What I Wish I Knew Before Starting My E-Commerce Business

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The Internet has provided many great opportunities for businesses to reach an audience and possibly make money. Literally, in the palm of our hands, our phones allow us to sell something in front of an online audience and hopefully make money. The rise and rise of the e-commerce space has now put this business model in the sights of many people looking to “leave the rat race” and “live life on their terms” etc.

If you are reading this and have the desire to start selling e-commerce products online, then this article is for you. You are entering the world of e-commerce, and while it can be exciting and fun, you need to be careful to ensure that you do not lose money.

I’ve been on this path, from different angles and my goal is to share with you all the lessons I’ve learned the hard way to help you take the path of least resistance and not make the same mistakes I did.

Here are the things I wish I had known before I started my e-commerce business:

Dropshipping is hard

Related: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Dropshipping Business

What is dropshipping I hear you say? Well, this is an e-commerce model where you don’t need to have inventory. Instead, when the sale comes, you buy the unit from the supplier who then ships the goods directly to the customer. This is a tough way to introduce yourself to the e-commerce space because there are so many moving parts. You need to create an online store, find products, advertise your store, and provide customer service.

This baptism with fire in the world of e-commerce is not for the weak entrepreneurs or the lazy out there because you need to learn multiple skills at once and quickly. If I had my time again, I would probably bypass this model entirely and save a lot of money. Having said that, I felt that drop shipping helped me get a solid professional training.

People want fast shipping

So, you made your first sale on your online store, and your product is on its way to the customer. What now? Well, get ready to put on your customer service hat. This comes with a warning. Your customers will send an email asking you where their merchandise is. why? Because they messed up Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery.

The unfortunate thing is that your customers expect the same shipping and speed options as Amazon.

Get ready to compete against Amazon

This is where things get interesting. Especially if you are shipping goods to the US, your US customers will undoubtedly have an Amazon account. With that, you are fighting a tough battle. This battle is a battle of trust. People are more inclined to trust Amazon, rather than spending their hard-earned money on a product from an online store they’ve never heard of. People want comfort.

this is difficult! What can help you here are a few things like having a 24 hour support hotline on your site to impart service and convenience to those who are considering buying from you. This tip alone can help increase your conversion rate.

If you can’t beat them, join them

Related: Start an Amazon FBA side hustle today

Amazon FBA. If you’ve never heard of this term and are keen on building an e-commerce brand, head over to Google and start your search. Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) is an e-commerce model that allows you to white-label a product, ship it to Amazon fulfillment centers, create a listing, and place your product in front of millions of customers on Amazon.

On top of that, you can take advantage of Amazon’s ultra-fast shipping options and when the sale happens, Amazon picks, packs and ships your product to the customer. You basically partner with the largest e-commerce brand in the world, use their multi-billion dollar logistics capabilities and take care of your customer service.

I wish I had gone straight to this form from the start. In my opinion, this e-commerce model has the least amount of risk and can help you maximize your potential profits, providing you with choosing the right product to sell. In conclusion, being in the e-commerce space requires a special kind of mindset. You have to be very commercial with your mindset and have profit at the forefront of every decision you make.

You need to remember that when you sell a product online, there are multiple costs involved in getting the product to your customers’ front door. Unit cost, advertising budget, shipping fee, and more. So, the name of the game is to have something called “relic”. When you have taken all your costs, the goal is to have the remaining money also known as profit. You get that right, and together with Amazon, you can start seeing some crazy sales numbers because Amazon is a beast!

Related: 3 ways to make e-commerce stress-free, and make money

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