Setting Up an eCommerce Store in 2021
If you’re thinking about setting selling a product online, you have more decisions to make than ever. More and more people are setting up some form of online selling outlet in 2021, and that means you’re going to have to get everything right if you want to stand out. Whatever your goals, from quitting your job so that you can focus on your online business to simply creating a part-time revenue stream, the choices available will mean some serious consideration. If you’re planning to sell any kind of product or service online in 2021, here’s what you need to know.
The Pros and Cons of Online Selling
There are multiple of reasons why you might consider launching an eCommerce outlet, but it’s vital that you learn the pros and cons of doing so. The most attractive pros are fairly straightforward:
- You get to work from home and can usually make your own hours
- You probably have some experience with buying online, so you know some of the pitfalls
- You can tailor your eCommerce business to your interests
- It’s much less expensive to get set up than a traditional business
However, there are some downsides to selling online. The more that you can think about these potential issues the easier it will be to have realistic expectations of what you can achieve:
- It can take time to start making regular sales
- There’s a lot to learn if you want to make this a full-time revenue stream
- You will usually start out as a team of just you, and that means you have to do everything from the marketing to the accounts
- You will often have to work a lot harder than you think to keep your product listings updated, and you will have to spend a lot of time on marketing
Far too many people decide to set up an online store because they think it’s something akin to a get-rich-scheme. You will need to spend time building your credibility and levels of trust. However, if you’re prepared to put the work in, what’s next?
What to Sell
This is usually the first thing that online sellers decide on and is often the reason for them to decide to start selling. This is one of the crucial decisions that you’re going to make, so remember to factor in these considerations:
- Can you make a profit (it’s easy to forget to include the cost of shipping and packaging and any fees that you have to pay)
- Is there a demand for it?
- Is there a lot of competition?
The more that you pay attention to these questions, the easier it will be to identify the products that you are best off selling. Plus, you are more likely to find success with your business too!
What Kind of Suppliers?
Finding the right suppliers is something that you’re going to want to spend a lot of time on. Choosing the wrong supplier can seriously limit your potential to grow, so be aware of the different options on offer, including:
- A supplier directory
- Dropship suppliers
- Wholesale suppliers
Once you have identified the best type of supplier to suit your business, you will then have to reach out to them, let them know what you’re looking for, and then negotiate the prices that you pay.
By this stage, you should be in a strong position, but you still have some decisions to make. You will want your business to be as professional as possible, so don’t cut corners when it comes to:
- Choosing the name of your business
- Registering your business with your state/city
- Applying for your Sales Tax ID
- Choosing your payment options
You are now going to be in a much stronger position from which to set up your online business.
Choosing a Platform
You are completely spoiled when it comes to choosing how to sell online. You can build a website from scratch, use a dedicated eCommerce platform like Shopify, stick to social media selling, or use website builders like WordPress with an eCommerce add-on. You could also choose to sell on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. There are pros and cons to each platform so it’s critical that you do your research, for example, Amazon has a lot of users, but it also has a lot of sellers. That means you may be drowned out by the competition. Remember to look at any fees that you’ll have to pay with each sale. Of course, you don’t have to stick to a single online selling platform. If relevant, you could have a presence on every possible selling platform as well as your own website. If you do choose to stick with Amazon, then you will be pleased to know that it’s incredibly easy to start selling on Amazon. Fortunately, Amazon provides sellers with a wide range of resources and tools. Amazon Brand Registry is simply the latest option, so it’s worth reading a little more about the Amazon brand registry requirements so that you have more of a head start once you set up your account.
It is important to note that Amazon is one of the more crowded marketplaces simply because it has the trust of customers. This can benefit you from the outset, though, whereas, with your own website, it would take a while to build this trust up. Consider this when making your decision.
Your eCommerce outlet should now be in place, but the work doesn’t stop there. Your next task is going to be to learn as much as possible about the best marketing techniques to use, how to use branding to grow your audience, and how to reduce your shipping costs. However, take your time to get everything right and you could be generating your online revenue a lot faster than you might have thought.
Bio: Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin.