In an increasingly digital age, it’s very rare for those with a physical product or high street presence to not take advantage of the many channels that allow you to sell online. Selling a product online allows you to reach a wider audience and new customer pockets.
If eCommerce is an area you’ve never explored, trying to get the hang of it can feel a little overwhelming, however, there are plenty of benefits to be reaped. Perhaps you’ve started out with a local shop, but want to reach a much wider audience. Or you already have an online presence but want to explore other platforms where your product could be seen.
Recommended for: anyone who wants to build an online business (and is ready for a lot of work!)
How much can you earn: a lot. You could be making just enough to keep afloat every month or you could go to Asos-like levels of success; it all depends on your products, the service you can provide, the profitability of your niche and your marketing strategies – creating a good product is not enough to be successful; there are a lot of different elements that make up a successful eCommerce business but if you get all of them right, then the possibilities are huge
Start-up costs: it can cost you quite a bit to start an eCommerce business; you’ll need to get hosting and an eCommerce tool to build your website; you’ll need to consider manufacturing costs (or alternatively, the costs of buying wholesale from third parties and reselling the products); material costs; shipping costs (if you or your customers need to pay huge shipping costs, it can be a big problem – after all, they can always go to Amazon and get next-day delivery at little cost); storage space costs; accounting software
With e-commerce businesses, you have 2 main options:
- Either create and sell your own products, which you’ve designed and manufactured (of course, not literally – you can pay others to manufacture your design for you)
- Or sell products created by others, which you buy at wholesale price and then sell them for a bigger price
The first option has the bigger potential for profitability; that’s because when you sell someone else’s products you can only mark them up so much so you’re only making a small percentage of profit with each sale (in which case, you need to sell huge volumes of products to make a good profit from your business).
With products you create yourself, on the other hand, you can price them however much you want, and usually, the profit will be bigger as well.
However, it’s also a lot more work; you’ll need to:
- Design your products
- Find a good manufacturer that can turn your designs into a reality and that can deliver as promised (both in terms of timing and in terms of the quality of the product)
- Find and purchase quality materials for your product at a fair price
- Set up a good shipping system as otherwise, you’ll be eaten up in no time by delivery giants like Amazon
And these are just some of the aspects that you’ll need to consider if you’re going to create and sell your own products.
But as I said, the advantage is that your profits will be higher too.
Plus, the other option is not without its risks either; you’ll need to buy enough stock to have on hand so that can be a huge investment on your part that might not pay off.
And the profits, as I explained earlier, will be lower as well.
That being said, it’s much less of a hassle than having to actually create the products and deal with the manufacturing side of things, so it’s much easier to get started with this strategy.
Do I need a website?
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Need more ideas?
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