The trend of selling online is catching up fast! At the same time number of online stores that are shutting shop are also on the rise. Nevertheless, online stores help scale up your sales with the right approach. Here are a few challenges which I faced while starting my online venture, coorgshoppe.com
Viable Business Idea
First and foremost thing to be considered while setting up an eCommerce venture is to evaluate whether your idea is feasible, scalable and profitable (I call it the “FSP”). There should be some unique aspects about your product (or the range of products) apart from its availability online, feasibility of sending the products over courier/post and the available profit margin. If all these criteria are met, then you are ready to have an online store!
Reliable eCommerce Platform
The next challenge is to find or form an eCommerce platform. While the tech-savvy (and those with a large inventory or products) can opt for setting up their own store from scratch using licensed platforms, those with limited technical knowledge and who are entering into retail market for the first time should ideally opt for a ready-to-use eCommerce platform.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform can be tricky as there are numerous companies offering their services. Take some time to evaluate the different options and choose the ones which offer the best features at a reasonable price.
We used Shopnix
to create and manage our eCommerce store.
Our store setup was quick and easy and we managed be up and running in just 2 days. Their support team is great as well and has helped us with customizing our store to look great. I would highly recommend Shopnix to anyone who is just starting off on eCommerce.
While choosing a platform, some of the aspects to look out for include ease of use (both for you to upload the products and keep a track of orders, and for the shopper) attractive shop themes (not too flashy and at the same time not too boring/bland), number of products you can display, payment options, customer information sharing, and logistic assistance. Almost all eCommerce platforms now offer a free trial. Try out the ones you have shortlisted, and then choose the one you want to go with.
As the wise have said, “first impression is the last impression.” Getting good quality product shots is highly advised. As the online shopper cannot touch and feel the objects as in a physical store, one needs to have good quality pictures covering all the aspects of the products displayed. Professional help for taking good quality pictures of your products can help overcome this challenge.
This aspect will always be challenging; regardless of the logistic company chosen! Misplaced/lost/damaged shipments, incorrect deliveries, delayed deliveries or failure to deliver are only a few of the problems noted. The goal is to get a reliable logistic company which promises safe, timely and correct delivery at a reasonable price. Do not compromise with the price in case your products need delicate handling. Many eCommerce companies offer logistic assistance. If you are first timer, then choose the one the eCommerce platform offers.
Keeping the King Happy
Customer is the King and he can often be impatient! Although majority of the online shoppers are quite patient and understanding, with increasing competition, shoppers not only expect good quality products, they want it delivered quickly too. Choose your logistic partner wisely and do not be over-realistic about delivery timings. Be true to the customer and he/she will definitely understand the difficulties in case of any problems with logistics. Obtain feedbacks at regular intervals to understand what the shopper thinks of your site, products and your service.
While there are challenges galore, there are advantages and profits too (don’t expect them too soon). Success comes to those who are patient and learn quickly from their mistakes! Do express your thoughts about the article and also let know your queries. I will try to answer all! I will cover other relevant aspects in subsequent articles.
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