A Guide on Starting and Running your E-commerce Business
It is the way you plan and do your research about the e-commerce domain, which makes you to start off your business in a well-sketched way. So know the rules of the game, before you plunge into it
With the online business domain becoming the hotspot of many business merchants, doing business online has become every second’s merchant wish it seems! E-business has taken the world by storm and under its umbrella e-commerce is gaining pace in terms of soaring in popularity among the people who want to earn online, make the best of business opportunities and much more. Starting a business, mainly in the e-commerce sector does not only require your whim, finance and other resources, you will have to act ethically, so that the future path that you pave for your business is a smooth one.
How to start an ecommerce?
With these changes in mind if you plan to start up with an e-commerce business then go about it step by step. The first step to any business is to perceive the basic idea. For having a clear idea of business and specially for choosing the service or product to offer one must give a lot of time in market research. You must identify the need of consumers and try to provide for that. After all, if you want to sell there has to be someone to buy!
Once the business plan is ready you need to choose a domain name. This will become your identity, thus it must be memorable, different and most importantly reflect your business. The next step is to choose a web hosting company. They may charge you on monthly or on yearly basis. Once you are done with redirecting the host to your site you need to setup your website. For this you might assign an expert professional. Be sure to sign up for a merchant account or your customers will not be able to use the facility of card payments.
Once your website has been set up you are ready to get started. You must upload pictures of your product, and provide search engine optimized descriptions to them. You must provide consumers with unique descriptions that convince them to purchase and clearly state the product uses.
What exactly can be considered an e- commerce?
The terms e-commerce and e-business are used interchangeably many times, but are they the same? No! E-business refers to online transactions and online interactions with suppliers, business partners and customers. E- Commerce is a part of e-business which includes only online transaction such as buying and selling of goods. If you are planning to start your own e-commerce business choose a niche, offer products after doing your market research. You can have the best e-cart software that will enable you to cut down on cases of online shopping cart abandonment.
For example, Mashable, TechCrunch are the big names in the sphere of e-businesses. On the other hands, Disney stores and Zappos are the ones offering a vast array of kids’ products and fashion clothing and accessories respectively.
EU Laws For E-commerce Retailers
This new set of rules passed by the Members of the European Parliament is bound to bring a steer in marketing strategies in the 27 EU countries as it will strengthen the consumer rights. This new directive was first discussed as a proposal in October, 2008. Taking a look:
Elimination of hidden charges on internet: The consumers will not be tricked into paying for any free online services. They will have to overtly confirm their awareness and understanding about the payment. The e-commerce merchants need to have a fair policy in this sphere.
Clear price revelation:
In case of online shopping the total price cost has to be stated clearly before confirmation of purchase. Any extra charges implemented after the confirmation shall not be paid by consumers. This is a sheer a part of the duty of e-sellers.
Outlawing the pre-ticked boxes:
While shopping online, many times there are services offered, where the charges are applicable by default. The customer has to be careful and undo the ticks at boxes if they do not want to avail the service. With the new directive the online retailers are not allowed to have any such pre-ticked boxes.
2 weeks instead of 1 to exchange:
The consumers now get 14 days to return or exchange the goods purchased online. When a consumer has not been informed about this right, his extension period will be extended for a year! The consumers will be provided with an EU withdrawal form to use if they please. If a trader wants the consumer to pay cost of returning goods, he must mention it clearly with the estimated cost.
Refund policy: The trader will have to refund the price of the goods returned, inclusive of delivery charges. And the risk of damage to goods shall be borne by the trader.
Exclusion of surcharges for card payers: The traders will be banned from charging any extra money to provide the facility of card payment.
These common rules will make it much easier for online trading throughout Europe. The e- commerce business holders will be given two years to comply with the new set of rules.
Starting your business with little money? A Brief
Finance is the backbone to give vent to your desire of starting a business. However, if you do your research well, plan and have a business-like mind with deftness and intelligence, you can turn out to be a successful entrepreneur. Right planning is the essence in a way that does not involve money when you are starting up:
Adding a blog section to your website helps you communicate with your consumers and increases your ranking at varied search engines.
Upload videos on tutorials of your products to common video sharing sites.
Do guest posting at other sites
Participate in forums
Increase networking with other stores
The key to success in e-commerce is consistency and customer satisfaction. You must regularly check how your website is running and stick to one business plan! It might be a slow start but it gives a kick to your business!