E-commerce has become an increasingly popular and lucrative industry in recent years, with more and more consumers turning to the internet to shop for a wide range of products and services. Here are a few statistics that highlight why e-commerce is a good industry to explore:
- According to data from Shopify, global e-commerce sales are expected to hit USD 5.7 trillion in 2022
- A study by eMarketer found that the number of digital buyers worldwide is expected to reach 2.14 billion in 2020, up from 1.92 billion in 2019.
- A survey by Shopify found that 82% of consumers prefer to shop online, citing reasons such as convenience, wider selection of products, and the ability to compare prices easily.
- Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that online sales in the United States reached $601.75 billion in 2019, representing 14.3% of total retail sales in the country.
These statistics show that e-commerce is a rapidly growing industry with a huge potential customer base. As more and more consumers turn to the internet to shop, there are many opportunities for businesses to succeed and thrive in the e-commerce space.
We explain how TikTok is utilising e-commerce trends in Southeast Asia to expand its revenue streams
Building an e-commerce business with a low budget can be challenging, but it is possible with the right approach. Here are 5 steps you can take to build an e-commerce business with a low budget:
Identify a niche or target market
Identifying a niche or target market is an important step in starting and growing a successful e-commerce business. A niche is a specific subset of a larger market, while a target market is a group of customers that a business is specifically trying to reach and sell to. Here are some steps you can take to identify a niche or target market for your e-commerce business:
- Research your competition: Start by researching the competition in your industry. Look at the products and services they offer, their pricing, and their target market. This will give you an idea of what is already available and what gaps in the market you could potentially fill.
- Identify customer needs and preferences: Next, identify the needs and preferences of potential customers in your market. This can include conducting market research, such as surveys or focus groups, to gather information about what customers are looking for and what they are willing to pay for.
- Determine what sets your business apart: Think about what sets your business apart from competitors. This could be the quality of your products, unique features or benefits, or a specific target market that you are focused on serving.
- Define your niche or target market: Based on the information you have gathered, define your niche or target market as specifically as possible. This could include factors such as age, gender, location, interests, and purchasing power.
- Validate your niche or target market: Finally, validate your niche or target market by testing it with a small group of potential customers. This can help you to refine your niche or target market and ensure that it is a viable and profitable opportunity for your business.
Create a website or online store
Next, you’ll need to create a website or online store where customers can browse and purchase your products. There are a number of low-cost platforms and tools you can use to create a professional-looking website, such as WordPress or Shopify.
Source products and suppliers
One of the key challenges for e-commerce sellers is sourcing products and suppliers. This involves finding the right products to sell, as well as identifying suppliers who can provide those products at competitive prices. Here are some tips for e-commerce sellers looking to source products and suppliers:
- Identify the types of products you want to sell: Before you start looking for suppliers, it’s important to identify the types of products you want to sell. This could include products that you create yourself, or products from other manufacturers or wholesalers.
- Research potential suppliers: Once you have a list of the products you want to sell, start researching potential suppliers. This can include searching for suppliers online, attending trade shows and industry events, and networking with other e-commerce sellers to find potential sources of products.
- Evaluate potential suppliers: When evaluating potential suppliers, consider factors such as their pricing, product quality, shipping and delivery times, and customer service. It’s also important to look for suppliers who are reliable and can provide the quantities of products you need to meet customer demand.
- Negotiate terms and conditions: Once you have identified potential suppliers, negotiate terms and conditions with them. This can include the prices you will pay for products, shipping and handling fees, payment terms, and any other details of the relationship.
- Develop a relationship with your suppliers: Building a good relationship with your suppliers is important for the success of your e-commerce business. This can include communicating regularly with your suppliers, providing clear and detailed instructions for orders, and paying invoices on time. By developing a strong relationship with your suppliers, you can ensure a smooth and efficient supply chain for your business.
Develop a marketing plan
To attract customers to your website and drive sales, you’ll need to develop a marketing plan. This can include tactics such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing. Focus on creating high-quality content that will appeal to your target audience, and consider using paid advertising to reach a larger audience.
Monitor and optimize your business
As you start to sell products and build your customer base, it’s important to monitor your business and make adjustments as needed. This can include tracking your sales and customer feedback, as well as making changes to your product line and marketing strategy based on what is working and what isn’t. By constantly monitoring and optimizing your business, you can increase your chances of success and growth.