consumers online. These transactions will take place on a company website, which is one of the most vital customer touchpoints of any e-commerce business. It is of paramount importance that the e-commerce website is well-designed and functions smoothly. For example, each page should load quickly to ensure that customers stay on the site and do not leave due to frustration from waiting. Slow website speeds have a direct impact on sales.

It is estimated that a 1-second wait for a page to load will result in a 40% sales conversion rate. At 2 seconds, this drops to 29% and continues to fall as loading times increase. In short, e-commerce websites should use web hosts that guarantee minimum page loading speeds and should regularly test the speed of their pages online to check that they are operating as expected. Slow page loading speed also harms search engine rankings, leading to fewer customers visiting your site, so the importance of this cannot be understated.

Choose a reliable delivery firm

While many customers who shop online will be prepared to wait for several days (or even a week or two) for their products to arrive if ordered from overseas companies, e-commerce firms can gain a competitive advantage by shipping goods swiftly. This is especially true if they are delivering within their host country where there is a greater ability to ship quickly and cost-effectively.

New e-commerce firms should explore the shipping options that are offered by established firms such as Shiply. Such companies have many years of experience in shipping goods both nationally and internationally. Many such firms rely on a large network of vehicles, often filled to capacity on multi-stop journeys. This allows unit costs for shipping to be kept low while still offering swift delivery timescales.

Promote your site on social media

Every e-commerce site needs to take steps to publicize the goods or services being sold and increase its customer base. A key way to achieve this is by creating short but memorable advertising campaigns and promotions that can be used on social media sites such as Facebook and TikTok. Billions of the world’s population use social media daily, and by targeting specific interest groups, e-commerce firms can reach their target markets effectively. Ensure that all promotions feature the website address, ideally taking the potential customer to the product page of what is being advertised to increase the chance of gaining a sale.

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