When setting up your e-commerce business, five things need to work together for it to be a success.
You need an attractive and user-friendly website, excellent customer support, beautiful product photos, a partnership with a fast delivery service like Couriers Chicago, and a solid business plan.
But it’s not just these factors you need to focus on. You’ll also need to decide what you’re going to sell and how to source it before launching your online store.
Finding Products to Sell
Many people never take the plunge and start an e-commerce business because they have no idea what they should sell. A good way to determine what you should be selling is to identify a single item or set of trending products.
Another alternative is to sell items that are difficult to come by on other popular online e-commerce stores like eBay and Amazon. By choosing a particular item (or line of items), you’ll appeal to a niche audience whose demands aren’t being met elsewhere.
You can narrow your ideas down by drawing up a list of products you’d like to sell. While listing items, think about what your coworkers, friends, or family would want to buy or have trouble finding online.
You should also do some research on social media sites like Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest to get some inspiration, and you can search for your products on Google Trends to see how popular they are. Once you have a list, ask your friends and family for input.
Sourcing Your Stock
It’s in your best interest to find quality suppliers with the best prices and establish good supply chain relationships with them.
You can source your products directly from brands, buy them from distributors, buy used products, use a contract manufacturer, or manufacture your own products.
Buying Directly From Brands
Although big brands will probably have minimum order requirements, you can source your products directly from them. For instance, if you intend to sell Nike footwear, you may be able to buy shoes directly from Nike. This is usually a cheaper option than going through a middleman or distributor.
Buying From Distributors
If you can’t buy your products directly from the brand, you can find a distributor who carries their products. For instance, if Nike won’t sell directly to you, you can probably find a distributor who will.
Buying Used Products
With sustainable living becoming trendy among the younger generation, tapping into the secondhand market can be lucrative. You can find used items such as vintage jewelry or clothes on eBay or your local classifieds – usually for an excellent price.
Using a Contract Manufacturer
This option is popular among direct-to-consumer sellers and especially useful if you have a unique product idea. Many companies will manufacture products for your business, which will then become your brand.
Manufacturing Your Own Products
If you want to manufacture your own products, there are many options available. You could make your own handmade products or consumables from your home, as well as digital goods like ebooks and software.
Launching Your Shopify Store
Once you have researched your competitors and decided what you will sell and how to source it, the next step is to create an online store.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that makes building your store a simple process. You’ll find many templates to choose from, and from there, you can create your store with the easy store building feature.
Now is also the time to name your business – choose something meaningful that will resonate with your target audience. As soon as you’ve set up your store, don’t forget to do a test order to ensure that everything is working correctly.