The online marketplace has grown beyond the wildest dreams of even the most optimistic tech investor, and the forecast is for this growth to continue into and beyond 2021. Research shows that globally e-commerce in the US has grown by almost 130% over the past year, and e-commerce sales reached over $700 billion in 2020.
Shoppers have changed the way they look, buy, and discuss their purchases, and the online space is where most consumers have chosen to interact in this regard. How the internet is used for shopping and business, in general, has evolved even further over the last 18 months, and because of the covid pandemic, more people than ever imagined have been forced to go online for even the simplest of purchases.
From tonight’s dinner to the new roof and everything in between, you can get it sorted from the comfort of your home. The internet is a treasure trove of products, services, advice, and knowledge. E-commerce is the business opportunity of the decade, and for you to take full advantage, you will need the three essentials detailed below.
Quality products or services
If you’re thinking of launching online, then you need to ensure that your business is credible. The product, service, or concept that you have must be genuine. You must have a product that does what it says and is better than the myriad of competitors out there. Having a good idea is only the beginning, but creating a service or product that works, or simply improving on an existing idea, means that you will need to eliminate all errors, have an ongoing testing regime, and after-sales service and support that provides your customers with surety. This is a key step, and the best advice is that you should never go to market without knowing that your product is quality; once released, your initiative will not be able to hide in what is a cutthroat arena of consumer competitiveness.
Professional and organized management and staff
If you are planning on running a successful business, you will need a good team and solid management. It is a creative process to start a business, but the mechanics and systems associated with management may not be your area of expertise. Most start-ups make use of project management apps to simplify and streamline this function. Do not think that you can do it all alone or in the various spreadsheets that you have developed. Use tried and trusted methods and techniques that are universal and able to be understood by others out there; you never know when you will be looking for investment. Keeping management data clear and easy to understand is a key function of running the start-up. If you are the creative, ideas person who could not be bothered with this aspect of the business, then either hire the right people or prepare to fail. Your business start-up requires a very hands-on approach in its early stages; setting the right systems in place and creating the right behaviors are vital for start-up success, and effective management can do this for the business.
The right technology and e-presence
If you are thinking of going online, you need to ensure that you have the right tech to manage, interact, and ‘follow’ what transpires. You will also need a reliable and stable internet connection. These are the basics that will allow you to participate in the boom that is the online marketplace. The tech and connection are only the first step, and to drive the numbers to your business, you will need to have a great e-presence. Everything you do online needs to be linked and have a constant theme running through it. Build a brand, and the best way to do this is with the visuals and interaction ability of your website, shopfront, blogs, and social media.
A few more things you will need if you have any hopes of succeeding, are commitment, dedication, and the ability to form a good work-life balance, because a business should not take up everything that you are. It is a hard slog, but if you get some of the basics right, you will be organized as you try.