Whether COVID-19 pushed you to pivot from a brick-and-mortar store to an online environment, or you've decided to take the plunge and set up a web-based shop, starting an eCommerce business can be a rewarding venture.
From 2017 to late 2019, approximately 28.1 million Canadians made purchases online. That's a lot of people who are landing on web pages and whipping out their wallets if they like what they see.
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But there's more to the process than buying a domain name and loading your site with products or services. There are technical aspects to navigate and content to consider.
Do you DIY with a website builder or hire a pro? Should you stick to SEO or focus on paid ads too?
As a small business owner, I've helped many clients create successful online companies. So I'm sharing this five-step guide to starting an online business with you to make the process clearer and less stressful.
1) Figure out what you want to sell.
If you've already got an established store, this might be a breeze. But if you're just starting an eCommerce business and are focusing on products, you'll need to think about what you'll offer, and where you'll get it from.
The first thing is figuring out what to sell and in what form is to ensure it's relevant to today's consumers. COVID-19 has made consumers much more in tune with their spending habits. Ensure there is a consumer first and foremost who is willing to spend their money for the product you aim to sell.
- Business-to-consumer (B2C): This is the most common business model, with many different approaches. Basically, you sell to the end-user, but there may be a third party acting as a middleman (think Amazon).
- Direct-to-consumer (D2C): From design and manufacturing to sales and promotions, the company does everything. Dollar Shave Club is a good example of a D2C business that started small and grew using this model.