Running an eCommerce store has become a very popular business idea over the past few years, with more and more people opting to start their own companies selling products online from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks to easy-to-use, budget-friendly eCommerce platforms like Shopify, starting your own business selling products to people online has never been easier.
If you are considering starting something that you can do from the comfort of your own home, either as a side hustle or as a full-time business idea, then eCommerce is a great option. With more and more people now choosing to buy products online thanks to the convenience and the bigger range of options and deals available, there’s definitely a lot of demand. Here are some of the main things that you will need if you are interested in starting and running your own eCommerce store from your home.
Laptop or Computer
If you want to run an eCommerce store from home, then the first thing you are going to need is a suitable computer. Whether you plan to use a service like Shopify to design your own eCommerce website or are considering hiring a designer to put together a unique one, a computer or laptop is likely to be something that you will use on a daily basis while running your eCommerce store.
There are lots of options to consider. Some people might prefer a desktop PC, but if you want to be able to have more flexibility and freedom of running your own business from anywhere that you like, a laptop might be a better option for you. You can laptops that are designed for running a business. Or, if you are on a budget and want your laptop to serve a business purpose along with being a personal device for you, you may want to consider something like these Lenovo gaming laptop options. A laptop that is powerful enough to run the latest games can be a good idea as you can also easily use it for power-heavy business tasks like editing photos and videos for your business website.
eCommerce Business Model
Once you have the right PC or laptop to get your business started, the next step is to determine how you are going to run your eCommerce business. What you decide to do will have an impact on many of the other things that you will need to run your company, so it’s a good idea to start out with writing a detailed business plan that outlines how you are going to source and sell products, where they will be stored if needed, and how you are going to ship them to your customers.
For people who run an eCommerce business from home, dropshipping can be an attractive option since this takes a lot of the logistical work out of running this kind of company. With dropshipping, all you need to do is list and sell the items on your website. When a successful purchase is made, the product will be sent directly from the dropshipper to the customer, cutting out a lot of the work that you will need to do in between.
Of course, dropshipping might not be the best eCommerce business idea for everybody. If you are selling unique products that you make yourself, for example, then dropshipping isn’t going to be something that works for you. If you expect to be holding an inventory of products to sell in your eCommerce store, then one of the main things that you will need to set up is somewhere to store them.
Depending on how many products you expect to hold in your inventory at any one time, you may be lucky enough to have the space in your home for storage, such as in a garage, spare room, or basement. However, if this isn’t the case, then you will need to consider a suitable storage area for your items. Storage units are a good option if you do not need a huge amount of space, or you may want to consider using a warehousing and fulfillment service.
Fulfillment centers can be a good option since they will also take care of things like packaging and shipping for you once you have sent your inventory to the warehouse. Wherever you store your inventory, make sure that it is insured against any damage that might occur.
Shipping and Sending
One of the best things about eCommerce these days is that you can buy products online and get them within a day or two in many cases. When you are starting your own eCommerce business, you may be very aware that you are up against big names in the industry such as Amazon where customers can have some products delivered to them on the next day, or even on the same day that they place the order.
While this might not be possible to achieve for a smaller eCommerce business, it’s important to focus on making sure that your customers are going to be able to get the products that they order as quickly as possible. It may be a good idea to check out different shipping companies and the plans that they offer for trade customers to streamline your shipping and make sure that your customers are going to be able to get their items as quickly as possible to ensure satisfaction.
Once you have a good plan in place for how you are going to source, store, and ship your items to customers, it’s time to start thinking about putting your eCommerce website together. There are several options to consider when it comes to building a website for selling products online. If you are feeling creative and have a good eye for design, there are many different eCommerce website building platforms that you might want to use such as Shopify, where you can get access to lots of different themes and templates that you can customize to suit your website and brand.
On the other hand, if you want a more unique and professional finish, then consider hiring a website developer or designer to do the work for you. They will be able to code your website for a unique result which will be different to anything else online.
When putting your website together, another important aspect to consider is your business branding. By now, you have probably come up with a name for your business, and one of the first aspects to focus on is your visual brand, including your logo and brand colours. These will appear not only on your website but also on any other communications for your business including flyers, letter heads, social media, online advertisements and more. Keep your visual branding as consistent as possible and use wording and images that accurately depict what you do in order to drive more brand awareness.
Your Target Audience
Once you’ve put your brand and site together, it’s time to spend some time getting to know your main target audience before you can successfully reach them and advertise to them. You may already have some idea of the type of people who might like to buy products from your store, but there are several things that you can do to further your knowledge. Surveys, focus groups, and other kinds of market research are a good way to find out more about the types of people that might be interested in buying from your eCommerce store and the demographics that they fit into.
Advertising your eCommerce store is going to be essential in order to get more visitors to your website and encourage them to purchase your products. There are many different options for advertising your eCommerce website, but some of the most important include search engine optimization and social media advertising. With millions of people using Google to search for different things every day, making sure that your site is optimized to appear as high as possible in search results for relevant keywords is essential.
While there are lots of tools out there that you can use to improve your SEO and Google ranking, you may want to consider working with an agency who can help, since they will usually be able to get results faster and will help you avoid making novice mistakes that could end up being costly for your business. Along with this, it’s a wise idea to work on building your social media presence as much as possible, since social media is also something that is used by millions on a daily basis.
Set up pages and profiles for your business on the social networks where your target audience are most likely to be. The type of customers that you are hoping to sell to should give you a better idea of whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok and Pinterest will be the best social network to focus your efforts on.
With online shopping only growing, there are lots of reasons to consider eCommerce if you are looking for a business idea that you can start and run from home.