Trade and commerce in this 21st century are very different from the old ages. The whole world is moving to the electronic commerce module, which is defined as eCommerce. Evaluation of information and communication technology has changed consumer behavior, and the mode of traditional trade and commerce has shaped into eCommerce. American stock exchange Nasdaq assumed that, by the year 2040, 95% of shopping would be facilitated by eCommerce.
According to Statista, the German statistics portal, in a calendar year on average spending per customer is estimated to be $1,800 in the USA and $1,600 in the UK. In the aspect of Singapore, the average revenue per user (ARPU) currently amounts to $760.95, which is 1061.53 in Singapore Dollar.
There are several reasons for building an eCommerce platform. Let’s focus on the top five-
Widen Your Brand
An eCommerce platform can take your brand from a traditional store to a well-acknowledged brand. It will add extra value to your brand. Your business will not be limited to a singular store; rather, it will be open for the entire online world 24 hours a day along with online customer service, social media, and blogs. Online presence of your business will become the home of your products without having to worry about moving locations.
Increase Your Reach
Because of the internet accessibility, people across the world can visit your product home at any time, whenever they wish. This means your business reaches out to an extended scale of audience, and you are getting more opportunities to expand your business. There is no alternate way without ensuring an online presence to improve your reach. Moreover, you can determine the specific consumers’ group to whom you would like to reach.
Ecommerce platforms are more convenient than traditional shops. It’s available always, meaning a customer can visit and purchase at any time whenever he wants. At present, people don’t always have time to go shopping physically. Instead, they prefer online shopping. It’s not only limited to only personal products but also extended to any business product or equipment.
Endless Marketing Opportunities
A website can create an endless marketing opportunity for your brand or product. Not only the search engine optimization (SEO) but a large scale of marketing techniques can be applied to your website. Social media marketing, email marketing are two new techniques to apply. Using these marketing techniques will help to prospect your business.
Scalability is a must for an eCommerce platform. It’s the key to success. But the good news is, it’s comparatively easier to scale your online platform than your physical store. And in most of the cases, scalability doesn’t work well for a physical business.
What do you need to start?
Probably you are thinking of starting your own eCommerce business. Whether it’s a new business or an online platform for your existing products. Let’s have a look at the following checklist-
- Domain Name
- Hosting Space
- Payment Gateway
- Management System
- Capital to start
The domain name and hosting space is a must for an eCommerce platform. Without these, there is no possible way to start. You have the liberty to purchase a domain and hosting from different providers, but we suggest to buy from one provider.
Here is our domain registration portal. Go and check your domain availability before purchasing. We also provide secure SSD hosting starting from SGD 3.00/month. We also have different plans for different types of platforms.
There are plenty of other domains and hosting providers that you can use for your domain and hosting. But, if you are planning to buy a secure, consider our plans before purchasing. Also, our dedicated support team is always ready at your service. Check Sudonode before you start purchasing.
After that, you will need a payment gateway for your platform. There are many payment gateways available now. Check and grab the right one.
Market Research and Product Selection
If you have an existing brand or product, you can start building your online presence. But, starting a new business, you need to research the market to pick the right product. Consider the following things to get a positive prospect. For starting an eCommerce platform, you need physical products to sell online. It will not give you any benefit if you pick a low selling product to start. You may think to influence consumers’ minds, but things don’t work like that. It will break your heart when you do not get enough sales from your platform. So, initiate in-depth research before selecting the product. Here we are giving some notes that will help you during the research.
A product that already becomes a tread, try to pick that. In this case, you also keep in mind that you are not alone who is thinking this way. Of course, this is not an easy task, but the success is hidden behind product selection. Try to find a low competitive product; this will boom. A low competitive product with high trends is the key to your success.
Also, consider the most selling product for your platform. You will find those from the bestseller list of some renowned eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, etc.
Building your online store
When you have your domain name, hosting space, and a payment gateway, now you are ready to build your platform. Building an eCommerce website is not similar to building a blog or any static site. But, the good news is, there are many eCommerce Management Systems for starting. Let’s check the three most popular eCommerce management systems-
By far, it is the most popular open-source eCommerce solution. Overall, 37% of the entire eCommerce platform powered by this WordPress eCommerce solution. As it works in WordPress, it gives the most comfortable options to manage an eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is a free platform for an entry-level website, but you need to pay for that to use the upgraded features. Overall, it’s a satisfactory system to build your first eCommerce website.
How to install?
Firstly, you need to install WordPress. You can directly download from WordPress’s official website and install it on your website by uploading it. Or, you can use the software installer from the cPanel to install WordPress.
After that, install the WooCommerce plugin and arrange it according to your requirements. You will find dozens of free eCommerce template for your website. Pick a suitable one and start your business.
X Cart is a PHP based shopping cart software. This software offers the freest features that you will not find in any other platform. Although, it’s an expensive one to avail of the premium features. Interestingly, they provide a lifetime license, that is not a bad deal for an on growing business.
How to Install?
Before installation, make sure that your server meets the requirement of installing this, download X Cart from the official website, and upload it to your website. Go to http://<your-domain>/<x-cart-5-directory>/install.php from your browser. You will find the installation wizard. Accept the license agreement and start installing it. You will be required to create an administrator account first. After that, the software will check the environment, whether it is fit to install or not. Then fill the options with database information on the following page and click next. At the seventh step, you will be able to get the client area and admin area.
Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform built with open source technology. It provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system. Magento offers two different editions to the users. One is a community edition, and another is the enterprise edition.
How to install?
Download the compressed file that contains Magento from the official website. Upload and extract the data in your web server.
1. Using the bash shell, follow the syntax to switch to the Magento file system owner and enter the command at the same time:
$su <Magento file system owner> -s /bin/bash -c <command>
If the owner does not allow logins, try this.
$udo -u <Magento file system owner> <command>
2. To run Magento commands from any directory, add <magento_root>/bin to your system PATH.
Use these command lines and follow the instructions to install.
Branding and Marketing
So, after having your product and an online store, you need to emphasize marketing. You need to let your customers know that you have the product to sell. Without proper marketing, your business will not grow at all. Your product will not be sold if the customers don’t know about it. It’s your responsibility to let them know about your product, where many other platforms are available.
Success depends on a proper marketing strategy. Here are few most common marketing methods-
Content marketing is one of the most used methods that try almost every online business owner. This type of marketing won’t give you instant results, but it will generate traffic for a long time. The more you get traffic, the more opportunity of selling your products.
Content marketing involves creating and sharing online materials such as videos, blogs, etc. For example, a blog post or a video with your product description and keynotes could be an ideal content marketing theme.
Social Media Marketing
Social media can make your business highly profitable if you can use it properly. Having a social media account or page for your business is a must at present.
A recent study conducted by Buffer shows that 73 marketers out of 100 believe their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
So, it’s already proven that social media makes a significant impact on business growth and selling.
It’s already been described how to start an eCommerce business. Follow the guidelines and start making money through your eCommerce Platform. It doesn’t matter what type of product you are selling, but your product must have demand among the consumers. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to comment below.